Chapter 28 - Medicinals A - Z
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B
C
D
E
F
G
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I
J
K
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M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
V
W
Y
Z

28.2 B

Balm (Melissa Officinalis). This is a perennial plant, growing in Europe and this country. It is moderately stimulant and diaphoretic. The warm infusion causes perspiration, and is used to relieve painful menstruation.

Balm of Gilead (Populus Candicans) This is a tree growing in the northern parts of our country. A tincture made from the buds, in doses of from one to four fluid drams, is useful in affections of the kidneys, in scurvy, and rheumatism. Steeped in lard they form a useful ointment for some purposes.

Balmony ( Chelone Glabra). This is a perennial plant, common to the United States. It is tonic, cathartic, and vermifuge. It is used in indigestion, debility, and derangements of the liver. A dose of the powdered leaves is one dram; of the tincture, two fluid drams; of the decoction, one or two fluid ounces; of the active principle called chelonin, one or two grains. A decoction of balmony combined with tincture of asafetida forms a valuable injection for worms. An ointment made from the fresh leaves is valuable for piles, inflamed breasts, tumors, and painful ulcers.

Balsam Copaiba. This is obtained from a South American tree called the Copaifera Offieinalis. It is a clear yellowish fluid, about the consistency of honey. It is a stimulating diuretic, and is much used in chronic gonorrhea, gleets, irritable conditions of the bladder, and chronic bronchitis. In some persons it causes an eruption on the skin, with itching, etc. In large doses, it acts as a cathartic.

Balsam Tolu. This is the juice of the tree Myroopemum Tolui. ferum, growing in South America. It is soft, tenacious, and of a pale brown color; and, like balsam copaiba, is soluble in alcohol, ether, and volatile oils. It has been used in asthma, cough, bronchitis, etc. Dose, from ten to thirty grains, in mucilage or syrup.

Barberry (Berberis Vulgaris). This shrub grows along the Atlantic coast, from Canada to Virginia. The parts used are the bark and berries. It is tonic and laxative, and, in doses of a teaspoonful, powdered, is useful in jaundice, chronic diarrhea, and chronic dysentery. A decoction of the berries forms an agreeable acid drink in fevers, cholera infantum, etc., and as a gargle it is useful for ulcers of the mouth, etc., as a wash, for chronic inflammation of the eyes, and as an injection for leucorrhoea.

Bayberry (Myrica Cerifera). This is found in damp places, in many parts of the United States, and is very abundant in New Jersey. The bark of the root is the part used. It is astringent and stimulant. Pulverized, and combined with powdered blood root, it forms an excellent application to indolent ulcers. In the form of poultice, combined with powdered slippery elm, it is a useful application to scrofulous tumors or ulcers. The decoction is a good wash for sore mouth, and spongy, bleeding gums. It is chiefly used in the form of tincture, dose, half an ounce; fluid extract, dose, one or two drams ; and the active principle, myricin, dose, two to ten grains.



Bearberry ( Uva Ursi). This plant, also called upland cranberry, has a wide range, being found in the northern parts of Asia, Europe and America. It flowers from June to September, and ripens its berries in the winter. The leaves are the only medicinal part. It is astringent and tonic, and acts particularly upon the urinary organs, for complaints of which it is generally used. It is specially valued as an antilithic in gravel, and as a remedy for chronic inflammation of the kidneys, ulceration of the bladder, etc. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, one third of a dram to a dram; solid extract, dose, five to fifteen grains; tincture, dose, one to two ounces,


Beef's Galls (Fel Bovinum). This being dried by evaporation, is sometimes used as a tonic and laxative, in torpor of the liver, jaundice, indigestion, and costiveness, in doses of from one to ten grains. Three drams of ox gall one dram of extract of conium, two drams of soda soap, and one ounce of sweet oil, make a valuable preparation, which, when applied externally, has a surprisingly rapid effect in reducing enlargement and hardening of the breasts, glandular tumors, particularly enlargement of the tonsils, and is useful in hypertrophies generally. For application to the tonsils, the gall maybe rubbed up with water to the consistence of an ointment, and may be applied with a camel's hair brush.

