Some Specific Remedies.
Fraxinus Americanus.—While this remedy is recommended as one that influences the chylopoietic viscera, and in large doses will induce active purgation, it is especially advised in the treatment of acute, subacute, or chronic uterine enlargements. One of the distinctive indications is a sensation of weight in the lower abdomen, accompanied with a feeling of hardness extending down into the vagina.
With this there is a sensation of pressure in the rectum and a constant desire to pass urine with no relief. Upon examination, it is found that the womb is large, heavy, but often soft and sensitive. These will be found present as a result of subinvolution at times. Accompanying these symptoms there is a sore spot on the top of the head which is hot, and where if continued the hair becomes stiff and brittle.
This is often accompanied with persistent headache difficult of control. The headache is not influenced by eating or sleeping, It is more or less constant, unless relieved by the recumbent position or by a position in which the hips are raised and the head lowered.
It has been given in cases where there were uterine tumors of quick growth, or where there was rapid increase of the size of the womb from disease of any character. It is especially beneficial after miscarriage in stimulating a normal restoration of the size of the uterus.
From its influence on the liver, it has been found to control hypertrophy and to assist in overcoming dropsical conditions in constipation. It is of some benefit in acute, splenic disorders.
Of the fluid remedy, twenty, thirty or forty drops should be given at a dose three or four times a day. Any reader who has had experience with this remedy is urged to present his experiences for publication in THE THERAPEUTIST.
Iris.—This remedy has a peculiar influence which is very satisfactory when correctly prescribed. Anyone who has used it in chronic malarial difficulties, or any condition which involves the glandular system, has observed its direct influence as a stimulant to waste and excretion, and as a stimulant to the lymphatic system. It need not be given in large doses to produce a very satisfactory result.
Given in those conditions in which, from long continued, chronic disease, there is mild jaundice or a tendency to cachexia, and where there is imperfect nutrition with evidence of autointoxication from imperfect elimination, it is certainly a valuable remedy.
If I were to give specific symptoms, I would mention first, the passage of gray colored stools with scanty urine of a high specific gravity, accompanied with a sluggish action of the glandular system, especially that of the skin, with jaundice.
It is also indicated where, with glandular enlargements of any kind, there is sick headache with vomiting of fatty substances of an acid character or acid eructations. With these symptoms there is often persistent neuralgia located in some of the facial nerves or in the teeth.
While this can occasionally be quickly controlled with a full dose of some indicated alkaline remedy, a cure must be brought about with iris. I have added twenty drops to an equal part of port wine and glycerin in a four ounce mixture, and have given this in teaspoonful doses every two or three hours with very happy results.
The remedy must be used to be appreciated. It is certainly sometimes very satisfactory. I combine it also with other alteratives in the treatment of syphilis with excellent results, and in the treatment of eczema or other persistent pustular or oozing skin diseases. It is of much service especially if accompanied with other indicated remedies, in enlargement of the thyroid gland, and exophthalmic goiters have been treated with it and sometimes good results have been observed.
Catalpa.—This agent, used as a remedy, has as yet no definite field of action. The line suggested for its investigation is in the peculiar, diuretic effect it exercises, stimulating the flow of the watery portions of the urine, and at the same time exercising a pronounced soothing effect upon the entire mucous lining of the urinary tract.
This influence upon mucous membranes extends also to the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. It has been found to relieve bronchial irritation and to control asthmatic breathing, to a certain extent.
It is especially valuable in chronic bronchitis where the mucous irritation has existed for some time. Anyone who has used the remedy will confer a favor upon this editor by reporting the observations he has made upon its action. It is quite necessary that these facts be brought before the profession at large.
Lupulin.—This is a remedy which exercises a sedative influence so pronounced and satisfactory as to have been recognized for very many years, although the medicine has never been very widely used by the profession.
Its principal action has been to control nocturnal seminal emissions, but it has a very much wider influence. It soothes the nerve centers, promotes rest and sleep, especially in hysterical patients and in those who suffer from irritation of the genitourinary tract or with wakefulness from sexual excitement or abuse, as it seems to control the mental apprehensions in young men which is usual with this condition. It controls sexual erethisms and desire.
In exercising this influence, it seems to overcome any tendency toward cerebral hyperemia which may have been induced by these causes. If with these conditions, there are disorders of the gastro-intestinal tract, or indigestion with fermentation or with eructations of sour gas or fluids, the remedy is beneficial. It may be also prescribed as a hypnotic in mild forms of insanity, and has been depended upon in delirium tremens, although usually a more positive remedy is used.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.