The elements which first endure from alcohol are these expansions of the physique which the anatomists name the membranes. „The pores and skin is a membranous envelope. Via the entire of the alimentary floor, from the lips downward, and thru the bronchial passages to their minutest ramifications, extends the mucous membrane. The lungs, the guts, the liver, the kidneys are folded in delicate membranes, which will be stripped simply from these elements. If you happen to take a portion of bone, you’ll discover it simple to strip off from it a membranous sheath or masking; in case you look at a joint, you’ll discover each the pinnacle and the socket lined with membranes. The entire of the intestines are enveloped in a high-quality membrane referred to as peritoneum . All of the muscle groups are enveloped in membranes, and the fasciculi, or bundles and fibres of muscle groups, have their membranous sheathing. The mind and spinal wire are enveloped in three membranes; one nearest to themselves, a pure vascular construction, a community of blood-vessels; one other, a skinny serous construction; a 3rd, a powerful fibrous construction. The eyeball is a construction of colloidal humors and membranes, and of nothing else. To finish the outline, the minute constructions of the very important organs are enrolled in membranous matter.“
These membranes are the filters of the physique. „Of their absence there might be no constructing of construction, no solidification of tissue, nor natural mechanism. Passive themselves, they, however, separate all constructions into their respective positions and diversifications.“
Membranous deteriorations.
With the intention to make completely clear to your thoughts the motion and use of those membranous expansions, and the way in which through which alcohol deteriorates them, and obstructs their work, we quote once more from Dr. Richardson:
„The animal receives from the vegetable world and from the earth the food and drinks it requires for its sustenance and movement. It receives colloidal meals for its muscle groups: flamable meals for its movement; water for the answer of its varied elements; salt for constructive and different bodily functions. These have all to be organized within the physique; and they’re organized via the membranous envelopes. Via these membranes nothing can go that isn’t, for the time, in a state of aqueous answer, like water or soluble salts. Water passes freely by way of them, salts go freely by way of them, however the constructive matter of the energetic elements that’s colloidal doesn’t go; it’s retained in them till it’s chemically decomposed into the soluble sort of matter. After we take for our meals a portion of animal flesh, it’s first resolved, in digestion, right into a soluble fluid earlier than it may be absorbed; within the blood it’s resolved into the fluid colloidal situation; within the solids it’s laid down inside the membranes into new construction, and when it has performed its half, it’s digested once more, if I’ll so say, right into a crystalloidal soluble substance, able to be carried away and changed by addition of latest matter, then it’s dialysed or handed by way of, the membranes into the blood, and is disposed of within the excretions.
„See, then, what an all-important half these membranous constructions play within the animal life. Upon their integrity all of the silent work of the increase of the physique relies upon. If these membranes are rendered too porous, and set free the colloidal fluids of the blood the albumen, for instance the physique so circumstanced, dies; dies as if it had been slowly bled to loss of life. If, quite the opposite, they turn into condensed or thickened, or loaded with overseas materials, then they fail to permit the pure fluids to go by way of them. They fail to dialyse, and the result’s, both an accumulation of the fluid in a closed cavity, or contraction of the substance inclosed inside the membrane, or dryness of membrane in surfaces that must be freely lubricated and saved aside. In previous age we see the consequences of modification of membrane naturally induced; we see the fastened joint, the shrunken and feeble muscle, the dimmed eye, the deaf ear, the enfeebled nervous perform.
„It could presumably appear, at first sight, that I’m main instantly away from the topic of the secondary motion of alcohol. It isn’t so. I’m main on to it. Upon all these membranous constructions alcohol exerts a direct perversion of motion. It produces in them a thickening, a shrinking and an inactivity that reduces their purposeful energy. That they could work quickly and equally, they require to be always charged with water to saturation. If, into contact with them, any agent is introduced that deprives them of water, then is their work interfered with; they stop to separate the saline constituents correctly; and, if the evil that’s thus began, be allowed to proceed, they contract upon their contained matter in no matter organ it could be located, and condense it.
„Briefly, underneath the extended affect of alcohol these adjustments which occur from it within the blood corpuscles, lengthen to the opposite natural elements, involving them in structural deteriorations, that are all the time harmful, and are sometimes in the end deadly.“