The Ductless Glands and Their Secretions
(Fig. 33, p. 252)
4. Parathyroids. These structures consist of four oval bodies, two on each side of the thyroid gland, from which they differ in structure and function. Complete removal results in acute toxic symptoms which develop rapidly. The most prominent is muscular tetany.
5. Adrenals. The adrenal glands are situated on top of the kidneys. Adrenalin (C9 H13 NO3) is the basic substance in the secretions of these organs. The secretions of these glands are increased in a marked degree by fear, rage or other emotional excitement. The injection of adrenalin produces general vaso-constriction of the blood vessels. Degeneration or atrophy of the adrenals causes Addison's disease, dark pigmentation of the skin, muscular weakness, low blood pressure, mental apathy and general wasting.
6. The Reproductive Glands. These are the testes of the male and the ovaries of the female. In these organs are located, in addition to the sex cells, the cells of Leydig outside of the seminal tubules.
Complete castration in young males arrests development. Transplantation of testes to some other part of the body in animals is followed by normal development in sexual desire and potency. Substitution of ovaries for testes in young males arrests development of male genitals and the animal finally acquires all the instincts and characteristics of the female.
The internal secretions of the sex glands are important not only as regards the so called secondary sexual characteristics, but also have a very marked stimulating effect upon all processes of oxidation in the system.
7. Thymus Glands. This organ is situated behind the upper part of the sternum at the base of the neck. It was formerly supposed to reach maximum development at birth and subsequently to atrophy. Recent observers claim, however, that it continues to increase in size after birth until the appearance of puberty, and that it may persist throughout life.
Castration results in the persistent growth of the thymus gland. Removal of the thymus hastens the development of testes or ovaries. Thymus fed to dogs stimulates the growth of the body but results in mental deterioration. Thymus fed to young tadpoles hastens growth but retards metamorphosis to the frog state, thus producing giant tadpoles. Thyroid gland fed to young tadpoles retards bodily growth but hastens metamorphosis, thereby producing dwarf frogs.
It is claimed that thymus extract prevents excessive accumulation of acids, particularly of the acid of phosphorus, which it neutralizes into unclean compounds.
Thymus, therefore, seems to stimulate physical growth and to retard mental growth.
8. Coccygeal Gland. This small gland lies in front of the tip of the coccyx. Its exact functions are as yet unknown. Its removal is followed by serious nervous disturbance.
9. Carotid Gland. This gland is located at the bifurcation of the common carotid arteries. The exact functions of this gland are also unknown as yet, but both the coccygeal and carotid glands seem to act as neutralizers of systematic poisons.
The Relationship of the Ductless Glands
Until a few years ago little or nothing was known about the functions of the ductless glands in animal and human bodies. Probably physiologists and physicians would still be describing these structures as "atrophied organs", the relics of a previous and now utterly changed anatomy of man during some period of his evolutionary development, had not some surgeons, regarding these organs as atrophied and useless relics of the past, extirpated them and found that people thus deprived of these "useless relics" invariably developed serious chronic diseases of body and mind, or died. Now, certain branches of advanced medical science jump to the other extreme and attribute practically all disease to the abnormal functioning of these small and seemingly insignificant organs.
Sajous has probably done the most advanced work along these lines of physiological and medical research. The substance of his "theory and practice", as presented in the "Internal Secretions and Principles of Medicine", may be summarized as follows:
"The pituitary body or gland (Fig. 33), acting through the sympathetic and central nervous systems and through the thyroid and adrenal glands, controls all the vital processes of the body."
Thus modern materialistic science meets and corroborates ancient esoteric science, which taught, in what we are pleased to call the "dawn of humanity'', that the pineal gland and pituitary bodies were the organs of the spirit and the soul through which the life forces act upon the body.
Concerning the relationship and various functions of these organs, Sajous says:
"The pituitary body is the general and governing center of the spinal system, which includes the gray substance at the base of the brain, the pons and spinal cord, and the nerves derived from any of these structures, cranial and spinal.
"The pituitary body is the governing center of all vegetable functions, i. e., of the somatic brain.
