Scrophularia. Carpenter's Square.
Natural Order, Scrophularineae, Tribe Cheloneae.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—This is a tall herbaceous plant growing four to six feet and found in open shady localities, as along fence rows, and in the border of woods. It has a perennial root, hence can be found in the same locality year after year. The stem at the base is about half an inch thick, and obtusely angled and grooved as shown in the plate xxxvii. This is probably the reason for calling the plant Carpenter's Square.
The leaves are opposite, ovate or lanceolate, three to nine inches long, acute at the apex, rounded or cordate at the base, [The form shown in our illustration with lanceolate leaves rounded at the base was called Scrophularia lanceolata by Pursh. Another form has broader leaves and more cordate base.] and borne on petioles one to two inches long. Above they are smooth, dark green color, and beneath lighter and often slightly pubescent. The margins are serrate, in some forms somewhat regular as shown in plate xxxvii, in others they are more cut and irregular. In August and September the plant produces at the end of each branch a loose, narrow panicle-like cyme of small greenish purple flowers. In development they are truly cymous, the middle flower of each branch of the cyme developing first, and on the same branch we find all stages of advancement from the unopened bud to the nearly mature fruit. The branches of the cyme are bracted at each division by a small setaceous bract, and they bear minute glandular hairs, each, as is seen under low magnifying power, tipped with a knob.
The flowers are small, greenish externally, brownish purple within. [The peculiar color of the flowers is not common, but occurs with other plants, such as Asimina, Calycanthus, etc. Muller accounts for it by the plant, adopting a color suitable to the peculiar tastes of their common insect visitors, the wasps.] The calyx has five obtuse, equal lobes, and is closely appressed to the corolla tube. The corolla is broadly tubular, nearly globose, and has five segments, the two upper lapping and erect longer than the others, the two side, erect, narrower and shorter, and the lower segment broadly triangular and reflexed. Attached to the base of the upper segments is a small dark colored, triangular scale. This is the rudiment of the fifth stamen, which according to the theory of natural adaption has been suppressed because it is in the way of insects entering the flowers.
The stamens are four and included in corolla tube; the anther cells are confluent and open transversely. The pistil is solitary in the center of the flower and surrounded at the base by a ring-like disk. The fruit is a two celled globose-ovoid capsule, opening at both sides, (septicidal), and containing several triangular, black, rough seed.
In developement the sexual organs are proterogynous, the pistil being developed before the stamens. This is a provision that insures cross-fertilization and the method is worthy of description. When the flower opens none of the sexual organs are visible, but in one or two hours the style, bearing the small globular stigma, unbends and projects from the lower side of the mouth. In this position (see a, Fig. 145) it rubs the abdomens of insects (which according to Muller are mostly wasps) that visit the flower to get the honey secreted by the disk surrounding the base of the ovary (shown in Fig. 142). After being fertilized (by pollen of other flowers rubbed from insects,) and before any of the stamens have appeared the style bends out and is closely appressed to the lower corolla segment, and out of the way of future insect visitors. In this manner young flowers are always fertilized by the pollen of older ones.
After the fertilized pistil is out of the way the flowers develope the stamens (first the inner two as shown in b, Fig. 145, afterwards the outer two as shown in c, fig. 145) in such a manner as to coat the abdomens of visiting insects with pollen which will fertilize other flowers. [Our observations were mostly limited by our convenience to morning (6 a.m.) and at dusk (6 p.m.), but the time taken to develope can be judged by the following: No. 1.—A flower that opened at noon had a pistil projecting at 6 p.m.; next morning (6 a.m.) the pistil was turned down and one stamen was out; at 6 p.m. two stamens were out; during the second night there was no change, but the third day the last two stamens were developed and the corolla fell. No. 2.—A flower opened early in the mornin; during the day the pistil was developed and turned down; during the night two stamens were exserted; the next day the other two were exserted and the corolla fell.]
