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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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Toxemia and Alkalosis
In the understanding and treatment of the progressive degenerative diseases, much depends upon a practical knowledge of the cause of acidosis and toxemia and of the condition known as alkalosis. The writer hopes to show that acidosis and toxemia are synonymous and that, underlying the varied symptoms of these diseased conditions, there is a basic alkalescence of the cellular tissues.

To get an approximate picture of cellular chemistry, we must first of all realize we are not dealing with fluids and solids but rather with a colloidal form of tissue, a popular illustration being a diluted mixture of gelatin and water or gel. Dr. Edward J. Stieglitz writes:

The living cells of the kidney or elsewhere consist of just such colloids, containing many thousand different substances in complex combinations, separated by surfaces and limits…Dr. Martin Fischer and Professor Jacques Loeb demonstrated that, with slight chemical changes in the medium bathing living cells, the cells could be made to swell with water or shrink and give up water at the will of the experimenter. Dr. Fischer studied not only the living cells, but also simpler colloid mixtures, such as gelatin, and was able to show that increases in acidity and of certain salts caused the gel to give up water and therefore to shrink in size. In a body swollen with edema exactly such phenomena occur. It is the "thirst" of the chemically altered tissues that absorbs and binds the water, and the reason for the small urinary output is, in large part, that no, or very little, water is available for excretion by the kidneys…In this connection, one particular phase is of special interest. Fischer and others contended that the swelling results from increased acidity of the tissues, so that their treatment consisted in the liberal administration of alkalis. This treatment is often effective, but inasmuch as the reaction of the kidney cells has been shown by the indicator method to be the opposite to the reaction of the urine eliminated, excessive alkali treatment is liable to cause injury to the kidney cells, and thus occasionally lead to suppression of diuresis, aggravating the dropsy. More recent work has demonstrated that certain acid-producing substances, like calcium chloride, give rise to a prompt and liberal flow of acid urine and a diminution in the edema. If the above explanation is correct, improvement by this treatment is probably due to favorable action on the kidney itself, the acidity of whose cells is diminished.

That the acid-alkali balance or pH in the colloidal tissues is the base of all the phenomena or disease symptoms which are termed acidosis, alkalescence, or toxemia is readily understood. But what the medical world is in sore need of knowing is how to read these clues or symptoms correctly and better realize the causation of these clinical signs and their pathological significance.

What is acidosis? An accumulation of acids or a diminution of the .pH reaction. But what acids? We can glibly say carbonic acid in the blood or lactic acid in the tissues; uric acid in the joints and blood vessels; lactic, diacetic, butyric in stomach or intestines; and so forth. We may even visualize hepatic acids in the liver, but unless we know why these acids appear in excess and their relation to alkalosis, we shall never be able to understand their true significance or marshal our remedies effectively against them.

The only normal acid in the animal body is, of course, hydrochloric acid found in the gastric juice. All other acids are waste products. The carbonic acid of the breath is created by the oxidation of the lactic acid of the tissues. Therefore, an excess of lactic acid is a failure to oxidize this acid sufficiently. In diseases, such as cancer, tuberculosis, and fevers, this failure of complete oxidation is present, particularly so in cancer, where the cancer cells, too, throw off this substance. The amino acids are but stages of food digestion and, when present in excess, show impaired hepatic and pancreatic functions. The most pernicious form of acidosis is that produced when a stoppage occurs in the duodenum or pylorus. In this condition, the HCl of the gastric fluid disappears, and other acids, such as the acetic, butyric, lactic, take its place. Also Dr. L. G. Rowntree, of Philadelphia, says "…in this condition, the chlorine of the blood is usually diminished, the urea increased, and the capacity of the blood to combine with carbon dioxide increased."
The above quotation of Dr. Rowntree is worthy of more than a cursory reading. Many people, both young and old, have, if not a sore or ulcer at the pyloric orifice, an inflamed or congested area indicated by digestive distress. Dr. Moore says that achlorhydria occurs in some cases of apparently healthy persons and in many cases of gastrointestinal disease. He also stresses its frequency in diabetes mellitus and still greater frequency in thyrotoxicosis, as well as in certain nonmegalocytic hypochromic anemias. Although achlorhydria occurs in both forms in anemia, a deficiency in hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice is a common symptom in depressive neuroses. It is frequently associated with mental fatigue, persistent worry, and strain, especially in persons with a congenitally unstable psyche. The symptoms are very vague: lack of appetite, fullness after eating, gaseous eructations, and diarrhea is more common than constipation. Pain is absent. Again, according to Dr. Moore: "Moreover, hydrochloric acid forms with the duodenal membrane a hormone named secretin, which stimulates the pancreas (to form insulin), also formation of bile and activity of gallbladder. It is estimated that 2 grams of HCl is required for a meal."

