The leaves of Kalmia latifolia, Linné (Nat. Ord. Ericaceae). A beautiful shrub of mountains and damp situations in the United States.
Common Names: Mountain Laurel, Laurel, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, etc.
Principal Constituents.—A neutral, poisonous principle, andromedotoxin (C31H51O10), arbutin, resin, and tannin.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Kalmia. Dose, 1 to 20 drops.
Specific Indications.—Fugitive rheumatic pains; aching pain in the back; pain upon movement of the eyeballs; excited circulation; cardiac palpitation reflex from gastro-intestinal irritation; chronic syphilitic cachexia.
Action and Therapy.—King valued kalmia in constitutional syphilis, with excited heart-action and rapid circulation. Being a sedative it is said to allay fever and inflammation, and it is credited with power to relieve symptoms due to cardiac hypertrophy. It is also a remedy for aching pain, shifting rheumatic pain, aching pain in the back during menstruation, and ocular pain upon movement of the eyes. Palpitation of the heart excited reflexly by gastro-intestinal disturbances is sometimes relieved by it. It is said to be most valuable when the disorders above mentioned are associated with a syphilitic taint. Kalmia has never obtained a very important place in medicine, though it possesses strongly toxic properties.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.