BOTANICAL HISTORY.—The genus Scrophularia consists of about a hundred species chiefly found in the Mediterranean regions, and in the Orient. The name is derived according to the "Doctrine of Signature;" the roots of several species having tuberous nodes, it was supposed that the Diety intended them to be used as a remedy for scrofulous swellings, hence called Scrophularia. We do not know who is the author of the name as ually cited in botanical works as applied to plants of this genus, but can trace the name back nearly four hundred years to the beginning of the sixteenth century. It was used in 1532 by Otto Brunfels, a German botanist. Tournefort (1719) [Institutiones REi Herbariae, p. 166.] first clearly defined the genus, and is usually cited in botanical works as the generic author of the name.
The genus at present comprises mostly European and Asiatic plants. [In Nyman's Conspectus Florae Europaeae (1882) there are thirty-seven species given, native of Europe.] In this country the plant under consideration, Scrophularia nodosa is the principle representative, and for a long while was thought to have been introduced from Europe. It extends from Florida to Canada, and from the Atlantic Ocean to Utah, and on the western coast is replaced by Scrophularia California, a similar plant, with smaller and more sharply cut leaves, formerly classed a mere variety. The only other native species is the Scrophularia coccinea of New Mexico, a plant that differs widely from our common species, and from the genus in general in having bright red, showy flowers.
The common American plant is now considered by Gray [Synoptical Flora, vol. ii., part i, (1878,) p. 258.] as a variety (var. marilandica) of the European species, Scrophularia nodosa, Linn. It differs in its taller growth (five or more feet instead of two or three,) larger and thinner leaves seldom cordate at the base, more slender pedicels and we may add absence of nodose swellings of the roots.
In Europe the plant is of wide distribution extending over the greater portion of the country. It was described by the earliest writers, (Bauhin, 1623, [Pinax Theatri Botanici, 1623, p. 235.] and others) as "Scrophularia nodosa foetida," from the nodose swellings of the roots and its foetid odor. [This "foetid odor" mentioned in all European descriptions of the plant, we have not noticed in the American plant. (Really? The rubbed leaf, over here, smells vile. -Henriette.] Linnaeus (1753) [Species Plantarum, 1st edition, 1753, vol. ii., p. 619.] in giving it a species name called it Scrophularia nodosa.
The American plant was first described in 1704 [Historia Plantarum, Ray, vol. iii., (supplementary) p. 399. Under the name "Scrophularia marilandica, longo profunde serrato Urticae."] from specimens presented to Sloane by David Krieg. [David Krieg was a German botanist, who with Wm. Vernon came to this country in 1663 and on their return to Europe carried back a small collection which was presented to Sloane and by him given to Ray and was described in third volume of Ray's History of Plants (1704). The vessel that brought over these two travelers carried also Banister, (sec note page 26) and it is no doubt due to him that their attention was drawn in this direction, if indeed it was not Banister's plants (as is stated by Pickering) that were given to Sloane. Ray, however, gives Krieg and Vernon all the credit for the collection and docs not mention Banister's name. Neither of these travelers wrote anything on the subject of botany, nor indeed seem to have been workers in the science, yet they are commemorated by the two American genera Kriegia and Vernonia.] Linnaeus (1753) [Species Plantarum, 1st edition, 1753, vol. ii., p. 619.] called it Scrophularia Marilandica. Under this name and as a distinct plant it was described by all writers up to 1848, except Michaux, who considered it a variety of the European plant and named it Scrophularia nodosa var americana. In the meantime, Pursh (1814) [Flora Americae septentrionalis, vol. ii., p. 419.] described as a distinct species under the name Scrophularia lanceolata the form prevailing over the more southern territory with narrower leaves not cordate at the base. This form is the one illustrated in our plate. Throughout all the Eaton Manuals and most of the early American works both these two species were described until united under the name Scrophularia nodosa by Gray, 1848, [Botany of Northern United States, (since known as Manual) 1st edition, p. 397.] who did not consider the plant sufficiently distinct from the European species to be distinguished by name and called the American plant Srophularia nodosa. These views have been adopted by most subsequent writers.
As stated before, however, in his very recent work Gray considers it a variety which he calls var. marilandica. We think, however, in adopting these views he should have credited Michaux and used the name that he proposed.
