This remedy was brought before the profession about fifteen years ago, as one that would probably control pain. It has not met all of the expectations of the introduction, but there is no doubt that its full value as an anodyne remedy is not yet known. It deserves a thorough, advanced study, and I believe that it will well repay such study.
In its physiological action, it stimulates the salivary and cutaneous secretions, slows the pulse and increases arterial tension. Its service by this influence is followed by a reduction of the tension, due to a slightly weakening influence of the remedy upon the heart. It at first dilates the pupils, but when the patient passes into a state of asphyxia, it causes contraction.
There is a question concerning its influence upon the irritability of the motor nerves, or upon the sensory nerve ends, but it certainly exercises a distinctly nerve sedative effect, and overcomes nervous excitability and reflex irritability.
It is an antispasmodic of considerable power in mild cases. It does not cause dryness of the throat or mouth like opium, by suppressing secretion; neither does it induce constipation. It causes no distress in the stomach nor does it decrease the appetite nor the digestion.
In susceptible patients it exercises an active controlling influence over pain, and is of much benefit in relieving general distress. There are some localities in which its pain-relieving influence is apparently much more readily exercised than in others.
As it does not oppose other indicated remedies, it may be given for the relief of pain or distress in conjunction with remedies that are specifically prescribed. It has been given with good results in inflammatory rheumatism, controlling much of the pain and allaying gratefully the general irritability thereby induced. In the course of many inflammatory fevers, it has been given with good results.
I have obtained excellent results in the treatment of pelvic pain, whether the cause was in the reproductive organs or whether it was from renal or urinary disease. This has been especially true in dysmenorrhea, where there was ovarian congestion, as well as uterine displacements. In these cases, I have combined the agent with other specifically indicated uterine remedies, and have obtained superior results.
In the treatment of lung and bronchial troubles, those who have used it have declared with considerable positiveness in its favor. It has been used in many forms of spasmodic cough, and especially that form of persistent cough which was due to irritation of the bronchial tubes, resulting in a constant inclination to hack, with more or less soreness of the bronchial tubes.
In this form of cough, it could be used in conjunction with bryonia, or if thought best, with small doses of ammonium chlorid. Five drop doses, every two hours, have been administered with excellent results in both whooping cough and bronchial asthma.
One writer claims the remedy was servicible in the adjustment and union of fractured bones, or where the reduction of dislocations were possible without anesthesia.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.