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“From the stomach and intestines the chyle is absorbed both by veins and lacteals. That which is taken up by the blood-vessels is carried forward by the portal vein to the liver, there to be sorted, trained to the activities of the body, and distributed in several ways according to its quality. That which is absorbed by the lacteals is carried through a labyrinthine network, knotted by many glands, called the mesentery, and is the collected into. . . the receptacle of chyle. Here it is mingled with the lymph returned by the lymphatics from all the viscera of the abdomen and thorax; and then, through an irregular tube called the thoracic duct, it ascends nearly to the neck, emptying usually into the vein that returns the blood from the left arm to the heart.” ––––– John Worcester (1889, 75) One of the great principles upon which my system is founded, is that all disease originates in obstructions of the glands, and if not removed becomes scrofulous; and the only remedy is to

Introduction to The Lymph/Immune System An Exclusive Excerpt from the Upcoming New Book by

by Matthew Wood

remove the obstructions by raising perspiration by steam and hot medicine. In all my practice for nearly forty years, there has bee nothing that I have succeeded more completely in, than the cure of scrofulous complaints, such as salt- rheum, St. Anthony’s fire, scalt heads, cancers, king’s evils, rheumatism, and consumption. –––––– Samuel Thomson (1825, i:166). The cells of the organism are bathed by the waters of a vast internal ocean, through which supplies and waste products move to and from them. Some of the waste requires special ducts for removal – the lymphatics. The internal waters are policed by immune cells that are coded to distinguish ‘self’ and ‘non self’ and remove the latter. These police cells and related enzymes and mechanisms constitute the immune system. Thus, together the great internal ocean, the lymphatics, and the immune system constitute one large organ system which functions largely as

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