COMMON NAMES.—In the drug trade the plant is generally known by one of the three following names Figwort, Scrophularia or Carpenter's Square.
The first, Figwort is a name handed down from the ancient times of the doctrine of signatures. It is a family name and is applied to all of the genus, and likewise to the Natural Order Scrophularineae, called "Figwort Order," of which this genus is a type. In our country, Scrophularia nodosa, being the only species used in medicine the name in the drug trade signifies this alone.
The origin of the name has no reference to "figs." In the olden times the plant, because it has swellings on the roots, was used on the doctrine of signatures in the disease called ficus, hence, it came to be known as "figwort." Ranunculus Ficaria was called the same from a like reason.
In a similar manner the names Scrofula Plant and Scrophularia were given to it upon the belief that the Creator had indicated by giving it knotty tubers that the plant was good for Scrofulous glands. We find the name used by Borrich in 1690 and it has been the generic name from the first.
The name Carpenter's Square is the one commonly used by Eclectics, but rarely in purely botanical works, or by the Regular Profession. Its derivation is not so plain. Presumably it is from the square stem of the plant, but this is not certain, as the stem while square in outline has rounded edges, and squareness would not probably give it a name when there are other common plants, such as Lophanthus nepetoides with sharp-angled square stems to which the name is never applied. We do not know who first called the plant by this name, probably in early domestic medicine, from confusing it, under the name "Brownwort," with Brunella vulgaris, which was called in olden times Carpenter's Herb because its corolla has the form of a bill-hook, and hence, was supposed to cure wounds from edge-tools.
There are a few other names applied in old English works to the plant, never used now, and we mention them merely for completeness. Great Pile-wort, Kernel-wort, Knotted-root, all applied from the swellings on the roots; Murrian Grass, Stinking Christopher, Bull-wort a corruption of Pool-wort from growing in damp places; Brown-wort, a German name, the plant now being called by the Germans Braunwurz, from the brown color of the stem and leaves, probably not originally applied to Scrophularia, but to Brunella vulgaris.
COMMERCIAL HISTORY.—Both the herb and root of Scrophularia are found in commerce, and in making compound tincture of corydalis, are employed in mixture. Ointment of Scrophularia is made of the fresh leaves. There has been a limited demand for this drug since 1848, but it has never been of great commercial interest and doubtless will not become important.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRUG.—As found in commerce there are two drugs, consisting of the roots and of the tops of the plant. There is considerable demand for the roots, and, but little for the herb.
The root is perennial, and as those that grow in one season live through the next and then decay, the commercial drug shows two years' growth, and the roots of each can plainly be distinguished by appearance. The root is woody, hard, and ligneous. When dry it is a dark, ash color, and wrinkled longitudinally in consequence of the unequal contraction of the herbaceous portion in drying.
If gathered in early spring, the fresh root is of a watery, translucent consistence, covered with light brown skin. Attached to the drug of commerce are found the lower portions of the stems, which the root gatherers cut off an inch or two above the roots. These are of a hard, firm texture, almost woody and show the peculiar quadrangular shape, which is seen in our drawing of the plant.
As described in our botanical portion, the root of the European plant forms nodular swellings, but they are entirely absent as far as we have observed in our native plant.
The herb of commerce consists of the dried leaves and flowering tops. It can be identified at once by the presence of immature capsules which have been figured and described in our botanical portion.
CONSTITUENTS OF THE DRIED ROOT.—The botanical relationship of this plant and its resemblance in some respects to those that like digitalis yield active alkaloids led us to hope that its consideration might lead to interesting results. In this we have been disappointed, and, we think that it may be safely accepted that the American Scrophularia is not characterized by a constituent of interest to the therapeutist or chemist. [Some may argue that as the European species is known to be free from active constituents, this may be accepted also. We believe that such a view is not supported by the investigations of plants of the same same species indifferent locations, although, certainly the native American Scrophulnria has not developed an alkaloid, and climate and soil have not given it a peculiar principle.]
