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Colocynthis.

Botanical name:

Syn.—Citrullus colocynthis.
P. E.—Dried fruit without seeds.
N. O.—Cucurbitaceae.
N. H.—Asia.

Properties: Drastic hydragogue cathartic; in large doses a powerful irritant.

Physiological action: In very large doses it causes vomiting, diarrhea with bloody stool, colicky pain, sometimes even spasms and death.

Indications: Spasmodic cutting pain in the stomach and bowels. Intestinal colic. Infantile colic where child draws up the legs and cries, otherwise appearing to be well. Colic that is relieved by bending forward or by pressure and where there are more of nervous phenomena than inflammation.

Use: We think of it in infantile colic, neuralgic colic, and flatulent colic. In large doses it is a powerful depressant and drastic cathartic; therefore it is contra-indicated in inflammatory and feeble condition. In dyspepsia or colic, where the pain is near and above the umbilicus, of a sickening nature, intense and vibrating, extending to the spinal column,, it is a good remedy. A valuable remedy in gastric pain, especially if combined with nux vomica in absence of irritation or inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract. Colocynth should always be given in small doses. (See colocynthis in part II.)


The Materia Medica and Clinical Therapeutics, 1905, was written by Fred J. Petersen, M.D.



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