E. B. DOAN, M. D., WEST CARROLLTON, O.
Echinacea is one of those good things which have come to us from our Eclectic friends. A Dr. Meyers, of Pawnee City, Neb., first used it and introduced it to the profession. Dr. Meyers in 1885 sent a specimen of the root of the plant from which the remedy is prepared, to Prof. John Uri Lloyd of Cincinnati, asking him to name the plant. Dr. Meyers had used echinacea in preparing "Meyers Blood Purifier" which he claimed much for, as an antidote to rattlesnake bite and a cure for typhoid conditions.
Soon after Prof. Lloyd had succeeded in classifying the plant, Dr. King of Cincinnati and Dr. Meyers of Nebraska called the attention of a number of eminent Eclectics in various parts of the country to the virtues of this truly grand remedy. It seems to have proven itself a foe to septic conditions wherever used and comes well nigh being a specific in many of these conditions.
Dr. Fahnestock made a proving of echinacea, a report of which is given in the proceedings of the American Institute of Homeopathy for 1899. But many homeopaths are using echinacea almost daily and doubtless in the same way the Eclectics do. Possibly it will not be amiss to here state the conditions under which the Eclectics have found it most useful.
Lloyd and Felter say: "This agent is the most positive antagonist of blood depravation or blood dyscrasia. It antagonizes changes within the blood, or morbid accumulations, septic or otherwise, picked up by the blood in its course through the body. Autoinfection, whether acute or slowly progressive, well expresses one of the conditions met by this agent." Wounds which are prone to heal sluggishly are greatly helped by a twenty-five per cent moist dressing of echinacea. It can be depended upon in all typhoid conditions, or persistent febrile conditions, boils, carbuncles, abscesses and septic conditions generally. It is to be thought of in rhus tox poisoning both internally and as a local dressing, using it locally in about twenty-five per cent solution. In bites and stings of insects, a local dressing of echinacea of the above strength usually affords prompt relief. I knew of a druggist at a summer resort who dispensed two drachm vials of a great antidote for mosquito bites as a good round price per vial. This antidote consisted solely of echinacea.
In my own experience, I have learned to rely much on echinacea in febrile conditions generally. In infected wounds from whatever cause where swelling and lymphangitis are marked, the remedy has never failed me. I never treat typhoid conditions without using echinacea.
In a case of typhoid fever treated several years ago in which the fever persisted for nearly eight weeks, the temperature dropped to normal in twenty-four hours after giving echinacea, and remained normal, the patient making a good recovery. In my own experience cases treated from the beginning with echinacea cause little trouble. The temperature if high at the beginning, that is 103 or 104 degrees, within a day or two will drop to 101 or 102 degrees, and rarely goes above that point again. In fact during the past two years I have not had but one case of suspected typhoid that developed into a true typhoid condition. No Widal tests were made and possibly these cases or some of them at least were not true typhoid fever. However that may be I am satisfied echinacea had much to do with the cure. I would like to add that the typhoid case just referred to was in my care but four or five days when the patient was sent to the hospital. The diagnosis of typhoid was confirmed by the staff physician and still further so by the death of the patient about two weeks later.
I do not wish to be understood as believing or stating that echinacea will cure all cases of typhoid, for I am convinced that some cases of typhoid are headed toward the cemetery from the very beginning, but I have better success with typhoid since I commenced using echinacea.
Echinacea is an excellent remedy in follicular tonsillitis and especially in those cases which are difficult to differentiate from diphtheria.
In dysentery I have found it a friend to be relied upon. My own experience summed up teaches me that the cardinal symptom or conditions calling for the administration of echinacea internally, locally or both, is injection from whatever cause or source.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 3, 1909, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.