The dried leaves and flowering tops of one or several species of Grindelia—as Grindelia camporum, Greene; or Grindelia squarrosa (Pursh), Dunal. (1) Marshes of California; (2) Western plains. Dose, 5 to 40 grains.
Common Name: Grindelia.
Principal Constituents.—A saponin-like resin (grindelin), volatile oil, and an alkaloid grindeline.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Grindelia. Dose, 5 to 40 drops.
Specific Indications.—Asthmatic breathing with sense of soreness and rawness; harsh, dry cough; dyspnea with cyanosed countenance. Locally, rhus poisoning; old indolent ulcers. Grindelia squarrosa: malarial cachexia with splenic congestion.
Action.—The grindelias have a bitter, acrid taste, leaving an unpleasant, persistent, acrid sensation in the mouth and cause an increased flow of saliva. The kidneys are excited by them and diuresis is increased, while upon the bronchial membranes they produce a primary increase of secretion followed by a lessened expectoration and diminution of the rate of breathing. They are eliminated by the bronchi and the kidneys. Marked relaxation of the bronchi is produced by grindelia.
Therapy.—External. Grindelia promotes reparation in damaged conditions of the epithelium. It is especially valuable in chronic skin diseases with feeble circulation and tendency to ulceration. For indolent ulcers a lotion of the specific medicine (2 fluidrachms to Water, 16 fluidounces) may be applied freely upon compresses. It stimulates growth and heals the ulcers. Grindelia similarly applied is one of the best of applications in rhus dermatitis. Applied to chronic eczema of the vesicular type it has been credited with many cures. Webster asserts it is of value in malignant ulceration, as epitheliomata of the mucosa and the skin. This is claiming much and awaits confirmation from the experience of others.
The leaves of grindelia, smoked alone or mixed with stramonium, lobelia, or potassium nitrate, have been used successfully to relieve the paroxyms of spasmodic asthma.
Internal. Grindelia is a remedy for asthmatic breathing, with pectoral soreness and a sense of rawness. The accompanying cough is dry and harsh and the breathing labored, causing in plethoric individuals a dusky coloration of the face. In some cases it promptly stops the paroxysms of asthma, and in others apparently has no effect. It is useful in subacute and chronic bronchitis, especially in old persons, and in bronchorrhea and emphysema.
Grindelia squarrosa is credited with antimalarial properties and to relieve splenic congestion and hypertrophy of malarial origin. The indications are dull pain with fullness over the spleen, sallow skin, debility and indigestion, with gastric distress.
The bitter taste of grindelia is best disguised by chloroform.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.