The European species of Scrophularia were analyzed by Walz, [American Journal of Pharmacy, 1863, p. 295, from N. Jahrbuch, f. d. Pharm. Band xxvi., p. 296; xxvii., p. 12.] and although two substances, obtained from Srophularia nodosa and Scrophularia aquatica, were named respectively scrophularin and scrophularosmin, neither proved of interest. Walz was induced to examine the European plants from their relationship to digitalis, thinking to find an alkaloid related to digitaline, but was disappointed. The American plant had not been analyzed previous to our examination which follows.
Alcohol extracts from the root all the sensible characteristics. The residue consists simply of woody matter and the ordinary constituents of plants. The alcoholic liquid has a yellowish brown color, only the odor of alcohol, and a slightly pepper-like taste.
Alkaloid.—The alcoholic tincture was acidulated with acetic acid and then evaporated, with the addition after it reached a syrupy consistence of as much water as the bulk of the original tincture; a greenish oleoresin separated after cooling. After a day had passed the aqueous liquid was filtered. It was nearly odorless, had a reddish brown color and an insipid, herby taste. It gave precipitates with alkaloidal reagents and perceptibly with dilute ammonia water, but the precipitate dissolved in excess of this alkali. The liquid containing this precipitate was shaken with sulphuric ether when it dissolved and was obtained from the ethereal layer by evaporation.
In consequence of the fact that it existed in very small amounts, we failed to purify it, but observed it in sufficiently pure condition to assert that it is white. From ten pounds of the root we obtained enough to determine that it forms very soluble salts with the ordinary acids, and is itself soluble in an excess of water. It is odorless and quite or nearly tasteless. We failed to crystallize either the alkaloid or its salts, owing to the small quantity obtained, but we see no reason to doubt the feasibility of crystallization in larger amounts. The very small proportion in which this alkaloid exists forbids the idea that it can ever be of any importance. We do not assume to affix a name or attempt to distinguish it from other alkaloids. The other constituents of the aqueous liquid are glucose, gum, mucilage, and ordinary plant constituents.
Fixed Oil.—The tenacious oily-like substance that remains within the filter paper after separation of the foregoing aqueous liquid, consists about one-half of a greenish colored fixed oil, that was obtained by extracting this residue with benzol, filtering and evaporating the benzol. The product was lighter than water, of a fatty odor and oily taste, that was destitute of bitterness or pepper. It freely dissolved in ether, alcohol, carbon disulphide and benzol, and refused to crystallize or deposit crystals. It is unimportant.
Resin.—The substance remaining as a residue from the benzol is a dark brown resinous body, insoluble in water, but freely soluble in alcohol. It is an impure resin and was obtained by extracting this brown mass with chloroform, filtration and evaporation of the chloroform solution. It has a yellowish brown color in thin layer and imparts a yellowish brown color to alcohol, and is the most characteristic substance of the drug.
This resin is uncrystallizable, and of a distinct peppery taste when chewed, and is sharply peppery from alcoholic solution. [It may be compared with the resin of ginger, but is not acrid to the throat and fauces like that substance The sensation produced is mostly on the tongue.] Nitric acid dissolved it, forming a yellow solution and evolving the usual red fumes if heated with it.
Hydrochloric acid in contact with a thin layer of the resin that was deposited from alcoholic solution on porcelain, changed it to reddish brown, and finally purple, but did not dissolve it.
Sulphuric under like conditions immediately became rose colored, then reddish purple, and unless the resin was in too great amount remained of that color. Upon gently heating this solution in sulphuric acid it assumed a dark red color. This sulphuric acid reaction together with the sensible properties of the resin seem sufficient to characterize Scrophularia root, for we do not know of another resin of a pure pepper taste and soluble in chloroform that reacts in this manner. A study of the decomposition products and endeavor to establish the formula of this resinous substance was not attempted, as it did not promise to be of any value in therapeutics.
The other constituents were those ordinarily found in plants and unimportant.