If we have followed the above carefully we shall realize how failure to secrete sufficient HCl in gastric juice gives rise to a long train of events: improper digestion, fermentation, therefore poor absorption of food and mineral elements, a likelihood of sore ulcers or cancer forming at pyloric outlet, followed by an inactive liver and pancreas, failure to secrete the secretin hormone (which reduces sugar in blood), failure to oxidize lactic acid in tissues, more or less retention of CO2 in blood, and inability to destroy bacteria sufficiently in food.

We can visualize still further a toxic liver and hypertension in arteries. Retention of CO2 has been implicated in convulsions of epilepsy and other brain affections, also failure of endocrine glands to function normally, as well as diabetes and kidney afflictions. Still, we can go further and trace out more of the disturbances we may expect to gradually appear in various patients. The mineral elements have been mentioned. Improper digestion means malassimilation -- unbalanced mineral content of body. What are some of these symptoms? First, a surplus sodium; tissues too watery; tendency to edema and asthma; flabby muscles and little strength; and a lack of chlorine producing a condition favoring boils, abscesses, pus formation. Deficiency of calcium means excess of sodium and deficiency of potassium; this last deficiency the writer believes to be the most important of all.

Let me quote Dr. Robert A. Hatcher, of Cornell: "It is only within recent times that we have come to understand the importance of extremely small amounts of certain salts of the blood and the influence exerted by even slight changes in its composition. Small amounts of potassium salts are essential for the heartbeat; large amounts are poisonous. It has been found recently that under certain conditions the behavior of the heart toward potassium is an index of its behavior toward therapeutic doses of the digitalis group, and those hearts which do not respond to potassium are incapable of benefiting by the use of digitalis."

No one who has not read the reports of potassium salts in fertilizing the soil can really appreciate its value; a common comparison of 30 bushels per acre of potatoes without potassium salts and 150 bushels or more by its presence in the soil is well-known. Yet it is used in such small amounts that such a difference is hardly believable. What of the body if it is deficient? We find coldness of extremities, weakness of heart, an unhealthy, pasty skin, tendency to skin diseases, as well as malignant growths. And this is not all, for out of the potassium molecule in the gastric acid cell, the hydrochloric acid is derived not from the sodium chloride of the fluids, but from the solid tissues. Therefore, potassium is undoubtedly implicated in hypochlorhydria, with all its subsequent effects.

Shall the writer go further? Yes, there is more to say; namely, the lack of hydrochloric acid is the main causation of alkalosis. Much space might be taken up to show this is so, but let us go on to another sequel reguarding its deficiency.

Tuberculosis is in everyone and everywhere. But why do the few succumb and the many escape its ravages? Alkalosis is the answer. When the cellular tissues are too alkaline, the fatty acids tend to disintegrate and give off glycerol; a study in fatty acids will readily show this to anyone. In this glycerol molecule (glycerin), the tubercle bacilli thrive. Let me quote an authority on this point, Dr. Esmond R. Long, University of Chicago. "Curiously enough, [he says] the tubercle bacillus stands almost alone in its dependence on one or two particular combinations of carbon. The most usable source of carbon by far is the relatively simple substance glycerol luxuriant growth does not occur (in laboratory) in absence of glycerol." Again, Long says: "It may be that a difference in the availability of free glycerol in the tissues accounts for some of the differences noted in people in susceptibility to tuberculosis."

