Brief contributed articles.

Botanical name: 

Dioscorea in the Prevention of Abortion.


The following case was of interest to me, and I think may be valuable to others. I was called to see a woman thirty years of age who was suffering intense pain in the lower part of her abdomen. Her face was flushed, but she had no fever. The pulse was normal but strong, she was the mother of four children, all of whom were living and well.

One year before she had had an abortion, and at this time she had every reason to believe that she was again pregnant, this being about the fourth month. She was having pains very similar to "labor pains." Sometimes these pains were so severe as to cause her to flex her limbs upon her abdomen. She said that the day before, she had driven with her husband, in a heavy vehicle, and had been greatly shaken. After the ride, the pains had begun. On examination, it was found that the cervix was not dilated and was very high, as pressure on the abdomen was needed to bring it within reach.

I gave her the following prescription: Morphin, 1/4 grain; sp. hyoscyamus, 10 drops, in a dram of hot water, and ordered her to be given one dram of sp. viburnum in hot water every hour until contractions and pains had ceased. When I saw her the following morning the pains were slightly lessened but they still came on in frequent intervals. I then ordered the virburnum discontinued and gave her sp. dioscorea, one dram, in four ounces of water, in teaspoonful doses every hour.

When her husband reported to me in the evening, the pains had ceased entirely.

This case was interesting to me, as there were strong evidences that this woman was going to have an abortion. She was very apprehensive, as she had started the year before in the same manner, at which time she was in bed for two weeks, and was quite ill. The influence of the dioscorea in this case, was to antagonize the tendency to muscular spasm, and to control the contractions. This may be an old remedy, but it is new to me in this condition, and I am confident it exercised an important influence in preventing the abortion in this case.

Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.