Bark of the root of Euphorbia corollata.—U.S.
Preparations.—The powdered bark. A tincture.
Dose.—As an emetic, grs. xv. to grs. xxx., every fifteen minutes. Of the tincture for an emetic, one-fourth to one teaspoonful every fifteen minutes. For other uses the tincture is employed in doses of a fraction of a drop to ten drops.
Therapeutic Action.— Euphorbia is emetic, cathartic, expectorant, diaphoretic, and deobstruent. The Euphorbia corrolata, when given in large doses, is a very powerful emetic; in smaller doses it acts as a hydragogue cathartic; and in small doses, as a diaphoretic and expectorant. Drs. Eberle and Beach also attribute tonic properties to it. The violence of its action in large doses, admonishes the physician of the danger attending its indiscriminate and too free use, for if used thus it may produce hyper-emesis, or hyper-catharsis, and a dangerous inflammation of the gastro-intestinal mucous membrane. Some authors assert that, when administered in large doses, it is scarcely equaled for certainty of action by the tartar emetic. If administered in doses not sufficiently large to readily produce emesis, it produces catharsis, attended with great nausea and extreme prostration.
As an emetic, it may be employed whenever a very efficient article of the kind is required, providing there is no tendency to gastro-intestinal inflammation, nor a state of debility to contra-indicate its use.
It has been employed with decided advantage in cases of dropsy. When administered as an emetic, it very powerfully affects the organs of secretion and excretion, and also acts as an energetic hydragogue cathartic, directly lessening the dropsical effusion, and at the same time promotes absorption. It may be employed in all the different varieties of dropsy, and bas been the principal agent relied on in the cure of some protracted and obstinate cases of hydrothorax. In hydropic cases, it should be administered every second or third day as an emetic, if the strength of the patient will permit, and continuing it between times, in smaller doses, as a hydragogue cathartic, assisted with corroborant medicines and suitable diuretics.
It has been prescribed with advantage in amenorrhoea, and there are those who speak very favorably of its effects in uterine obstructions.
The Euphorbia ipecacuanha is more frequently used than the corrolata; it is analogous in its action to that variety, but is less energetic. Dr. Barton thinks its properties entitle it to supersede the imported ipecacuanha. It operates as an emetic very mildly, yet energetically, if administered in suitable doses. In over-doses it may cause hyperemesis, hypercatharsis, and great prostration. In doses of twenty-five grains, Dr. Barton has known it produce hypercatharsis and continue to operate fourteen hours. Dr. Beach speaks very highly of its salutary effects in dropsy, and mentions its reputation as an "infallible" cure for bilious colic. As an emetic it may be employed in intermittent and bilious fevers, and in diseases of the respiratory organs. It is valuable as a diaphoretic and expectorant, and is not so unpleasant as the ipecacuanha, the taste being less nauseous.
Specific Indications.— Persistent irritation of the stomach, irritative diarrhoea, dysentery, dropsy with irritation of mucous membranes. Of the tincture gtt. v. to gtt. x., water ℥iv.; a teaspoonful every one or two hours.