Editor Ellingwood's Therapeutist:
I would like very much to have you publish in the next issue of the THERAPEUTIST something on rubus odoratus ("rose-flowering raspberry ").
My attention was called to this plant recently. Thus while it is an old remedy, it is new to me, and I think perhaps an invaluable one in diseases of the kidneys.
In looking up the rubus family I find that the rubus occidentalis, (thimble berry or mulberry) and the rubus odoratus, while they belong perhaps to the same family, their properties are different, the former being the black raspberry, while the latter, rubus odoratus, the flower being large and many being about two inches in diameter, fruit broad, thin and bright red, and to it are ascribed the principal diuretic properties, which has been very thoroughly demonstrated in the case of anasarca treated by it here. I never saw the case, but the physician in charge has kept me in touch with it.
We have another species of the plant, rubus chamaemorus (cloud berry), a small plant, which differs from the rubus odoratus. This is from 3 to 5 feet high. The berries of the latter are said to contain much sugar, citric acid and yellow coloring matter. This also possesses some diuretic properties, but is not to be compared with the rubus odoratus.
Some 5 or 6 weeks ago one of our physicians called to see me about a case of albuminuria in a young married woman. The tissues were full, and I guess from what he stated the abdominal cavity also contained an accumulation of the effusion. The urine when I examined it contained not less than 60 percent of albumen. The case had resisted all previous treatment, but yielded very readily to the influences of this plant, which I conclude yet is the rubus odorata. I can find nothing in all my library on the subject except what little I find in the American Dispensatory, page 1682 and 83, and not much at that. It states in this article that the plant is an active diuretic. I have never had any experience with it; never gave it any attention until the doctor spoke to me about it, and stated that the patient's father had gathered some of it, and was giving her an infusion of the leaves with very positive results.
I think too many of our old and tried remedies are being discarded for some modern ones, which largely are valueless, and the use of them largely experimental with only negative results.
This certainly must have some powerful diuretic properties, judging from the increased flow of the urine, which seemed to be augmented from the moment the remedy was first given in this case. I am trying to procure some of it, having a case in Columbus that has resisted all treatment, but I have not been thus far successful in obtaining it.
I am very much interested in this plant, and hope to learn more about it.
G. S. FARQUHAR, M. D., Newark, Ohio.