Lycopus. Lycopus virginica.

Botanical name: 


Volatile oil, bitter principle, gallic acid, tannin.
Specific Medicine Lycopus. Dose, from one to twenty minims.

The principal therapeutic influence of lycopus seems to be upon the thoracic viscera, and consequently upon all lesions having diseases of these organs for their basis. The use of the lycopus may be confined to certain fixed indications with better results than follow its indiscriminate use in any general class of cases, regardless of conditions.

Specific Symptomatology—In diseases of the heart, either functional or organic, marked by irritability and irregularity of the organ, dyspnea, feeling of oppression in the cardiac region, its administration is followed by gratifying results. Hypertrophy and dilatation have been known to undergo marked diminution in consequence of its administration.

Therapy—It possesses tonic, sedative, astringent and narcotic proper. ties, and has been successfully used in incipient phthisis, hemoptysis, etc. It acts like digitalis in reducing the velocity of the pulse, but has no cumulative effects. In pericarditis and endocarditis its sedative action lessens the frequency of the pulse, irritability, and its attendant inflammation, in a manner equaled by no other remedy.

Cases of exopthalmic goitre are reported as having been cured by lycopus, and it would be well to give it a thorough trial in this most intractable disease.

Goss said that in palpitation and valvular disease of the heart, lycopus is good; in hemoptysis it is so positive in its action that he seldom used any other remedy. He considered it a sedative as well as an astringent in its action, controlling the capillary circulation by diminishing the caliber of the vessels, thereby reducing the flow of the blood.

In diseases of the respiratory apparatus lycopus has been found to be very useful. Hemoptysis, associated with rapid and tumultuous heart's action, yields readily to its influence, as does hemorrhage from any part. Hale lauds lycopus highly for its efficiency when used in cases of incipient phthisis and in chronic inflammatory diseases of the lungs. By regulating the heart's action and equalizing the circulation in the lungs it mitigates or arrests the local inflammation.

Chronic irritable cough, arising from the smouldering inflammation in the lungs, can be cured by its administration. It has been used repeatedly in the high temperature of typhoid fever with uniformly good results; it not only effectually reduced the excessive heat, but in so doing, it did not depress in the least the vital forces of the patient.

To a certain extent it acts on the heart as a nerve sedative by lessening its action, also by constringing the blood vessels; hence, diminishing the flow of blood. We have in this valuable remedy much that is expected of aconite or veratrum, antipyrin, antifebrin, as an agent to reduce the heat in high temperature without many of their baleful effects. A dose of from one to five drops may be given every two to four hours. It is not necessary to give it regularly-only as indicated.

It is also good in hepatitis, if complicated with pneumonitis, in two-drop doses, once every three hours. In hematuria, if associated with calculi or catarrh of the bladder, lycopus is of benefit alternated with chimaphila umbellata.

Dr. Halbert and others combine lycopus with chionanthus and perhaps belladonna in the treatment of diabetes.

They claim that it influences patients that are naturally fleshy, previously very heavy, and who lose their excess of weight by this disease.

It is decidedly beneficial in the treatment of diabetes, curing a few cases after all other remedies have failed. It has proven beneficial in chronic diarrhea and dysentery, inflammatory disease of drunkards and in intermittents. It promotes digestion, invigorates the appetite, allays gastric and enteric irritability.

Dr. Langford says that lycopus will benefit more gastric difficulties than any other remedy that he has ever used, but does not specify the most particular indications that would suggest it.

Dr. Eads gives lycopus, fifteen drops every thirty minutes with cold compresses to the nape of the neck, for persistent nose bleeding.

Dr. LeBlanc lays great stress on its action in full doses in any passive hemorrhage.

There are many cases of scalding urine with frequency from vesical irritation that will be overcome by lycopus in full doses.

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.