The root of Bryonia alba.—Europe.
Preparation.—A tincture of the fresh root.
Dose.—The dose of tincture of Bryonia, will be the fraction of a drop. Experience has shown that its specific action can be best obtained by the small dose, say—Rx. Bryonia gtt. v., water ℥iv.; a teaspoonful every hour.
Specific Indications.—The indications for this remedy are a hard pulse, pain in right frontal region extending to the occiput, flushing of right cheek, lancinating, tearing pain, irritative cough with pain, soreness with tensive pain in hypogastrium.
Therapeutic Action.—In large doses, Bryonia acts upon the bowels, producing watery stools, which are attended with colic, and are followed by a sense of anxiety. If a poisonous quantity be taken, the pulse becomes feeble and frequent, respiration difficult, the temperature falls, the mind wanders, and death ensues from collapse.
In the small medicinal dose, the remedy relieves excitation of the sympathetic system, lessens the tension of the arterial system, diminishes the frequency of the pulse, gives freedom to the circulation, lessens the exalted temperature, and promotes waste and excretion. If one will note the indications for this remedy, and its action upon disease, he will readily see its uses.
It has been extensively employed in the treatment of rheumatism, and with marked success when the indications have been followed. As it has a special action upon serous tissue, it has been thought to be more particularly adapted to cases involving the articulations, but its use need not be thus restricted.
It will be found a remedy in many cases of pleuritis, pericarditis, and peritonitis. It is especially to be noticed that tensive or tearing pain is an indication, as well as the sharp lancinating pain. It is a very important remedy in visceral peritonitis, arising from disease of the intestinal canal, and, indeed, any of the viscera. Sometimes the pain simulates colic, but with an unusual tenderness and tension.
It is a prominent remedy in the treatment of pneumonia, with pain, and in some cases of bronchitis the indications will point it out as a principal part of the treatment.
In fever and inflammations the indications for Bryonia occasionally present, when it will be found to have all the properties of an arterial sedative—lessening the frequency of the pulse, giving a better circulation of blood, lowering the temperature, and relieving irritation of the nervous system.