Related entry: Lemon
Therapy—This organic acid has a narrow but important field in therapeutics. It is specifically a remedy for scurvy. It is freely used by those who are forced to subsist upon a salt meat diet, or are deprived to a great extent of vegetable food. Much the same effects can be accomplished by the free use of lemon juice, but it cannot be transported often in bulk and is sometimes difficult of preservation. In general scorbutic conditions, the use of citric acid in small quantity extended over considerable time is of much service.
This agent is useful in rheumatism. It influences the secretion, excretion, and general elimination of uric acid to a limited extent. It is also useful as a drink in fevers in the manner described for mineral acids and tartaric acid. It is cooling, refreshing, allays thirst and stimulates the secretions of the mucous and salivary glands, and temporarily promotes the normal function of the stomach. It is an efficient organic acid with which to supply the demand for acids in conditions where these are deficient.
There is a form of difficult breathing which is difficult to specify with exactness, where a small crystal of citric acid placed directly on the tongue and dissolved will give immediate relief. I have excellent authority for this statement.
The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine