Caulophyllum. (Blue Cohosh.)
We employ this remedy in infusion as a parturient and in the form of a tincture of the recently dried root, ℥viij. to Alcohol 76° Oj. The alcoholic fluid extract, representing ounce for ounce, is also a good preparation.
Caulophyllum exerts a very decided influence upon the parturient uterus, stimulating normal contraction, both before and after delivery. Its first use, in this case, is to relieve false pains; its second, to effect co-ordination of the muscular contractions. and third, to increase the power of these. The first and second are the most marked, yet the third is quite certain. Still if any one expects the marked influence of Ergot, in violent and continued contractions, he will be disappointed.
I judge that it exerts its influence through the hypogastric plexus; though to some extent it influences every process controlled by the sympathetic. Acting in this way it influences the circulation, nutrition, and functions of the reproductive organs. I have employed it in chronic uterine diseases with some advantage; but further study is necessary to point out the particular cases.
It may be used with good effect in some cases of nervous disease; especially in that condition known as asthenic plethora.
As a remedy for rheumatism it is inferior to the Macrotys, but in some cases it exerts a better influence. My experience has not been sufficient to point out these cases, and in this respect the remedy needs further study.
I would suggest, also, the trial of a tincture of the recent root.