The physiological effect of muscular tissue, especially of its extract, which acts as a stimulant and in excessive doses increases the pulse-rate, but is a cardiac poison, had been known for some time, as was the fat-reducing effect of the Banting cure.
Thus, it become increasingly clear that all living organs contain typical chemical substances as the metabolic products of their ordinary cell-life. These metabolic substances are passed into the circulation by means of the lymph. We should only use the term gland when we find the typical structure of a gland, especially when a duct is to be found which serves to convey the waste products towards either the external surface of the body or the internal surface of the alimentary canal. All other tissues and organs, not excluding the above mysterious ones, give up their waste products to the circulation by means of the lymphatic system.
Our normal health depends chemically on the neutral equilibrium of all those substances contained in the blood-stream either as food for the tissues or as their waste products. Organochemical therapy aims at adding those substances, of which in a given case there may be an insufficient quantity.
These considerations suggest a reason why, in the human body, all sorts of rudimentary organs which have long lost their significance, still persist, instead of having been eliminated. This is probably due to the fact that on account of their organochemical constituents, these organs are still of some value in the struggle for existence. Indeed, the recent study of organochemistry began with the consideration of these very organs.
It was also noticed that if the testicles or ovaries were removed, the patient became feeble and debilitated. Hence, the organochemical effect of these organs was also studied. Brawn-Sequard experimented with extracts of bull's testicles and met with some success. But far more definite results are obtained if, instead of administering extracts to the experimental animal, the living organs are implanted into it, e.g., into the muscles of the abdominal wall. Only by this procedure is a permanent effect likely to be obtained.