The root of Leptandra virginica.—U.S.
Preparations.—Extract of Leptandra. Tincture of Leptandra. Leptandrin.
Dose.—The dose of the extract will be from gr. j. to gr. v. Of a tincture, gtt. v. to gtt. x. Of Leptandrin, gr. ½ to gr. v.
Therapeutic Action.—The Leptandra is a mild and pretty efficient cathartic, if administered in large doses; in smaller doses, a valuable aperient and tonic. It is exceedingly valuable in atonic states of the bowels. Whenever there is a weak and debilitated state of the general system, or when the bowels are enfeebled by repeated purgation, no article in the materia medica (if we except rhubarb) surpasses, if indeed equals, it as a cathartic. It is mild and unirritating in its action, and at the same time that it cleanses them it restores their tone.
As a cathartic, it is recommended during the early stages of dysentery as one of our most efficient agents. It removes the constipated state of the small intestines, acts specifically upon the liver, increasing its secretion, and gives tone to the entire alimentary canal. In dyspepsia, attended with a torpid state of the bowels, the Leptandra is an appropriate article. It is exceedingly valuable in these cases administered occasionally as a cathartic, and in the intervals in small doses as an aperient and tonic; it promotes the appetite and facilitates digestion. It is a very valuable addition to the vegetable bitters in such cases; when combined with them they will prove laxative without the use of other purgative medicine.
It is very useful during the forming stages of various types of fever; if administered at an early stage of the disease, in large doses, so as to purge briskly, it cleanses the stomach and bowels, restores the biliary secretion, and indeed promotes the secretions generally, thereby lessening the fever, and often arresting it. It is the principal cathartic upon which reliance is placed by certain "irregular physicians," in the treatment of febrile and inflammatory diseases. It is especially recommended in fevers of a typhoid type; also in the advanced stages of bilious, and during the convalescent stages of all forms of fever.
Some have spoken of it as almost a specific in dropsy. It seems to promote the secretions, thereby favoring absorption, and gives tone to the system. We have used it with marked advantage in some very obstinate cases of dropsy, particularly in hydrocephalus, combined with spearmint and cream of tartar, in such quantities as to produce ten or twelve watery stools in the course of twenty-four hours.