Crataegus in Cardiac Asthma.
GEORGE OSBORNE, M. D., FREMONT, NEBRASKA
I notice your request for a report of observations of the use of crataegus in the treatment of heart disease. I have suffered for many years from asthma of a spasmodic and nervous type, which has been accompanied with functional heart trouble.
For the past ten years there has been some enlargement of the right side of the heart. During this period there has been more or less intermittent pulse which has resulted in weakness and in difficult breathing.
There was one time especially, when, after a number of days of this suffering, I was taken one evening with oppressed breathing which increased rapidly, until the following day, it seemed I would certainly suffocate.
I was in great agony. I told the nurse to give me eight drops of the tincture of crataegus every fifteen minutes. I experienced relief almost at once, and within an hour I was breathing quite easily and was very comfortable.
It is a question with me whether the crataegus could be of any benefit in asthma where there was no cardiac disorder. This agent has relieved the difficult breathing and, I think, imparted tone to the heart. During the past year there has been but little of the difficulty, yet my heart has been irritable and weak in sympathy with my general weakened condition.
I took this remedy at the advice of Dr. E. N. Leek of this town, who has used it with great benefit in valvular heart disease where digitalis has failed to relieve the urgent symptoms. It has been necessary at times for me to take musk in conjunction with this remedy for the asthmatic symptoms, from which I have been a great sufferer from my youth.
I believe this agent is valuable for the purely nervous form of asthma. At one time I used an infusion of common chestnut leaves, drinking the infusion freely as I would water to relieve thirst. I have heard that this agent has made permanent cures of asthma, although it is not confirmed.