CONSTITUENTS OF THE HERB.—The herb of commerce consists of the leaves and immature capsules with fragments of the stem. It has a greenish color, herby odor and mucilaginous, slightly astringent taste. It yields chlorophyll, fat, an abundance of mucilage and the ordinary constituents of plants. The characteristic principle is the mucilage which was obtained by simple digestion with warm water. It is soluble in diluted alcohol, and upon evaporation of a fluid extract of the herb, mixed with twice its bulk of water, filtration and cooling, it becomes ropy, like mucilage of quince. This mucilaginous substance doubtless is the useful principle in poultice, and, hence the value of the bruised leaves in this manner. The herb gave no indications of an alkaloid or definite constituent that promised to be of physiological interest.
PHARMACEUTICAL PREPARATIONS.—The first edition of King's Dispensatory [The Eclectic Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1852.] gives formulas for making three preparations that contain scrophularia, and they are continued in succeeding editions as follows:
Compound Syrup of Rumex.—(Scrofulous Syrup).
Take of Yellow Dock root, two parts; False Bittersweet, one part; American Ivy bark, Scrophularia leaves and root, of each, one-half part. Grind the drugs together; percolate with a mixture of water, three parts, and alcohol, one part, until eight parts of percolate are obtained; in this dissolve sugar enough to bring to sixteen parts, all by weight. [The working method is our own. The process in the American Dispensatory is impracticable.]
The dose of the above, according to Prof. King, is from one to four fluid drachms, three times a day, and is used in scrofulous affections and cutaneous diseases.
Compound Tincture of Corydalis.—(Scudder's Alterative).
1st. Take the roots of Turkey-corn, Yellow Dock, bark of Tag Alder, and leaves and roots of Scrophularia, of each, one part; all in powder. Mix them together and percolate with alcohol, obtaining ten parts of percolate.
2nd. Take of Mayapple root in coarse powder, one part; moisten with hot water; allow to stand one hour and then transfer to a percolator. Use hot water as a menstruum and obtain four parts of percolate. Dissolve four parts of sugar in this percolate, add the solution to the previously obtained tincture, and then enough syrup to bring to twenty-four parts.
This preparation was once used by Prof. Scudder, who has long since discarded it. He stated to us recently that he considered that scrophularia was a very feeble remedy, and, doubtless he concocted this mixture during his early day after the custom then prevalent. It was employed after the manner of compound syrup of rumex and in the same dose. It is needless for us to call attention to the fact that in both of these preparations the polypharmacy destroys all trace of the individuality of scrophularia.
Ointment of Scrophularia.
Take of green scrophularia leaves, one-half part; lard, one part; tallow, half a part. [The proportions differ from the formula of King. Experience teaches us that it is necessary.] Mix them together and heat over a fire until the water is expelled from the leaves and they are crisp. Then strain while hot. This produces a green ointment of a rank odor "used in piles, painful tumors, ulcers, and cutaneous diseases."—Am. Disp.
MEDICAL HISTORY AND USES.—The use of this plant in medicine dates from an early period of European medical history. Not from a physiological investigation, nor from domestic practice, but from the doctrine of signatures. [See volume i., p. 48.] The European plant has little tubercles upon the root, and their resemblance to swellings, indicated to the physicians of former times an adaptation to the cure of such kinds of human ills, and thus the plant came into use. Boerhaave extoled it highly, and we may say, his recommendation reached the modern day. Thus, the New Dispensatory, London, [New Dispensatory, London, 1770, p. 125.] states that, "The roots consist of slender fibers, with some little tubercles among them, which are supposed to resemble the hemorrhoids; from whence it has been concluded, that this root must needs be of wonderful efficacy for the cure of that distemper."
This record perhaps introduced the American plant, but, it is not freely employed. Schoepf, 1787, [Materia Medica Americana, 1787, p. 99.] briefly noticed the plant, stating that the leaves were possessed of a fetid smell resembling elder and that it was useful in healing wounds. Rafinesque, 1830, [Medical Flora and Botany of the United States, vol. ii., p. 262.] reproduces Schoepf s remarks, and states that the leaves make a good poultice that is much used in New England. Barton, however, neglects the plant.
