The trachea begins immediately below the larynx (voicebox) and runs down the center of the front part of the neck ends behind the upper part of the sternum. Here it divides to form two branches which enter the lung cavities. The trachea (windpipe) forms the trunk of an upside-down tree and is flexible, like a vacuum tube, so that the head and neck may twist and bend during the process of breathing. The trachea, or windpipe, is made up of fibrous and elastic tissues and smooth muscle with about twenty rings of cartilage, which help keep the trachea open during extreme movement of the neck. The lining includes cells that secrete mucus along with other cells that bear very small hairlike fringes. This mucus traps tiny particles of debris, and the beating of the fringes moves the mucus up and out of the respiratory tract, keeping the lungs and air passages free. In Russian folk medicine, there is the thought that rubbing the chest with pork fat will cure a cold. Mustard plasters and boiled snails in barley water were thought to be effective by others, and nobody knows what the ingredients were for early “cure-all tonics” and “snake oil” kits. It is now believed that the best medicine is to rest, keep warm, drink plenty of fluids, and eat good, digestible meals. Sounds good to me…and certainly better smelling.

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