Kalmia. Kalmia latifolia.

Botanical name: 

Synonym—Mountain laurel.

Andromedotoxin, arbutin, tannin.
Specific Kalmia. Dose, from one-half to five minims.

Physiological Action—In Kalmia we have a remedy acting in a manner somewhat like veratrum viride, both in controlling fevers and in inflammations, as well as in its influence as an alterative, it having been successfully used both in primary and secondary syphilis. Like veratrum it has also been employed hypodermically in the treatment of neuralgia of the face, and sciatica.

Therapy—Professor John King once reported the following case:

"Some time since I treated a case of syphilis of five weeks' standing, which had not received any kind of treatment during that period. The patient at the time I saw him had several chancres; the surface of the body and head was covered with small red pimples, elevated above a jaundiced skin, and be was in a very debilitated condition. I administered a saturated tincture of the leaves of Kalmia, and touched the chancre with tincture of muriate of iron, and effected a cure in four weeks, removing the jaundice at the same time."

Notwithstanding the authority, we accept this statement, cum grano salis. If Kalmia would relieve other cases of syphilis as it did this one, we may safely say that we have no other alterative in our materia medica equal to it. It has not been extensively used, but it is without doubt beneficial in glandular disorders, scrofula, and in mild cases of secondary syphilis.

Kalmia exercises a sedative influence over the heart, controls the pulse beat without depression. It is markedly alterative but must not be pushed because of this slowing influence. Homeopathists give it in cardiac hypertrophy, and for painful rheumatic affections, for facial neuralgia, for tobacco heart, and it will probably act well in rheumatic endocarditis.

It will be found of service in inflammatory diseases, also in hypertrophy of the heart with palpitation, diarrhea and dysentery, rheumatism, chronic inflammations, with atonicity, neuralgia, active hemorrhages, threatened abortion from syphilitic taint, active menorrhagia, pain in the limbs and back during menstruation, jaundice, and also in scleritis, with pain in turning the eyes, and in ophthalmia.

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.