The early "botanies" used it somewhat, but not enough to commend it to such men as Ewell, Thompson, Hand, Beach, and other pioneers of the Eclectic and Thompsonian sects, who make no mention of it. Prof. John King, however, 1848, [The Eclectic Dispensatory of the United States of America, p. 370.] gave it a position and also formulas for preparations containing it, since which we occasionally find persons who favor its employment in medicine. The United States Dispensatory, 1833, gave it an unimportant position, which is still retained. The medical claims of the drug are written for this publication by Prof. Hale, of the Homoeopathic school, and Prof. Goss, of the Eclectic school, the latter of whom is a strong advocate of the drug.
We could not find a member of the Regular school that employed it, and, as we could not obtain a characteristic proximate principle we did not interest Prof. Bartholow in a physiological examination.
THE USES OF SCROPHULARIA IN THE ECLECTIC SCHOOL OF MEDICINE.—(Written for this publication by I. J. M. Goss, A.M., M.D.)—This drug has not been thoroughly investigated, but is doubtless worthy of a more prominent place in the Materia Medica. Its action mainly is upon the blood and glandular system, especially the lympathic glandular system. It is one of those remedies under the old classification, which was denominated alterative or catalytic. Although unknown to the profession at large, yet it is certainly a very valuable remedy in its proper place.
The drug is valuable in that peculiar condition known as struma, in all its varied forms. In chronic cutaneous diseases, applied externally and given internally, it is of material service in affording relief. In cases where the fluids and solids are so depraved that there is a great tendency to downward metamorphosis; and the limbs or skin anywhere ulcerate whenever contused, then scrophularia comes in as a very appropriate remedy. It is also applicable in tertiary syphilis. It has been highly praised in menstrual irregularities or obstructions—I have not tested it in the last named trouble, but there is not wanting of very respectable evidence to the statement.
In over-doses it is said that it produces vomiting and purging. It certainly exercises a direct influence over the glandular and cutaneous system, restoring the normal functions, promoting absorption of foul and amorphous deposits, and aiding the reparative process. It acts upon all the excretory organs, thereby greatly increasing waste. It undoubtedly acts with as much certainty as any of our waste-promoting vegetable remedies, removing the amorphous materials that accumulate in the system in certain diseases. Not only do we find it to thus act well in tertiary syphilis, struma and scrofula, but anywhere where there are such morbid materials accumulating in the blood as are of too low vitality to enter into organic tissues of the body.
It is used systemically and locally in hemorrhoids by some, and it is said with success. One of its first uses was in itch, which, it is said, it cured quickly under local application.
Scrophularia is one of those positive anti-scrofulics, which, increasing excretion and elimination from the blood, also possesses the power to remove the cacoplastic material from the system. It doubtless has much influence over the assimilative organs, aiding the elaboration of plastic materials to build up the broken down tissues. It acts beneficially in all that class of diseases that resemble scrofula or struma. It is a remedy for many skin affections in which it may be used locally and systemically. It requires patient perseverance to get its beneficial effects, and that is the case with all catalytics or alteratives.
The dose is from 30 to 60 gtts. of the fluid extract.
Indications for Scrophularia.—Cases in which children have ulceration about the ears, or face, nose, or eyes, and where they are inclined to ulceration of the skin when abrasion is produced, and in that perverted nutrition, recognized as struma, with its entire list of morbid phenomena, Scrophularia may be thought of at once. In children whose neck, marred with cicatrices of scrofulous ulceration, in those whose lymphatics are enlarged, and also, in that little sprightly precious one who complains of his hip or knee, is this remedy directly indicated. In that little one, with full-lipped pink and white countenance, with fullness of the ala of the nose, it is also directly pointed out as the remedy par excellence. In children, where the epiphyses are thickened, and the joints are unusually full, scrofula is threatened, and this remedy is indicated.
In fact, the strumous diathesis in all its varied shades requires a remedy like the one under consideration, that has the power to correct the secretions and excretions. This remedy can be alternated with the iodides and such other remedies as may be indicated in each individual case.