"The pituitary gland is divided into an anterior and posterior body. The anterior is a lymphoid organ which, through the posterior body and a nerve path in the spinal cord, governs the functional activity of the adrenals.
"Since the secretions of the adrenal glands control all the oxidation processes of the body, this control is exercised originally from and through the anterior pituitary body. In like manner the anterior pituitary body governs, by means of the posterior body and certain nerve tracts, the activity of the thyroid gland.
"The pituitary body, the adrenals and the thyroid gland are thus functionally united, forming the adrenal system. "The posterior pituitary body is the seat of the highly specialized centers which govern all the vegetable or somatic functions of the body, or of each organ individually.
"The posterior pituitary body receives all the sensory impressions belonging to the field of common sensibility; pain, touch, muscular sense, etc., initiated in any organ, including the mucous membrane of skin and brain." (According to this the pituitary bodies must be the organs through which the consciousness receives impressions from without and within.)
"The sympathetic nervous system is also governed by a highly sensitive center likewise located in the posterior pituitary body. The 'sympathetic center' in the posterior pituitary body through the sympathetic system governs the caliber of all arterioles and regulates the volume of blood admitted into the capillaries of any organ, including those of the brain and nervous system. The caliber of the larger blood vessels is governed through the vasomotor center."
The Test Organ
"Between the two lobes of the pituitary body is located an organ which has for its purpose the protection of the individual against morbid and poisonous materials that may be present in the circulation.
"This test organ reacts to the influence of any poison capable of exciting it. It reacts to such morbid and poisonous stimuli by increasing the functional activity of the thyroid and the adrenal glands. By increasing the functions of the adrenals it enhances the antitoxic powers of the blood and of the phagocytes.
"The secretions of the thyroid and parathyroids jointly form the obsonin and glutinin of the blood." (Substances which serve to devitalize disease producing bacteria.)
From the foregoing it follows that the adrenal system, composed of the pituitary body, the adrenals and the thyroid apparatus, constitutes the detoxifying and immunizing mechanism of the body.
Inasmuch as the adrenal system has for its purpose the protection of the body against disease, it is by enhancing the functional activity of the adrenal system that we can overcome disease. The "vis medicatrix naturae" is due to the presence of auto-antitoxin, i. e., obsonin and other antibodies, in the circulation.
As to the normal functions of the adrenals (thyroid and adrenals) during health, Sajous says:
"The adrenals supply an internal secretion which absorbs the oxygen of the air and carries it to the tissues." This secretion of the adrenals he calls "adrenoxidase". On this oxidase depends pulmonary and tissue respiration. The red blood corpuscles are storage cells for adrenoxidase.
The adrenal secretion is the one ferment which imparts to all other body ferments their particular properties.
All these propositions seem to be well proven. Extensive experimentation and clinical experiences seem to prove the main facts herein described. But when Sajous comes to the therapeutic part of his philosophy of disease and cure he cannot get away from the orthodox allopathic idea of poison treatment. All through his therapeutic deductions and suggestions he tries to fit in the allopathic materia medica and artificial antitoxin treatment with the wonderful activities of the pituitary center and the ductless glands.
He endeavors to show that mercury, iodin, quinin and the host of other poisonous drugs exert a curative action by stimulating the pituitary bodies and, through these, the other ductless glands.
He claims that through the stimulating effect of these poisons the secretions of thyroid and adrenals are gradually increased and that thereby the auto-antitoxin in the circulation becomes more abundant and more active.
From this we see that his idea of treatment is still symptomatic. Although he recognizes that the processes of inflammation and fever are constructive, his treatment is symptomatic in so far as he ignores the pathogenic substances in the system which in the first place benumb the adrenal system--the protective mechanism of the body.
If he would concentrate his therapeutic efforts upon preventing the creation of these toxic pathogenic substances and upon their elimination from the system by harmless natural methods, then the protective mechanism of the body--the pituitary and other ductless glands--would revive spontaneously and become more alive and active.
