Cimicifuga,—Black Snake-root.

Botanical name: 

Source and Composition. The root of Cimicifúga racemosa, an indigenous plant of the nat. ord. Ranunculaceae. It contains a Volatile Oil, two Resins, Tannic Acid, etc. The active principle has not been isolated.

Preparations. They must be made from the fresh root.

Extractum Cimicifugae Fluidum,—alcoholic. Dose, ♏v-xx.
Tinctura Cimicifugae,—20 per cent. Dose, ♏x-ʒj.
*Macrotin,—is an impure resin precipitated by water from a concentrated alcoholic preparation. Dose, gr. ss-ij.

Physiological Action. Cimicifuga is anti-spasmodic, aphrodisiac, diaphoretic, diuretic, and expectorant. It acts similarly to Digitalis on the heart and circulation, and similarly to Ergot on unstriped muscular fibre, but is much feebler in activity than either. Its taste is bitter and nauseous, resembling that of Opium. Small doses stimulate digestion and secretion, especially the secretions of the bronchial mucous membrane and the kidneys. It also stimulates the generative function and the menstrual flow. Full doses slow the heart rate while increasing its force, raise arterial tension, and stimulate uterine contraction. In large doses it dilates the pupils, and causes dim vision, vertigo, intense headache, nausea, vomiting, and in some persons sopor.

Therapeutics. Cimicifuga is safer than Digitalis, and should be more frequently used where the latter drug is indicated. In—

Cardiac Diseases,—it is used very efficiently, especially in weak or fatty heart, where Digitalis would be dangerous.
Chorea, about the age of puberty,—Cimicifuga is very successful.
Puerperal Hypochondriasis,—has been completely removed by it.
Bronchitis, acute and chronic,—it is valuable as an expectorant.
Rheumatism, of the localized muscular variety,—as lumbago, torticollis, pleurodynia, intercostal rheumatism,—are remarkably benefited by Cimicifuga, which has a strong affinity for the muscles.
Neuralgia, of various kinds, especially ovarian, also in neuralgic and congestive dysmenorrhoea,—it is very efficient.
Uterine Disorders, as subinvolution,—in which it may be given with Ergot.
Delirium Tremens,—in which Cimicifuga is an excellent nerve-tonic.
Impotence, of functional character,— it is a remarkably efficient remedy.
In Obstretics,—to initiate uterine contraction, to allay after-pains and nervousness after delivery, and to check hemorrhage.

A Compend of Materia Medica, Therapeutics, and Prescription Writing, 1902, by Sam'l O. L. Potter, M.D., M.R.C.P.L.