Ipecacuanha. (Ipecac.)

Botanical name: 

Preparation.—Prepare a tincture from the root (a good article) ℥viij. to Alcohol 76° Oj. Dose from the fraction of a drop to gtts. v.

Ipecacuanha exerts a specific influence upon mucous membranes, relieving irritation, and arresting the inflammatory process. It also stimulates a better circulation and innervation, increases nutrition, and thus favors functional activity.

We employ it as a specific in most cases of cholera infantum. It allays irritation of the stomach, gradually checks the frequency of the discharges from the bowels, and restores tone and functional activity. In a large experience in the treatment of this disease, we have found nothing to equal it. It is usually prescribed in the following proportions :

Rx Tincture of Ipecac, gtts. v. to gtts. xxx.; Water, ℥iv. A teaspoonful every hour.

We employ it with very marked advantage in the treatment of infantile pneumonia, associated with Aconite and Veratrum. In some cases, the prescription of Ipecac alone will be sufficient to arrest the disease in two or three days, especially if given in the first stages. It is also employed with excellent results in diseases of the respiratory apparatus of the adult.

We prescribe it in all cases of muco-enteritis. If there is little constitutional disturbance, Ipecac is used alone; if there is some hardness and increased frequency of the pulse, it is given in combination with Aconite.

We employ it in Dysentery, especially in the sporadic form from cold. The simple prescription of Ipecac is frequently successful, but with much febrile action it is associated with a sedative.

In small doses we employ it as a stimulant to the entire digestive tract, associating it with the bitter tonics, or the restoratives. For this purpose, it will prove very valuable, especially where there is some gastro-intestinal irritation.

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