A Summary and Comparison of the Action of Heart Remedies.
|ON THE NERVOUS SYSTEM||Acts on the inhibitory nerves; does not impart nerve tone, or increase nerve force.||Is a true nerve tonic, especially to the sympathetic nervous system; acts on the cardiac plexus; materially improves nutrition.||Does not act upon or through the nervous system.||Influence upon the nerve centers not determined; acts through the vagi.||Action on nervous system not marked. It seems to increase nerve force to a degree.|
|ON THE HEART||Acts directly on the heart muscle as a stimulant, increasing heart action. Is neither nutritional, or a tonic; overdoses decrease nutrition; contained too long during heart strain, causes collapse.||Though the inter-cardiac ganglia it gives actual nourishment to the heart muscle. Raises blood pressure through increase of musculo-motor energy. In feebleness, slows the heart, but is never depressant; relieves irritability.||Acts on the heart muscle by irritation of the fibrillae by direct contact. Imparts no strength; increases force and raises blood pressure, sometimes excessively.||Acts permanently but mildly as a cardiac tonic. Increases heart power and raises blood pressure.||A mild heart tonic; increases muscular power permanently. It acts on the walls of the arteries. It increases arterial tension to a degree.|
|ON THE PULSE||Changes, at once, the character and frequency of the pulse beat. Influence not always uniform.||Increases the size of the pulse beat, and reduces the number, especially when rapid and feeble.||Lessens the number of beats, but increases their strength; overcomes irregularity. Its influence may be immediate.||Increases the size and strength of the pulse, and slows a rapid, feeble pulse.||Increases the size, strength and force of the beat; regulates the rhythm, slows a feeble pulse, in fevers accompanied with dropsy.|
|ON THE RESPIRATION||It relieves dyspnea by increasing heart action and overcoming capillary stasis in the lungs.||It relieves cardiac dyspnea, especially if from endocarditis, or from pulmonary congestion, from weak heart.||Increases respiratory power, restores normal respiration. In over-doses the respiration is the last disturbed.||Removes oppression in the chest; causes deep, regular breathing. Overcomes dyspnea from mitral insufficiency.||It gives freedom to the breathing when oppressed from effusions. It facilitates the oxidation of the blood.|
|ON THE STOMACH AND BOWELS||Is a gastric irritant; does not nauseate nor induce diarrhea.||Exercises a soothing influence on the stomach; relieves palpitation from gastric irritation; induces no gastric, nor intestinal disturbance; imparts functional tonicity to all organs.||But little influence on the gastro-intestinal tract; rarely over-doses induce vomiting and diarrhea.||A mild gastric tonic, increases the appetite and digestion; induces no irritation.||In active doses, it is a violent prostrating emeto-cathartic, inducing extreme hydragog action, and persistent gastro-intestinal irritation.|
|ON THE KIDNEYS||Increases the flow of water actively, in proper doses; renal secretion not greatly improved. Over-doses may cause suppression.||Action not marked only as the heart's action is improved.||Acts directly on both secretion and excretion, causing at times marked diuresis. Action not always uniform.||Is secondarily diuretic, stimulates excretion and secretion to a degree; quite active in dropsy, inducing no depression.||Acts directly, most freely; acts indirectly through influence on the heart. Induces large quantities of limpid urine; solids not greatly increased.|
|THERAPEUTIC USES||Acts at once in shock, and in sudden heart failure, increasing heart action promptly. Used in surgical shock, or shock from injury; in asphyxia and in poisoning; in heart failure from prostrating disease, as in the latter stage of pneumonia. Is of much value in selected cases of valvular incompetency.||Is not so much an emergency remedy, as it requires some time for its action. Used in prolonged or progressive heart weakness; in overstrained heart; in bicycle and cigarette heart; in masturbators' palpitation; in sexual and general neurasthenia. Acts best in functional derangements.||Is an emergency remedy in heart failure, but inferior to digitalis. Indicated where heart lacks contractile power. Acts well in cardiac asthma, atheroma, and fatty degeneration; in goitre, in the weak heart of Bright's; and in functional derangements. Its influence continues long after the agent is stopped.||Relieves irritable heart action; restores strength to the heart after failure from shock, or protracting disease; used in cardiac dropsy and in functional derangements.||Is not an emergency heart remedy, except in failure during extreme dropsy and in hydropericardium. Its influence on the heart is slowly induced; is valuable in progressive heart weakness, especially in protracted fevers. It is a most reliable remedy for dropsy.|
|SYNERGISTS||Action enhanced by strychnin, by glonoin, and occasionally by atropin and alcohol. In chronic heart disease, by general tonics.||Action improved by tonics which improve nutrition, by general upbuilding remedies, and by avena sativa.||Acts well with carefully selected tonics; facilitates the appropriation of iron in anemia accompanied with heart weakness.||Nux vomica, hydrastis, collinsonia, and iron increase its influence, as well as the usual gastric tonics in gastric derangements.||Action enhanced by cactus, by ordinary tonics and iron. Strychnine arsenate assists materially in some cases. For its influence on dropsy, it is given usually alone.|
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.