Aesculus glabra. (Buckeye.)
Preparation.—Whilst the bark possesses medicinal properties in considerable degree, and may be used, a tincture of the nuts will probably be the best preparation.
Take of the recent nuts, fully ripened, four ounces; bruise them thoroughly, and cover with alcohol 76° one pint; let it stand for two weeks; strain and filter.
Of this tincture add from one to two drachms to four ounces of water—the dose being one teaspoonful.
The buckeye has been used to but a limited extent in medicine, yet its activity is such (as a poison), that it will probably prove very valuable when thoroughly studied. In my boyhood, I well remember persons carrying "buckeyes" in their pockets as a sovereign cure for "piles," and at a later period as a remedy for rheumatism. Doubtless this suggested the first use of the Aesculus in medicine.
It has been used in the treatment of hemorrhoids with much success, and I am satisfied that in some forms of the disease it is the most certain remedy we possess. I have also given it in a few cases of diseased uterus with good results—cases in which the entire organ was enlarged, the cervix tumid, with too frequent recurrence of the menstrual flow.
The marked influence of the Aesculus on the nervous system would suggest a line of experiment likely to lead to the development of valuable properties. It has already been employed as a stimulant to the nervous system some cases of paralysis.
We may reason in this way : a remedy that cures hemorrhoids must exert a powerful influence upon the circulation; whilst its poisonous action, often witnessed—vertigo, diminished sight, wry neck, fixed eyes, paralysis, convulsions, etc., show its influence upon the nervous system.