Asclepias tuberosa. (Milkweed.)
Preparation.—Whilst I prefer a tincture made as above, I have used the alcoholic fluid extract of the dried root, made to represent ounce for ounce; the dose being from one drop for a child two years old, to ten drops for an adult.
It is especially a child's remedy, being feeble in action, though quite certain. When given freely, it is one of the most certain diaphoretics we have, providing the pulse is not frequent, and the temperature increased. Even in the small dose of one drop, following the use of the special sedatives, it will markedly increase true secretion from the skin.
Recollect that there is a difference between sweating and secretion. There may he a profuse exudation of water, the surface being bathed in perspiration, and yet but little secretion. Excretion by the skin is a vital process, and takes place by means of secreting cells. It goes on best where the skin is soft and moist, and not when covered with drops of sweat.
I employ Asclepias in diseases of children, believing that it allays nervous irritability, is slightly sedative, and certainly increases secretion from the skin. I use it with Veratrum and Aconite, in febrile and inflammatory diseases, and in mild cases, very frequently give it alone. Bear in mind that it is a feeble remedy and too much must not be expected.
Specific Medication and Specific Medicines, 1870, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.