A number of years ago I received a letter from Dr. I. J. M. Goss in which he stated the following important facts concerning this remedy: "I have noticed this plant in paralysis of the bladder, than which there is no better remedy for this affection. I have frequently had occasion to resort to it in other affections of the bladder, connected with loss of expulsive power in that viscus. The aqueous extract is the best for its desired action upon the bladder.
It is a very active emmenagogue in which the tincture of the fresh herb should be used, in doses of one dram one to three times a day. It seldom fails to produce this female function in due time. It was Dr. Eberle's favorite emmenagogue. It has a direct affinity for mucous surfaces, the nervous system, and fibrous tissues, also for the urinary apparatus.
In suppression of urine, with strangury, this remedy, in the form of an infusion or aqueous extract, often gives relief. But in retention from paralysis of the bladder from distention or other causes, this remedy has proven the only successful one that I have tried. Recently I was called to a woman, some two or three months in pregnancy, who had not passed urine for several days, without much pain, and occasionally only by having the bladder emptied with the catheter. I tried various remedies, but none of them proved successful. I drew off a very large quantity of offensive urine, the last colored highly with blood. All attempts to pass urine were attended with extreme pain and burning at the neck of the bladder. I gave an infusion of polygonum punctatum, in doses of half a cup every two or three hours, which soon enabled the woman to urinate without the catheter, but there being considerable soreness and pain in the bladder, I gave also the tincture or aqueous extract of equisetum hyemale with the above remedy and these remedies soon gave complete relief. I also treated an old toper who drank a gallon of whisky in 24 hours, which produced such stupor that he neglected to empty the bladder and he awoke with paralysis of the bladder, and was cured with the above.
In colic, where there are cutting, griping pains in the bowels, with nausea, this remedy, in the form of a tincture, will often give relief. The dose is from 20 to 30 drops every twenty minutes, until relieved."
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.