Saturday, April 16, 2011

Henry Hyde Salter

Most asthma experts prior to the mid 20th century were mainly doctors making observations about their own patients.

One of the premier asthma experts of the 19th century was Henry Hyde Salter. In fact, many will even say that he was the asthma expert most respected in the second half of the 19th century.

Perhaps the most proof of this comes from the fact that young Theodore Roosevelt's doctors referred to Mr. Salter's 1864 book "On Asthma" for help managing the young, future Presidents asthma.

Yet as I've written about before, young Teddy mentioned at one point that many of the so called remedies were pure torture.

If you read his book, most of what you'll get from it is that he was very observant of his asthma patients. He studied the cases of asthma that he treated, and from his own observations he came to conclusions.

Salter was also an asthmatic himself, which may have added to his interest in the phenomenon. And based on his own experiences with asthma remedies offered by his doctors when he was affected by an episode of asthma, he developed an interest in the disease.

Thus, based on his own experiments to control and treat his disease, and experiments he performed on his own patients (mainly based on the readings of other asthma experts of the past, plus his own theories and observations), he came up with the ideas that formed the basis for his book, "On Asthma."

So I thought a good place to start in my quest to examine the history of asthma would be with the great Henry Hyde Salter. From there I will flip through the pages of time to examine people effected with this ailment, ancient theories, old remedies, and anything else of interest we can come up with.

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