Kava Kava for Pruritus.

Botanical name: 

I have not previously considered that I was able to contribute to the pages of the THERAPEUTIST any fact that would be of value to other physicians, but after reading some of the very practical "little things" from the experiences of others of the family, I began to realize that it is these little things that help the physician and help to make this journal valuable, so I herewith con tribute my mite.

I had a case of incontinence of urine in a middle-aged woman, which I treated successfully with internal medicine, all but an intolerable itching of the vulva, which was not controlled. When she asked for relief from this, I reasoned a little from the standpoint of the physiological action of the drugs, and mixed one part of specific Piper methysticum with two parts of glycerin, and this I applied to the parts with the finger, and in the vagina on a pledget of cotton. The result was almost instant relief. Later, used in a similar case, it gave relief in the same satisfactory manner.

In a case of itching of the meatus and deep parts in a diabetic female, I obtained just as good results. I do not know whether this is a new use for this drug or not, but it was new to me, and it worked so satisfactorily in these cases that I am convinced that it will work equally well in other cases of itching, and especially in itching piles.

I wish the editor and his journal every success possible.


COMMENT: The treatment of the various forms of pruritis, especially those of the vulva and anus, are often intractable to common measures. The use of Kava kava for this purpose has not, to my knowledge, been previously suggested; perhaps the doctor has made an important discovery. I have opportunities to make immediate observation of the action of this remedy and will report later on. I trust others will do the same.

Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 3, 1909, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.