So far, we have given an hypothesis, but to this writer, the only real proof is a pragmatic one: does the hypothesis work? Do clinical reports bear out these claims? I will quote but three cases, although many are indexed, then leave the formula I use today in the hands of my colleagues for their vindication. The formula contains ferrum, necessary for oxidation of cell life; sulphur, for same reason to complete cycle; chlorine and hydrogen, to keep ions free; potassium, to supply the hypothetical mineral deficiency and to enable gastric cells to form their own peculiar acid.

The formula now in use by the writer is as follows:

Rx Sol. potass. arsen. (Fowler's)
Tr. fern chloridi
Sol. potass. chloridi (ten percent)
Sol. potass. sulphads (ten percent)
Sol. acidi HCl (two percent)

aa f3J
ad f3 iq

Case of Pat. R.; girl aged eight years. Two years constant cough, night and day; fever, weak, dullness over lung area. History of bad X-ray that showed lungs riddled with plastic areas; weight 50 lbs. Diagnosis: pulmonary tuberculosis. Realizing that ordinary treatment of bed and feeding was hopeless, she was allowed to run about and kept on her diet, but lunches were added, and she was kept from school. Treatment: the given formula, five drops, five times daily. In two months, almost complete cure has taken place with lung healed and ten pounds gained. The child has romped herself to health, for she cannot keep quiet.

Case of J. R. D., 64 years old, dairyman for 16 years. Had cold legs, pained at night, insomnia, nervous, liver and stomach involved, despondent, tongue red and cracked. Diagnosis: Potassium and chlorine deficiency. Formula: nine drops, four times daily. In one month, completely well. All former treatments had failed, and he had tried many physicians.

Case of G. B., male, age 65. Diabetes for several years. Health poor, weakness and thirst. A small cancer size of a quarter on neck. Treated by formula, also with Harrower's pansecretin tablets. In three weeks, was sugar free. The growth was removed by zinc chloride paste, and a small daily dose of the mineral chloride formula keeps him in good health. In fact, the writer finds that all cases of functional diabetes become sugar-free if the above gland tablet is used while needed, in addition to above prescription.

Much more could be said concerning the complex cellular chemistry, but many of my medical colleagues can hold up their own hands or those of their elderly patients, see their swollen or distorted joints, and say, "Alkalosis." Then, if they will, they can take this formula and, week by week, see these infiltrated joints subside with increase of bodily comfort and physical strength. They can realize that alkalosis causes precipitation of waste products and that the administration of alkalis but changes the acid waste products into salts, to be deposited as sodium urate in those joints farthest removed from the heart or to form calculi in bile or kidneys. Destroy these acids by the stronger natural normal acid (HCl), and they will be eliminated. Broken down by alkalis, they become deposits. The formula is designed to increase the amount of HCl in the gastric juice, to supply deficient minerals, and, finally, to restore the chemical reactions of the body to their normal metabolism.

A word of warning seems necessary; namely, keep to a small dose. Recently a fisherman with furunculosis of arms took, instead of nine drops, a teaspoonful as a dose. After the second dose, he had to walk about for a half-hour to overcome the numbness and failure of circulation in his legs. Needless to say, his boils soon disappeared.

The potassium salts suspended in an acid medium have free ions and are rapidly assimilated. The formula is self-sterile and can be given intravenously, 3 to 5 minims in 10 cc of distilled water as needed; by mouth, well-diluted, five to 20 drops, three to five times daily. The writer gives it in hot water in cases of cholecystitis, with inevitably happy results. If desired, calcium chloride can be used in place of the potassium salts when indicated in edema, asthenia, etc.
Quotations are taken from Chemistry in Medicine; British Medical Journal; and the US Dispensatory.

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