Chapter 28 - Medicinals A - Z

28.13 M

Magnesia (Magnesia Usia). Calcined magnesia is obtained fro carbonate of magnesia, by exposure to a strong heat. It is a whit( inodorous, light powder, of a feeble alkaline taste. It is antacid an laxative, and is much used in dyspepsia, sick headache, gout, and other complaints attended with sour stomach and costiveness; like wise a favorite remedy in complaints of children. Dose, as a laxative( from thirty to forty grains; as an antacid or antilithic, ten to twenty five grains, once or twice a day.

Carbonate of Magnesia (Magnesia Carbonas). This is prepared from sulphate of magnesia, by carbonate of soda. It is antacid, and when it meets with acid in the stomach and bowels it is laxative.

Sulphate of Magnesia (Magnesia Sulphas). Obtained from seawater. This is the well known Epsom salts and is purgative and diuretic. Used in all cases which require purgatives. It generally operates without griping, and, when united with an acidulated infusion of roses, will remain on the stomach when all other things are rejected. The less it is diluted the better and more easily it operates, provided a draught of warm water be taken an hour afterwards. It may be made to act as a diuretic by keeping the skin cool, and walking about after it has been taken.

Male Fern (Aspidium Filix Mas). This perennial plant is found in both Europe and America, also in Asia and northern Africa. The root, which is the medicinal part, should be gathered during summer, as the active principle is more abundant at that season than any other. It is also said to deteriorate by age, and become nearly worthless in two years. It is slightly tonic and astringent, but its chief value consists in its power to destroy and expel the tapeworm. Preparations. Solid extract, dose, nine to twelve grains. The following compound pills are adapted to the destruction of the tapeworm: solid extract male fern, two scruples; gamboge, fourteen grains; calomel, fourteen grains; scammony, eighteen grains. Mix, and divide into twenty pills. Dose, two to three pills.

Mandrake (Podophyllum Peltatum). This is exclusively an American plant. The root is the medicinal part. It is cathartic, alterative, anthelmintic, hydragogue, sialagogue, and, in large doses, emetic. It stimulates and quickens the action of the liver and kidneys, promotes expectoration and determines the blood to the surface. Combined with cream of tartar, it produces watery stools and is useful in dropsy. It is used in jaundice, dysentery, diarrhea, bilious, remittent, and intermittent fevers, puerperal fever, typhoid fever, and all glandular enlargements. But it has a more particular action upon the liver, and is especially useful in derangements of that organ. The severity of its action seems to be the only objection to its very extensive use. Its harshness, however, may be much lessened by its combination with alkalis, ginger, or caulophyllin. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, half a dram to a dram; compound fluid extract, dose, one to two drams; solid extract, dose, three to twelve grains; tincture, three and a half ounces to one pint of alcohol, dose, one to three drams; podophyllin, the active principle, dose, as an alterative, one eighth to a quarter of a grain; as a cathartic, one to two grains.

Manna. This is the concrete juice of the tree called Ornus Europma, growing in Sicily, Calabria, and Apulia, as well as of several other species of tree. Manna is a gentle laxative, operating mildly, though sometimes producing wind and pain. It is considerably used as a gentle physic for children and women in the family way. The usual way of prescribing it is in connection with senna, rhubarb, magnesia, or the neutral salts. Being sweet, it conceals the taste of these remedies in some measure, while it adds to their purgative effect. Dose of manna, for a grown person, from one to one and a half ounces; for a child, from one to four drams, according to age.

Marsh Rosemary (Statice Caroliniana). This plant grows on the coast from Maine to Georgia. The root of it is the medicinal part. A decoction of it is much used in diarrhea, dysentery, etc., also as a gargle in ulcerated sore mouth and the throat affection of scarlet fever, and as an injection in gleet, whites, and falling of the womb and bowel. Dose of the decoction, one or two tablespoonfuls every hour or two.

Marshmallow (Althena Officinatlis). A perennial plant, growing in salt marshes and other moist places in Europe. The root is the medicinal part, and its properties are those of a demulcent. A decoction of it is used in irritations and inflammations of mucous membrane~, as in inflammation of the lungs, stomach, bowels and bladder, and some affections of the kidneys. The powdered root, and also the leaves and flowers, are sometimes employed in the form of poultice.

Mastic. This is the hardened gum or resin which flows from incisions in the small tree or shrub pistacia lentiscus, growing upon the borders of the Mediterranean. It is not much used in medicine, but is chiefly employed in manufacturing a brilliant varnish. I introduce it here principally for the purpose of recommending the following use of it in carious teeth, particularly in those new parts of the country where dentistry is not much known. Dissolve, in a well stopped bottle, four parts of mastic in one part of sulphuric ether. Saturate with this solution a small piece of cotton of the size of the cavity in the tooth, and then, having cleansed and dried the cavity, gently press the cotton into it. The ether will soon evaporate and leave the gum to attach itself to the sides of the tooth, and protect its inner surfaces from the action of the air and food.

