Mitchella. Mitchella repens.
Synonyms—Partridgeberry, Squaw Vine.
- Saponin-like, resin, wax, dextrine, mucilage.
- Specific Mitchella. Dose, from five to sixty minims.
- Syrupus Mitchellae Compositus, Compound Syrup of Mitchella. Dose, from one to two drams.
Therapy—The sphere of action of mitchella is upon the reproductive organs, particularly upon those of the female. It is not enlarged upon by our writers, but is known positively to a few practitioners. It is par excellence the partus preparator. The importance of removing every possible influence that increases in any way the severity of labor, does not impress itself upon physicians, unless an exceedingly severe labor is anticipated, when the excess pain is alleviated at the time by chloroform and morphine. Not only can all complicating influences be removed, but the nervous system can be so influenced that parturition to the mother can be shorn of dread and terrors, and can be looked forward to without anxiety or fear. We are so apt to think of the pain and horror of labor as a natural inheritance for each mother—something that she must expect, and should not try to shun, that we do not take the care we could in many cases, to shield her from it.
If a good preparation of mitchella be administered once or twice daily for the sixth and seventh months of pregnancy, three times daily for the eighth month, and in larger doses as confinement approaches, the influence upon the entire system will be most marked. I have observed this influence in so many cases that doubt is impossible. Erratic pains and unsatisfied longings are removed, the nervous system assumes a tranquil condition, reflex symptoms abate, the urinary function is performed normally, the bowels become regular, imperfect digestion is improved, and the appetite becomes natural. Labor approaches, devoid of the irritating, aggravating complications, the preparatory stage is simple, the dilatation is completed quickly, the expulsive contractions are strong, unirritating, and effectual, and are much less painful than without the remedy; involution is rapid and perfect, there are no subsequent complicating conditions to contend with, the patient's strength is not abated, and the function of lactation is in its best condition. This has been proven in very many cases. After making the above statements, evidences accumulated rapidly confirming their truth.
Auxiliary measures such as judicious dieting, a thorough oiling of the enlarged abdomen, and an occasional hot sitz bath for the last few weeks will materially assist the remedy. Less of it need be taken.
The bark of the fresh root in hot infusion given occasionally during the progress of labor when no previous care of the patient has been afforded the physician, will work wonders in some tedious aggravating cases.
In uterine disorders at other times this agent is a most effectual remedy. It overcomes painful menstruation, regulates the function, relieves congestion in the pelvic organs and soothes general irritation of the nervous system from uterine or ovarian causes.
Dr. Hemminger of Pennsylvania uses mitchella to prevent abortion. He gives it in twenty drop doses three times a day. In two years he had six cases that had aborted from one to three times each, always with dead children. With the use of this medicine, each of the six gave birth to a healthy child. The medicine was given throughout the entire period of gestation.
Co-Operatives—It works harmoniously with cimicifuga, pulsatilla, aletris, helonias, senecio aureus, and viburnum. Combinations of these agents compose the usual proprietary compounds, advertised as "female regulators."
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.