The leaves or whole plant of Chimaphila umbellata (Linné), Nuttall. (Nat. Ord. Ericaceae.) North temperate region of the Northern Hemispheres, and in the United States, in dry shady woods.
Common Names: Pipsissewa, Prince's Pine, Ground Holly.
Principal Constituents.— Chimaphilin (C24H21O4), and arbutin (C24H32O14.H2O)
Preparations.—1 Infusum Chimaphila, Infusion of Chimaphila (1/2 ounce to Water, 16 fluidounces). Dose, 1 to 4 fluidounces
2. Specific Medicine Chimaphila. Dose, 5 to 60 drops.
Specific Indications.—Scanty urine, but excessive voiding of mucus, muco-pus, or bloody muco-pus; smarting or burning pain upon urination; chronic vesical catarrh, with marked debility.
Action and Therapy.—Chimaphila is both an antiseptic diuretic and a positive alterative. It does not derange but seems to favor digestion, and has a good influence upon the processes of nutrition. In chronic affections of the renal tract with large mucous, muco-purulent or purulent discharges it is of the utmost value. Thick and ropy urine, such as is voided by old people and in cases of chronic cystitis, with a pinkish or reddish sediment of mucus, pus, blood and "brick dust" is an especial indication for it. Sometimes it is of value for the urinary disorders following gonorrhea. Purulent discharges from a pyelitis, or due to calculous irritation, also guide to the selection of this simple but effective urinary antiseptic, sedative, and diuretic. Albumin has disappeared under its use, though the cases were but incipient cases of albuminuria. Not much hope should be expected from it in confirmed nephritis. It is often useful in chronic prostatic irritation and in some cases of prostatitis, particularly those associated with chronic catarrh of the bladder. The agent should be used preferably in infusion and for a continued time. If desired, specific medicine chimaphila may be employed dispensed in water, with some glycerin. However, when used in this way it precipitates and is unsightly, and a better way is to dispense it in bulk with directions to dilute it freely when used. The dose of specific medicine chimaphila is from ten to twenty drops diluted every two, three or four hours, according to the urgency of symptoms. As a tonic and alterative we have used it for a long time with the greatest of satisfaction. A recent writer in the old world has credited chimaphila, in doses as given above, with causing the disappearance of sugar in glycosuria. Chimaphila is a neglected remedy that may well take the place of other agents of questionable safety.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.