Matico (Piper Angustifolium) The leaves of this plant are styptic and somewhat stimulant and tonic. The leaves brought in contact with a bleeding wound, have considerable power to arrest the flow of blood. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, half a dram to a dram; tincture, four ounces to a pint of diluted alcohol, dose, two drams to one half ounce; infusion, half an ounce to a pint of water, dose, one to one and a half ounces.

Meadow Saffron (Colchicum Autumnale). This is a native of the temperate parts of Europe, where it grows wild in moist meadows. The roots and seeds are used. Colchicum is justly regarded as a valuable remedy in gout and rheumatism, in which it is much and chiefly used. It is thought, also, to act upon the nervous system, allaying pain and producing other sedative effects. When not carried off by the bowels, it produces sweating, and is occasionally diuretic and expectorant. Dose of the dried root, from two to eight grains. Preparations. Fluid extract of root, dose, three to ten drops ; fluid extract of seeds, dose, five to ten drops; tincture, four ounces to twelve ounces diluted alcohol, dose, ten drops to half a dram; syrup, two ounces to fourteen ounces Simple syrup, dose, one third of a dram to a dram; wine, three ounces of root to a pint of sherry wine, dose, twenty five to thirty five drops.

Monkshood (Aconite). This is anodyne, sedative and diaphoretic. The leaves and roots are generally used separately. It is useful in inflammatory diseases, neuralgia, epilepsy, paralysis, gout, and particularly in fevers. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, two to five drops ; solid extract, dose, one quarter of a grain to a grain; tincture, eight ounces of the root to a pint of alcohol, dose, three to five drops. A preparation composed of one dram of the tincture of aconite root, and two ounces of the tincture of black cohosh, and taken in doses of one teaspoonful every four hours, has great power in relieving the various forms of neuralgia, and also chronic rheumatic pains, particularly among old people. For nervous headache, irritability, restlessness and wakefulness, the following combination of aconite is useful: Solid extract of aconite, half a dram; solid extract of stramonium, four grains; valerianate of quinia, one scruple. Mix and divide into sixty pills, of which one is to be taken every two, three, or four hours, according to symptoms.

Motherwort (Leonurus Cardiaca). This perennial plant is sup. posed to be a native of Tartary, and introduced into this country. It is considerably used in domestic practice for nervous complaints and many chronic disorders attended with restlessness, disturbed sleep, pains of the nerves, and affections of t he liver. A warm infusion of the tops and leaves is useful in restoring menstrual suppression from colds. Preparations. Solid extract, dose, three to five grains. Combined with blue cohosh and skunk cabbage, the solid extract is a nervine, antispasmodic and emmenagogue.

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia Latifolia). The laurel is found in most parts of the United States, on bills and mountains, flowering in June and July, and is very ornamental. It is sometimes called big ivy, or calico bush. The narrow leaf laurel, or sheep laurel, kalmia angustifolia, is also common, and similarly medicinal. The leaves of these plants are used in medicine, and produce, when taken in large doses, vertigo, dimness of sight, etc. In medicinal doses, they are sedative and astringent. The saturated tincture is the best form of administration, which may be taken in ten to fifteen drop doses, every two or three hours, in syphilis, active hemorrhages, hypertrophy of the heart and jaundice.

Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus). The leaves and flowers of this biennial plant are antispasmodic, diuretic and demulcent. The infusion is frequently used in domestic practice, and is useful in colds, coughs, bronchitis, etc.; and may be drunk freely. The leaves are sometimes boiled in milk, sweetened, and taken for bowel complaints. The leaves dipped in hot vinegar and water are very useful applied as a fomentation in mumps, acute inflammation of the tonsils and malignant sore throat; a handful of them may also be placed in a teapot with hot water, and the steam be inhaled through the spout, in the same complaints. INSERTIMAGE32

Mustard. The seeds of the white mustard, Sinapis alba, were a few years ago much recommended as a cure for constipation of the bowels; and, swallowed whole in teaspoonful, or even, in some obstinate cases, in tablespoonful doses, they afford a wholesome stimulus to the bowels, and accomplish some good. The ground mustard is a valuable condiment to eat in small quantities, at dinner, in dyspeptic cases. It finds its most important uses, however, as a prompt and almost instantaneous emetic in cases of poisoning, and also as a valuable counter irritant, when applied externally. The volatile oil of mustard, one part, and ten parts of sweet oil, may be applied to the skin instead of the mustard poultice, and with similar results.

Myrrh. The tree Balsamodendron myrrha, growing in Arabia~, etc., yields a juice which hardens into a gum resin, called myrrh. This pleasant, aromatic gum is stimulant, tonic, antiseptic, emmenagogue and expectorant. It is employed in chronic bronchitis, consumption, chlorosis, absence of the menses, etc. It is generally combined with iron and other tonics, and in amenorrhea it is frequently combined with aloes.. Locally, it is considerably used as a wash to improve spongy gums, ulcers of the mouth, etc. The dose is from ten to twenty grains, to be given in pill or in powder suspended in water. The tincture of myrrh is a useful external application.

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