Elaterium. Ecballium elaterium.

Botanical name: 

Synonym—Squirting Cucumber.

Elaterin, prophetin, ecballin, hydroclaterin, elaterid, chlorophyll.


Trituratiae Elaterii, Trituration of Elaterin. Dose, grain one-half.
Specific Medicine Elaterium. Dose, one-third to fifteen minims.
The specific medicine is one of the most energetic of all ordinary preparations. It precipitates upon addition to water, and to avoid a concentrated dose, a mixture must be thoroughly shaken each time before administration. It has a characteristic clear green color.

Physiological Action—Hydragogue cathartic, diuretic. Large doses may kill by causing inflammation of the stomach and bowels.

TherapyDropsies of a general character are relieved at once by elaterium. It produces such hydragogue action as to at once unload the cellular tissues, of serum. It produces such gastro-intestinal irritation, however, in excessive doses, that caution must always be exercised in its administration. If violent vomiting is produced, its influence upon the dropsy is not marked. It exercises a powerful derivative influence and is a depleting agent of marked potency. It is in almost universal use in the treatment of dropsy among old school physicians.

In the treatment of cystitis, elaterium in small doses is used with excellent results by many physicians.

Both King and Scudder recommended it in chronic and acute cystitis and in nephritis, especially in inflammation of the neck of the bladder. They produced its hydragogue action for its derivative influence first, by half drachm doses of the tincture until its full influence was obtained, subsequently they gave smaller doses. Recent authorities claim cures of a satisfactory character by the use of from ten to twenty drops of the specific remedy in four ounces of water, a teaspoonful every two or three hours. It is deserving of extended trial.

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.