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From the Townsend Letter
January 2007


Three Years of HCl Therapy (Part II)
as recorded in The Medical World
with introduction by Henry Pleasants, Jr., AB, MD, FaCP (Associate Editor)
Originally published by W. Roy Huntsman, Philadelphia, PA

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The foregoing case is reported in detail because it was the most advanced case of the infection in which I have used this plan. Other similar infections not so far advanced have shown the same satisfactory clinical results. The recital of other histories would be but a repetition of the above described case.

The reasons seem clear. As reported in the May issue of Medical World, Dr. Ralph McBurney, Professor of Bacteriology at the University of Alabama, found that a solution of 1-250 of hydrochloric acid would sterilize cultures of the staphylococcus aureus and the streptococcus hemolyticus in an hour. And the behavior of the sinus infection described in the first twenty-four hours illustrates the value of the cellular stimulation in such infection.

Dr. A. M. Allen, of St. Louis, in the May issue of Medical World, draws attention to the fact that when water is added to the solution it at once breaks up into H, OH, and C. This fact is the elemental reason for the action of the solution as a germicide. He says that, when the acid solution is injected into the blood stream, there may be an enormous increase in the rate of metabolism "and therefore greatly alter the quality and quantity of osmotic interchange between intercellular and intracellular areas." If this is true, and I grant its probability, would it not be quite logical to conclude that the first line of defense, the phagocytic system, is also greatly stimulated by the injections of hydrochloric acid? At any rate, the changes in this easily mobilized system may be witnessed in hourly counts after the injection of the acid. Changes in the other cells cannot be shown so easily.

After seeing the beneficial effects of the acid sprays in coryza and sinus infections, I concluded that, in all probability, the infecting agents of asthma made the invasion through the nasal passages, and that in the next case of asthma which I might see, I would try this plan. Something over a week ago, a little boy came to me. His recurrent attacks of asthma have apparently been controlled by intravenous injections of the hydrochloric acid. Two or three times a year he has been to me for over two years. When I first began using HCl with him, treatment required some 15 visits for the complete cessation of the difficult breathing. The succeeding attacks have been much more quickly controlled; that is, a smaller number of injections of the acid were needed. Last week, he came with a moderately severe attack. As usual on the first visit, I gave him the intravenous injection, forgetting my determination to use the spray. The next day when he arrived, he was markedly better: rales had diminished, and he was breathing with slight effort. On this occasion. I used first the intravenous injection and then the spray of 1-500. He was given a bottle of it with instructions to use it twice a day. A telephone message to his home resulted in the information that he is going to school every day and, so far as my informant knew, is having no trouble from the asthma, which gave him so much trouble last week. The next case of asthma I may see will have the sprays of hydrochloric acid from the beginning.

I have never known a drug about which there were so many diverse opinions as hydrochloric acid. Many colleagues still maintain that its injection is followed by fatal consequences. On being asked to report the mortalities, one is told to wait and they will come. Others say there must be merit in the injection of the acid, but phagocytosis by no means sufficiently explains the good results. Dr. Allen thinks the benefits come from the chemical reactions, while Dr. Guy is equally convinced that disease is the result of lymph stasis and that the hydrochloric acid and the minerals serve to stimulate the flow of lymph and modify the pH of the blood. I maintain that all of the reserve forces of resistance are made more active by the injection of the acid, phagocytosis and the oxygen of the red cells are greatly increased, poisons are neutralized or modified, and wounds are repaired more rapidly by exactly the same force that is used by mature in healing. Indurated tissue is softened, and the exudate of serum about injuries to joints or about wounds and other lesions of the skin is quickly taken away after the stimulation of the white cells by hydrochloric acid.

