Strychnos Nux Vomica. (Nux Vomica)
Preparation.—Prepare a tincture from freshly powdered seeds, ℥viij. to Alcohol 76° Oj. Dose, from the fraction of a drop to five drops. A solution of Strychnia may be prepared after the following formula: Rx Sulphate of Strychnia, grs. iv. Water, ℥iv.; dose, gtts. v. 1/96 gr. to gtts. xx. 1/24 gr.
Nux Vomica exerts a specific influence upon the intestinal canal and associate viscera that renders it a most valuable remedy.
In minute doses we employ it to arrest nausea and vomiting, when this arises from gastric irritability and not from irritant material in the stomach. The cases are those in which there is feebleness of the organs, and not where there is irritation and inflammation. For this purpose we employ it in cholera infantum with marked benefit, and in cholera morbus and Asiatic cholera to relieve this symptom.
It is the remedy in all cases of congestion of liver, spleen, or portal circle. Given, a feeling of fullness in right hypochondrium, pain in side or shoulder, sallowness of face, yellowness of eyes, yellow coat on tongue, I prescribe Nux Vomica with a certainty that I never felt in the olden time.
If an intermittent fever presents these evidences of visceral derangement, Nux Vomica is the antiperiodic, or at least it prepares the way for the kindly and curative action of Quinine. In bilious remittent fevers with these symptoms, Nux Vomica is the first remedy indicated. In diarrhoea with these symptoms we prescribe it with the certainty that the discharges will be speedily arrested, and the stomach and intestinal canal left in good condition. In dyspepsia with these symptoms, we obtain speedy and permanent relief from the use of the remedy.
It is here, as we have found it in the consideration of other remedies, if you can once determine the exact indication for its use, you may employ it whenever you find these indications, no matter what may be the name of the disease, or the condition of the patient otherwise.
The influence of Nux Vomica and Strychnia upon the spinal cord is well known, and this seems to be its principal use in medicine. Whilst I think it better, in the majority of cases, to restrict its use as above, there are some in which we employ it for its influence upon the nervous system alone. These are
In typhoid and asthenic disease, where there is impairment of spinal innervation, and in consequence imperfect or enfeebled respiration, we give Strychnia or Nux Vomica with advantage. Indeed, in those cases in which the respiratory function can only be carried on under the influence of the will, it is the only remedy we can rely on.
In the same classes of disease, the tendency to retention of urine is met by the use of the same remedy.
In some cases of the same diseases, where a feeble circulation is associated with general impairment of muscular power, and inability to co-ordinate muscular movement we use Nux Vomica with advantage.
Nux Vomica or Strychnia should never be employed in the treatment of paralysis so long as any evidence of inflammatory action exists; neither should it be used, if there are marked evidences of cerebro-spinal congestion, until this is removed. It is the first remedy employed in cases of paralysis presenting the symptoms of visceral derangement we have already named. In other cases it is only employed as a nerve stimulant, when the nerve centers are free from disease.