Botanical name: 


Last year I cited to you a case of an aged man who had "heart trouble," and who had tried all the doctors, and had tried traveling, had been to California, but had received no benefit. I at last gave him this medicine—crataegus—and the patient got much better and quit the medicine. Soon after he took an advertised remedy—that was lauded to the skies—and after using that a few days, he, one morning, fell over dead.

I will now cite you to another case:

Judge J. P., aged 82, born in Pennsylvania, has lived in Illinois forty years; had been a mild smoker of cigars for some years, but has not used the weed now for over twenty-five years. His weight at this time was 280 pounds, and was able to get around very well for one of that age and weight. He was taken sick with asthma April 15, 1906, but in two days' time was able to be up and out in the yard. In the evening of the third or fourth day after, while sitting on the porch, he complained of a pain or an ache around his heart; the feeling was as if a band or string was tied around the heart and was being pulled tighter; the feeling being of a suffocating nature. He was restless, nervous, could not lie down, and his countenance showed anxiety, for he had lost two older brothers from some kind of heart trouble. His temperature was 99°F., bad breath, bowels badly constipated, urine scanty and highly colored and had to be voided every hour or two: the specific gravity was 1028. The heart was large and its action very irregular. There was mitral regurgitation. I prescribed:

Lloyds sp. cactus drs. ½
Lloyds sp. eryngium drops 20
Water ozs. 4

M. Sig. A teaspoonful every two hours. This gave him great relief and I kept him upon this preparation for a week, and then his feet began swelling and the swelling was rapid and the dropsy extended to above the knees. The bowels and kidneys again became very troublesome; for it I gave a mild laxative. It operated too freely, but if I did not give a laxative, the bowels were badly constipated. I now began giving him:

Lloyds sp. crataegus drs. 3
Water ozs. 4

M. Sig. One teaspoonful every three hours. Also a granule of may apple, ⅛ grain every morning, with a drink of hot water.

In a few days he was very much better; the swelling was reduced a little, heart action improved, and he was in fine spirits.

I left home for a short vacation to attend our annual session here in Chicago and to be absent from home about a week. Returning home, I went at once to see him and found him propped up in a chair, and with that suffocating feeling in the region of the heart. His limbs were greatly swollen; an anxious look on the face; labored breathing, and another physician in charge, and I found that I was fired bodily, because I had "been gone five days and left him to suffer so."

The doctor who had been called in was plastering his limbs with "Denver Mud," but what the internal medicine was, I do not know. The new doctor was—according to his published professional card—"A Specialist in Medical and Surgical Treatment of the Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat, Lungs, Heart, Stomach, Bowels, Nervous System, Kidneys, Diseases of the Skin, Diseases of Men, Women and Children, and the Permanent Removal of Cancer Without the Knife." This was too much for me, as I could not think to compete with one so learned as to be a specialist in all diseases that the human race is heir to, so I retired (by request) crestfallen from his glittering presence.

For some months the patient was some better, then worse again; better, then worse. This "Denver Mud" was the only thing, so far as I could learn, that was applied to the extremities. The limbs remained swollen and the patient could not walk but a few steps at a time, but he could ride out if he had help to get in and out of the buggy. Every few days we would hear, "Well, Judge P— had another bad time last night, they thought he would die any minute."

Not long after this our specialist doctor took sick and died and I was again called to attend the Judge, but I declined with thanks, but the next day the patient asked me to treat him, and I consented.

At this time, the dropsy extended from the toes up into the abdomen, the heart's action weak and irregular; there was pain, poor appetite, and the case did not appear very promising.

I began giving him sp. crataegus, 6 drops in water every three hours, and I soon increased the dose to 12 drops every three hours. I have had to vary the treatment occasionally as other symptoms came up, but I usually managed to give him daily some crataegus. I saw him Monday, and he now weighs 146 pounds, does not have much trouble with his heart any more, although he is frail. If he feels badly, he takes a few doses of crataegus. He is now eighty-four years old, walks out daily if weather permits, and hears a law case occasionally. I have not examined his heart lately, but he certainly owes his present condition to the good results from the use of crataegus.

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