Baptisia Tinctoria.

Botanical name: 

Preparation.—The Baptisia has been principally employed in infusion, and I am well satisfied that this is the best preparation for general use. Still, as it will be inconvenient in many cases, I would recommend in addition, a tincture by percolation, using ℥viij. of the ground bark to Oj. of Alcohol of 76°. Of an infusion of ℥j. to ℥iv. of boiling water, the dose is one teaspoonful; of the tincture as named, ʒij. to Water, ℥iv., dose, a teaspoonful.

With some the Baptisia has been a favorite remedy for sore mouth and sore throat, using it locally, and for this purpose it is one of the most valuable remedies we have. I judge, however, that if you should ask, in what particular variety of sore mouth or throat it was found best? you would have difficulty in getting an answer.

It is in those cases in which there is enfeebled capillary circulation, and tendency to ulceration, that it is specific. That is, the condition is one of atony, with tendency to molecular death and decomposition. The remedy is, therefore, stimulant and antiseptic.

It may be employed with the greatest certainty in any form of sore mouth or throat presenting the characteristics named. Especially in stomatitis ulcerata, or cancrum orris, in cynanche maligna, and in the sore throat of scarlatina maligna; but it is not only a good local application in these cases, but a most valuable internal remedy.

It is specific to the condition upon which such sore mouth and throat is based, whether it is manifested in this way, or in ulceration of Peyer's follicles in typhoid fever. Thus I have employed it with very marked advantage, in all cases showing putrescency, and tendency to softening and breaking down of tissue.

It is not a remedy for acute inflammation, whether erythematous or deep seated, and in ordinary stomatitis or cynanche, it is not a remedy. In diphtheria presenting acute inflammatory symptoms, it is worse than useless. But in diphtheria with swollen and enfeebled mucous membranes, dusky or livid discoloration, or blanched appearance, with tendency to ulceration and sloughing, there is no remedy more certain.

I have successfully employed the Baptisia in, typhoid dysentery, as have others. But as will be seen, this is but the condition named above for its specific action. So long as there is an acute inflammation, with stools of blood or pure mucus, this is not beneficial, but when the discharges resemble "prune juice, the washing of meat, or are muco-purulent," with general symptoms of an analogous character, then it becomes one of our most certain remedies.

Specific Medication and Specific Medicines, 1870, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.