Acne Vulgaris And The White Blood Cells
On November 26 1934, a lad was brought to me by his mother, with a history of five months' treatment with lights, X-rays, and salves. The conventional plans of therapeutics were so seemingly ineffectual, I determined to look for a suggestion from nature. This was promptly found by a count of the white blood cells: 17,700 per cubic millimeter. The count was really not necessary, since the many larger and smaller pustules filled with white blood cells left one in no doubt of the mobilization of the cellular defensive forces in and about the points of invasion of the pyogenic organisms. Many of these pustules bore the cicatrices of incisions for the drainage of this "laudable pus."

Since nature makes no purposeless efforts, I concluded that the one thing needed by this lad was more activity and aggressiveness of the cellular forces, and that this missing factor or factors could be added by the intravenous injections of hydrochloric acid. This was done by the injection of 15 cc of hydrochloric acid 1-250, or 0.4 cc to 100 cc of triple distilled water. The mother was asked to apply hot compresses to his face for a half-hour every evening, which was but another effort to still further mobilize the defensive forces about the lesions.

Whether the results were due to the hot pack, or the stimulation of the white cells by the acid, or both, one cannot say; but, at any rate, the mother told me on the second visit that she had never seen the lesions drain as after the pack of the night before although no incision had been made. This indicated, beyond question, that the induced leukocytosis had caused such an influx of white cells into the infected foci as to so increase the pressure that the skin was ruptured. For three weeks, the boy came regularly every other day, and the improvement was satisfactory, the lesions growing smaller and paler. On each of the visits, he was given 15-20 cc of hydrochloric acid 1-250 as reported before. In this series, he had only one inflammatory reaction, and this lasted only two or three hours, simply the usual chill, fever, and sweat one sees so rarely after the acid injections. With the advent of the holidays and Christmas school festivals his visits to my office were irregular, but the injections were given when he did come.

He returned in 48 hours; the packing was withdrawn, and there was only a suggestion of an exudate on the gauze from the cavity. There was absolutely no exudate on pressure from the lesion, a phenomenon I had never seen until I began the local use of the acid a few months before. To complete the history of the boy. he was given in this series 25 injections of the hydrochloric acid, hot packs at night, and one tablespoonful of mineral oil every night.

This local use of hydrochloric acid, as I am using it now, is a most satisfactory germicide apparently, and happily, there is a cogent reason for such a procedure. For many years, the germicidal value of chlorine has been well-known. Twenty years ago, a preparation of chlorinated lime was extensively used. It is possible that the chlorine in this alkaline preparation was not available in a potent form. This conclusion has been made after seeing the effect of the application of dressings saturated with solutions of hydrochloric acid on ulcers, after a thorough cleaning and irrigation of such lesions with solutions of 1-250 or 0.4 cc to 100 cc of distilled water. This solution is being used just as we used solutions of bichloride of mercury or carbolic acid in the old days. The behavior of the abscess described above is an indicator of the behavior of ulcers and infected wounds. From the clinical results, the conclusion is inevitable that the chlorine of hydrochloric acid is a most useful germicide. Could it be that this chlorine of the intravenous injection of the acid adds a noxious quality to the serum of the blood, thus accounting for some of the inexplicable results following the intravenous injection of the acid?

The Healing of Wounds
This is in answer to E.B., in Monthly Clinic in the March issue of Medical World.

Like you, I am often puzzled over the clinical effects of the injections of HCl. I have had, of course, a few cases of ulcers of the duodenum and the pylorus, one of the former having been of 22 years' duration. An X-ray showed active lesion. I gave the patient ten injections of HCl, 1-1500, and she was clinically well. Three years thereafter, a study was made of the intestinal tract and showed nothing but scar tissue at the site of the old lesion. This patient was 73 years old when I gave her the acid injections and is in good condition now at 78.

The white cells are the essential factor in the healing of wounds, and I think on the chemical side the good effects you and I have seen come from a glandular and cellular stimulation by the HCl which makes these factors in the production of the acid return to their normal production.

I agree with you on the difficulties in understanding these phenomena, but if it is good for a sick man, it pleases me to give it, whether I understand all of its manifold peculiarities or not. Try it on the secondary anemias, and you will be still more puzzled.

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