Rhus Toxicodendron. (Poison Oak.)
Prepare a tincture from the recent leaves, ℥viij. to Alcohol 76° Oj. Added to water in the proportion of gtts. v. to gtts. x. to ℥iv., the dose is a teaspoonful. The R. Radicans, R. Venenata, and R. Pumilum may be prepared in the same manner, and deserve a thorough investigation.
The Rhus is likely to prove one of our most valuable medicines, and will be highly prized when its use is learned. It is antidotal to such animal poisons (zymotic) as determine to the skin, in erysipelas or erysipeloid disease, or in low grades of inflammation of cellular tissue, or in low grades of inflammation of mucous membranes. A frequent, small pulse, redness of mucous membranes, brown sordes, bright superficial redness of skin, tympanitis, acrid discharges from bowels or bladder, are indications for its use. So also is inflammatory action, presenting tumid, bright reddened tissues, deep seated or superficial burning pain, inflammation giving an ichorous discharge, in which the tissues seem to melt away without sloughing. Old ulcers, that present reddened, glistening edges, scrofulous or syphilitic disease, with tumid-red, glistening swellings.
I have preferred to thus point out distinctly the indications for the use of the Rhus, without reference to the disease, according to our present nomenclature. It will be seen to point to erysipelas, typhoid fever and typhoid disease in general, and the entire list of zymotic diseases.
Our Homoeopathic friends give the following indications for its use:
"Affections of the ligaments, tendons and synovial membranes; tensions, drawing and tearing in the limbs, worse during rest, and in the cold season, or at night, in bed, frequently attended with numbness of the affected part after moving it; creeping pains; sensation in inner organs as if something would be torn loose; lameness and paralysis, also hemiplegia; vesicular erysipelas; rhagades; pustules which break and discharge a fluid; hangnails; red, shining swelling; violent and spasmodic yawning; evening fever, with diarrhoea; sweat during the pains, frequently with violent trembling illusions of the fancy, and delirium; pain as if the brain would be torn; painful creeping in the head swelling of the head; phagedenic scald-head; small, soft tumors on the hairy scalp; swelling and inflammation of the parotid glands; acne rosacea around the mouth and chin; nightly discharge of yellowish, or bloody saliva; ulcerative pain in the pit of the stomach as if something would be torn off, especially when stooping or making a false step; the small of the back feels as if bruised, especially when lying still on it."