The rhizome of Chamaelirium luteum, Gray (Helonias dioica, Pursh)—(Nat. Ord. Liliaceae). Abundant in woodlands, meadows, and wet places in some parts of the United States. Dose, 10 to 30 grains.
Common Names: Blazing Star, Unicorn Root, Starwort, Drooping Starwort, Devil's Bit.
Principal Constituent.—A yellowish, bitter principle, chamaelirin.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Helonias. Dose, 10 to 30 drops.
Specific Indications.—Sense of weight, congestion, or expulsion of the pelvic contents, with mental torpor, despondency, or irritability; gastric and other disturbances reflexly due to pelvic relaxation; strong, sticky leucorrhea; pelvic fullness with discharge.
Action and Therapy.—Tonic, diuretic, and vermifuge. (For relation to Aletris, compare Aletris.) Helonias is a valuable uterine tonic, specifically adapted to uterine weakness in which relaxation of tissue is so great as to give the sensation of downward pressure, dragging or expulsion-or as the patient expresses it, "a sensation as if everything in the pelvis would fall out or be expelled." Marked irritability and despondency are often associated with such disorders, and when menstruation occurs there is a feeling of undue fullness, as if the womb and rectum were distended with blood, and about to be pushed out of the body. There is associated aching and propulsive pain. In anemic cases the drug is useful in amenorrhea, and in leucorrhea should be given internally, while hot antiseptic and astringent injections are used locally. Helonias is said to correct sexual lassitude in both sexes, and to have checked nocturnal losses due to excesses and associated with enfeebled body, impaired memory, and mental apathy. In chlorotic anemia dependent in a measure upon uterine and ovarian weakness, it is also asserted to be very serviceable, and reputed to improve loss of appetite, indigestion, and mal-assimilation when aggravated by sexual weakness. It is also said to relieve the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, to prevent miscarriages, and to correct gastric complications of albuminuria.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.