THE USES OF SCROPHULARIA IN THE HOMOEOPATHIC SCHOOL OF MEDICINE.—(Written for this publication by Edwin M. Hale, M. D., Emeritus Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics in the Chicago Homoeopathic College.)—Scrophularia was once highly esteemed as a medicine, but has fallen entirely into disuse during the last century. Old Culpepper writing in 1800, says, it is under the dominion of Venus, "an excellent remedy for king's evil, for bleeding wounds, knots, kernels, wens, piles, haemorrhoidal tumors, etc. It drieth up the superfluous, virulent moisture of hollow and corroding ulcers, and taketh away redness, spots and freckles in the face, and also the scurf and blotches therein."
Later writers have not added much more to this list of disorders. It is now used in domestic practice for nearly the same things.
It was not used in Homoeopathic practice until 1886, when it was proved by W. H. Blakely, M. D., then of Princeton, Ky. [North American Journal of Homceopathy, p. 187.] He says, it was then used in country practice by nurses, for external inflammation, boils, old indolent ulcers, abrasions, wounds of all kinds, causing a quick and healthy granulation. He says: "I have found it equal, if not superior, to calendula, arnica, or any other topical application."
The provings caused symptoms resembling arnica, bryonia, nux vomica. Blakely thinks it occupies a place between rhus and bryonia. This proving, together with a fragmentary one, translated from the German is to be found in "Allen's Encyclopaedia Materia Medica." Many of its symptoms remind me of digitalis, which belongs to the same botanical family. Some German homoeopaths claim to use it successfully in obstinate cutaneous diseases.
The heart-symptoms I allude to are "weakness and oppression in the epigastric region. Upon turning on either side violent dyspnoea, increased secretion of urine, a feeling of constriction of the chest, an indescribable sensation in the region of the heart, with severe palpitation, beating so loud that it could be heard at the distance of several feet."
The congestive morning headache caused by the drug is intense and accompanied by nosebleed and vertigo. Some of the symptoms point to congestion of the liver, with bilious or catarrhal diarrhoea.
These symptoms were produced by doses of 10 drops of the crude tincture, three times a day; in all two ounces were taken.
MEDICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL REFERENCES TO SCROPHULARIA. [All the early European publications as well as the American prints of the early part of this century that considered medicinal plants recognized this herb. It will be noticed that we here refer to some of the American domestic publications that we do not name in our medical history, the reason being that they add nothing that is new.]
1753.—The New Dispensatory, p. 204, (and other editions).
1762.—Histoir dcs Plantes, Vol. I., p. 422.
1787.—Materia Medica Americana, Schoepf, p. 99.
1802.—Medical Dictionary, Qulncy, p. 262, (and other editions}.
1820.—Medical Dictionary, Hooper, p. 758.
1830.—Medical Flora of the United States, Rafinesque, Vol. II.. p. 262.
1830—The Botanic Physician, Elisha Smith, p. 508.
1831—The American Dispensatory, Coxe, p. 625.
1833.—United States Dispensatory, Wood & Bache, p. 577, (and subsequent editions).
1736.—Improved System of Botanic Medicine, Howard, Vol. I., p. 292, (and other editions).
1838.—Flora Medica, Lindley, p. 503.
1844.—Medicines, Their Uses and Mode of Administration, Neligan, (Revision of Reese), p. 315, (and other editions).
1846.—Materia Medica and Therapeutics, Pereira, Vol. II., p. 305, (and other editions).
1847.—Materia Medica and Therapeutics, Royle, (Carson's Revision,) p. 490, (and other editions).
1847.—The American Practice, Beach, p. 689.
1848.—Mayne's Dispensatory and Formulary, (Revision of Griffith,) p. 242, (and other editions).
1848.—Christison and Griffith's Dispensatory, p. 856.
1848.—Medicinal Plants of New York, Lee, p. 41.
1850.—Medicinal Plants of the United States, Clapp, p. 825. (In Report of the Am. Med. Assoc.).
1852.—Eclectic Dispensatory of the United States, King and Newton, p. 370, (and subsequent editions).
1872.—Pharmacopoeia Homoeopathica, Polyglotta, p. 219.
1878.—Dispensatory and Pharmacopoeia, Buchanan and Siggins, p. 256.