Instead, he has nothing to say about the prevention of pathogenic processes nor about the elimination of disease producing materials through natural methods of treatment. The sum and substance of his treatment, as before stated, consists either in stimulating the ductless glands into greater activity by the most virulent and destructive poisons on earth, or in administering substitutes for the glandular secretions in the form of glandular extracts from animal bodies. What the drug poisons do to the system later on is not his concern. The fact that they create the most destructive chronic diseases has not yet dawned upon his "scientific mind".
These recent discoveries of the importance of the pituitary bodies, which practically reveal them as the seat of the life force which intelligently controls the manifold vital processes, are an interesting corroboration of the teachings of esoteric science, which describes the pineal and pituitary glands as the organs through which the spiritual and psychical forces act upon the body and create the various planes of consciousness in man.
The pineal gland is that which occultists call "Devak-sha", the "Divine Eye". It is the chief organ of spirituality in the human brain, the seat of genius, the mythical sesame for the purifying of the mystic, that which opens all the avenues of truth for him who knows how to use them. According to these teachings, the pineal gland is, during life, connected with the pituitary bodies and through these with the physical material organism
When the old School of medicine began to realize the importance of the secretions of the ductless glands and of other organs and membranes in the vital processes of the body, they attempted to supply these secretions in certain diseases of the ductless glands by administering the corresponding glandular organs, or extracts of these organs, from animal bodies. Thus they extracted pepsin, the digestive principle of gastric juice, from the, stomachs of animals. In like manner they prepared extracts of the pituitary glands, thymus and thyroid glands, adrenals, pancreas, portions of the intestines and of other organs and membranes, and administered them as substitutes for the like tissues or secretions in the human body.
Until a few years ago pepsin was held to be a certain and sure remedy for indigestion, but in all my experience I have yet to come across a single patient who has been cured of digestive troubles by this preparation. It is true that these animal extracts, in many cases, act as palliatives ; but I have never found them curative. The reason for this is obvious. We cannot strengthen a feeble arm by carrying it in a sling. Crutches do not cure the paralyzed limb nor do glasses always cure weak eyes. The great law of use ordains that any faculty, capacity or power--physical, mental or moral--which we do not constantly use and exercise, weakens and atrophies.
Animal extracts, and all other kinds of crutches favoring and substituting certain organs and functions of the human organism, do not strengthen these nor re-establish lost functions, but through taking away the natural stimuli and preventing natural use and exercise, the organs thus favored become more lazy, benumbed and atrophied.
Natural Therapeutics follows the opposite plan. In the first place, it corrects the primary causes of disease which were responsible for the weakening and degeneration of the secreting glands and membranes; then it makes these more active and alive through hydrotherapy, massage, neurotherapy and magnetic treatment, through curative gymnastic exercises, sun baths and other natural methods of treatment. I do not remember a single case of soft goiter that we have not cured without the use of thyroid extract. In like manner we have cured other so called chronic, incurable diseases supposed to be caused by a deficiency of glandular secretions.
At best the correct selection and administration of these preparations is very difficult and even dangerous. This is admitted by the best medical authorities. Why should we resort to these uncertain agents when natural methods of treatment do the work without risk? I can imagine cases of extreme urgency where the administration of such preparations may be advisable as a temporary palliative and substitute until the natural secretions can be made to flow. But it is certain that continued administration of these substitutes will delay or prevent the natural production of the secretions. The best proof of this is that the great majority of patients coming to us for the treatment of goiter, of digestive troubles or diseases of the adrenals, have taken the animal extracts for years without attaining permanent, satisfactory results.
Each told the same story. At first the glandular extract seemed to bring about great improvement, but this was soon followed by relapse into the former chronic condition. How can it be otherwise? The beneficial effects of the animal extracts are soon offset by the progress of the disease which caused the atrophy of the ductless glands or secreting membranes in the first place.
For instance, the membranous linings of a stomach have been ruined by hyperacidity and general toxidity of the system. The pepsin cells have become impaired, thus causing indigestion. Animal pepsin, administered as a substitute, for a time brings improvement, but the disease conditions continue to grow worse and weaken not only the stomach but other organs as well. In this way the temporary improvement brought about by the pepsin is gradually offset and overcome by the general decline of the system.