Mustard has been in use as a counter-irritant for many centuries, but it is astonishing how few physicians are acquainted with its excellent properties as a counter-irritant in the treatment of capillary bronchitis and bronchopneumonia in infants and children.
Most doctors content themselves with the use of some patented, odoriferous kaolin or clay paste. These patented pastes have many disadvantages. In the first place, they hinder by their weight free respiratory movement; second, their action is entirely insufficient; third, they may cause a severe dermatitis by blocking up the openings of the sebaceous glands. I am acquainted with one case in which an erysipelas was directly traced to the application of one of these patented pastes.
The value of counter-irritants in the treatment of capillary bronchitis in children has been amply demonstrated. Mustard is one of the simplest and most active of counter-irritants and one to whose efficacy in this