Collinsonia. Collinsonia canadensis.

Botanical name: 

Synonym—Stone Root.

Volatile oil, resin.


Specific Medicine Collinsonia. Dose, from one to sixty minims.
Extractum Collinsoniae Fluidum, Fluid Extract of Collinsonia. Dose, from two to fifteen minims.
Tincture Collinsoniae, Tincture of Collinsonia. Dose, from five to thirty minims.

All preparations should be made from the green plant.

Physiological ActionCollinsonia, stimulates the stomach, promoting its own absorption. It is actively tonic in its influence upon the entire function of this organ, and from this influence its beneficial action is exercised upon the function of all the vital organs.

Collinsonia acts as a tonic to enfeebled muscular structure of the heart. It is conspicuous in its ability to overcome relaxed and out of tone conditions of the walls of the veins. It has a direct influence upon atonic and dilated or otherwise impaired conditions of the veins and arteries.

Specific Symptomatology—In piles with a sense of fullness, or of a foreign body in the rectum, in all relaxed conditions of the mucous membranes of the lower bowel, collinsonia is the remedy. It works more promptly if there is passive congestion with blueness or dark discoloration of the membranes, showing imperfect venous capillary circulation.

Collinsonia is given where there is a sensation of constriction, heat and weight in the rectum; where there is deficient secretion from imperfect capillary circulation in the mucous membranes, the patient passing the feces in the form of dry scybala.

Therapy—It is a specific remedy for hemorrhoids. If they are of recent origin they can be cured in a comparatively short time with this agent. The most intractable cases will be relieved and permanently benefited by its persistent use. There is no therapeutic influence more reliable than this. I have relied upon it for years.

In catarrhal gastritis, where the circulation is defective, collinsonia, either alone or combined with hydrastis, is of first importance. These agents combined improve the tone of the stomach, strengthening its walls and its mucous membranes, and increasing the strength and character of its glandular structure. They increase the appetite and greatly improve the digestion and assimilation of food.

This combination is a superb general tonic in relaxed and debilitated conditions, and combined with iron can hardly be excelled.

Acute inflammations do not promptly yield to collinsonia, although it is an excellent auxiliary to the indicated treatment.

When piles are operated upon, this remedy may be given before and after the operation to most excellent advantage. The author has cured many cases by combining equal parts of the fluid extracts of collinsonia and hamamelis virginica, and giving from twenty to thirty drops of the mixed extracts every two hours. The distilled extract of hamamelis can be injected into the rectum, or kept in contact with the external piles by a compress, especially during sleep. Or an occasional application of the liquor of the persulphate of iron in full strength can be made to stubborn external piles.

Collinsonia is of great value in the hemorrhoids of the pregnant female, with imperfect venous circulation in the pelvic viscera.

Pain in the rectum from whatever cause, especially pain not attributable to a definite cause, and pain after surgical operations or a sensation of weight, constriction and general uneasiness in the rectum are quickly and more or less permanently relieved by collinsonia. In pain in the lower bowels, persistent and steady, collinsonia is specific. Either single full doses, or doses of five minims of the tincture every ten minutes, should be given in water. It is superior to opium in some cases.

Collinsonia is a heart tonic of direct and permanent influence. It does not seem to stimulate the heart to sudden action, but its continued use induces steady, permanent and highly satisfactory improvement in the strength and character of the organ, and a correspondingly improved general circulation.

It is valuable when the heart is debilitated from protracted fevers, or from rheumatic inflammation or from overstrain. It will be found excellent in the bicycle heart, in conjunction with small doses of cactus grand.

In chronic laryngitis or pharyngitis, with relaxed walls of the larynx, with dark discoloration and enfeebled capillary circulation, collinsonia exercises a specific influence, especially in the condition known as clergyman's sore throat, caused or increased by the use of the voice.

In atonic conditions of the circulation of a local character, where passive hemorrhages are of frequent occurrence without apparent cause, where there is increasing debility, collinsonia and hamamelis in conjunction given as above indicated are positively curative.

I have made some important observations within the last five years, and have collected the observations of others, which must be added to our knowledge of this remedy. Guided by its influence upon the walls of the veins, I have given it in large doses persistently in the treatment of varicocele, and have obtained satisfactory results. I would advise that it be given in the early stage of this difficulty, and if the condition is anticipated in boys, or youth at the age of puberty, the patient may be put on this remedy and kept on it, for some time.

My suggestions concerning its positive action in hemorrhoids alone, or combined with hamamelis, as may be indicated, have been acted upon by very many physicians who have reported brilliant results, and an increasing confidence in the remedy.

This agent having a specific influence as suggested above, upon the walls of both the veins and the arterioles has been my most reliable remedy in the treatment of varicosis. This may be general or local, it may be permanent or temporary, as in pregnancy. I have had admirable results with this and hamamelis combined in the treatment of extreme cases of varicosis of the vaginal walls and pudenda, during pregnancy. Cases which would certainly otherwise have demanded an operation before delivery for the patient's safety, were cured fully before delivery with no complicating influences. I would prize it most highly for this result alone.

I had under observation, for a short time, the worst case of epilepsy it has ever been my lot to treat. The paroxysms, if the patient was not saturated with medicine, would occur many times a day. The patient's mind ultimately became a blank.

The paroxysms were completely controlled during a period of nearly two years, by tablespoonful doses of the fluid extract of collinsonia three or four times daily. Given at the beginning of an attack, it would ward off the attack.

I have not been able to find many other physicians who have made any observation of the remedy in the control of convulsions, but it certainly exercised that influence in this case, and therefore should be used in similar cases, and the results reported. It acted in every way similar to the bromides for which it was given as a substitute.

Other writers attribute anti-spasmodic properties to collinsonia. In the treatment of chorea, some writers have given it with excellent results, believing it to be superior to cimicifuga or arsenic in this disease.

In subacute proctitis, and muco-enteritis, with dysentery, or following dysentery, or when dysenteric phenomena are present during cholera infantum with pain or inflammation in the rectum, this agent is important.

Where operations have been performed upon the rectum for ulcers, piles, fistula, or the removal of pockets, the consequent soreness is directly relieved with full doses of collinsonia. Pain in the rectum that cannot be attributed to any given cause can be relieved by collinsonia. Dr. Scudder advised the use of this agent in small doses. I have been obliged to give it in doses of from ten to twenty minims to secure the desired results. I am confident that the larger dosage will give more satisfaction.

Foltz employed this agent where there was inflammation in the middle ear, when there was follicular pharyngitis is and hypertrophy of the glands of the throat. Chronic thickening of these membranes with enlarged capillaries, will be relieved by it.

Shoemaker extols collinsonia in the treatment of acute cystitis. Combined with aconite, he has excellent results, In some cases he combines it with narcotics, and uses it as a rectal or vaginal injection, or it may be incorporated in a suppository for this purpose. It promptly relieves spasms of the sphincters and vaginismus.

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.