(Some of the Senecio species contain toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids. More info here: Livertoxic PAs --Henriette.)
The whole plant of Senecio aureus, Linné (Nat. Ord. Compositae). Northern and western parts of the United States. Dose, 5 to 60 grains.
Common Names: Golden Senecio, Life Root, Ragwort, Female Regulator, etc.
Principal Constituents.—Probably an acrid resin and a bitter and tannin; it has not been satisfactorily analyzed.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Senecio. Dose, 5 to 60 drops.
Specific Indications.—Atony and relaxation of the pelvic contents, with dragging painful sensations; uterine enlargement, with uterine or cervical leucorrhea and impairment of function; vaginal prolapse; slight uterine prolapse; pelvic weight and vascular engorgement; increased flow of mucus or muco-pus from weakness; suppressed or tardy menstruation; pain, soreness, and bearing down of the uterus; vicarious menstruation; difficult and tardy urination in both sexes. In the male tenesmic micturition, testicular dragging, and pelvic weight. In both sexes, dyspepsia, with flatulence after meals; cardialgia, associated with sour stomach and increased flow of gastric juice.
Therapy.—Senecio is a remedy of decided value in the treatment of diseases of women. It was formerly much employed, but in the onward movement of therapeutics seems for some reason to have passed into unmerited neglect. Without doubt this is due to failure to observe and prescribe it according to its specific indications, and somewhat to its tardy action. To get results from senecio it must be given in appreciable doses for a long period, and while slow, its results justify its use. A general relaxed condition of the female generative tract, with or without mucous or mucopurulent discharge, or vaginal or uterine prolapse, is the direct indication for its selection. Atony is the key to its use. The parts lack vigor and tone, or may be irritable and hyperaemic; at any rate, the pelvic circulation is poor and the whole pelvic floor seems about to let the pelvic contents escape. The uterine ligaments are lax, and the prolapses benefited are those partial displacements due to the weakening of the ligaments and surrounding tissues. Senecio is an ideal emmenagogue and the best single remedy for the amenorrhea of debility. As such for amenorrhea in the young in whom the menstrual function is not yet well established, we know of no better or more prompt agent than senecio. We select it with as great certainty as we would macrotys for muscular pain, or bryonia for pleuritic stitches. It matters little, however, what the non-surgical female disease, so long as one is guided by the indications, senecio will not be found wanting in power to improve or to cure. It is with certainty a leader in gynecic therapy. It relieves irritation, imparts tone and vigor, and restrains undue and vitiated secretions. Atony of the ovaries with impairment of function is always present in cases requiring senecio. There is also perineal weight and fullness, and in chronic cases an enlargement of the womb, with cervical leucorrhea. dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, metrorrhagia, chlorosis, functional sterility, leucorrhea, dyspepsia, and the capillary bleeding of haematuria and the bloody discharges of albuminuria are the cases in which it is also especially indicated and in which more or less success may be expected from it. While holding the greatest reputation in diseases and disorders of the female, it is of some, though relatively less, usefulness in functional aberrations of the male reproductive organs, sometimes relieving pelvic weakness, with sense of dragging and testicular pain, and frequent and painful urination. The dose of specific medicine senecio, the best preparation of it, is from five to sixty drops in water, three or four times a day.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.