Benzoin. This is the hardened juice of a tree of Sumatra and Borneo. It is very brittle, of a reddish brown color, and is soluble in alcohol and ether. It is chiefly used for inhalation in chronic laryngitis and bronchitis. When used for this purpose, it may be added to boiling water, and the vapor inhaled; or it may be burned upon coals or a hot shovel the fumes being inhaled.

Benzoic Acid. This is prepared by heating benzoin, and causing it to sublime. It consists of silky, feathery crystals, which are white and soft. It has been found useful in the phosphatic variety of gravel. A convenient way of giving it is to unite one part of it with four parts of phosphate of soda, the dose of which is from ten to twenty grains. Bethroot (Trillium Pendulum). A perennial plant, growing in rich soils, in the Middle and Western States. The root is used, and is astringent, tonic, and antiseptic. It is useful in bleeding from the lungs and kidneys; also in excessive menstruation, cough, asthma, and difficult breathing. Boiled in milk, it is used, in the western country in diarrhea and dysentery. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, one to three drams; trillium, dose, four to eight grains; infusion, dose, two to four ounces; decoction used as a local application to ulcers and sore mouth, and as an injection in leucorrhoea and gleets. A poultice made from the root is useful for carbuncles, indolent tumors, buboes, foul ulcers, and for stings of insects.

Bitter root (Apocynum Androsmmifolium). An indigenous plant, growing in rich soils in the United States and Canada. The root is the part used, and is laxative, tonic, diaphoretic, and alterative. It is employed in chronic affections of the liver, syphilis, scrofula, intermittents, and the low stage of typhoid fevers. Forty to fifty grains will cause vomiting without much nausea. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, as a tonic, ten to twenty drops; as a diaphoretic, fifteen to twenty five drops; as an emetic, halfa dram to a dram. Solid extract, dose, two to eight grains; apocynin, the active principle of the root, dose, half a grain to two grains; tincture, dose, two to three drams; infusion, dose a wine glassful, three times a day.



Bismuth. The principal preparation of this metal used in medicine, is the trisnitrate of bismuth, also called nitrate, sub nitrate, and white oxide of bismuth. It is a white powder, without smell or taste. It is used for various irritable and painful affections of the stomach, when there is no acute inflammation. It is particularly useful in chronic diarrhea, more especially the diarrhea of the latter stages of consumption, over which it has more control than any other known remedy. To show its best effects in this form of diarrhea, it should be given in large doses, not less than fifteen to twenty grains, immediately after each meal. The small doses usually given are comparatively useless. Given in these full doses, it is also almost a specific in heartburn and water brash.

Bittersweet (Solanum Duleamara). This is common in Europe and North America. It is a woody vine, the roots and stalks of which are used in medicine. It is slightly narcotic, and has alterative and diaphoretic properties. It is used in scaly and syphilitic affections of the skin. It is said to have antaphrodisiac properties, and is serviceable in mania connected with strong venereal propensities. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, half a dram to a dram; solid extract, dose, three to eight grains; infusion, dose, one to three ounces, three or four times a day.

Black Alder (Prinos Verticillatus). This shrub is common in the United States, its bark and berries are used. It has been found useful in jaundice, diarrhea, intermittent fever and other diseases connected with debility. Applied locally in the form of a wash or poultice, and given internally, it is popular in chronic eruptions of the skin, and in flabby, ill conditioned ulcers, and mortification. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, two drams; tincture, dose, two to four drams. Two drams of the fluid extract of black alder, one dram of the fluid extract of golden seal, and one pint of water, mixed, and taken in doses of four fluid ounces, three or four times a day, are valuable in dyspepsia.

Blackberry (Rubus Villosus). There are many species of this growing in the United States. The bark of the root is the part used. It is tonic, and strongly astringent, and is a valuable remedy in diarrhea, dysentery, cholera infantum, relaxed condition of the bowels of children, and the passive discharge of blood from the stomach, bowels, and womb. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, half a dram to a dram; solid extract, four to six grains; tincture, dose, two to four drams; infusion, dose, one ounce. This last preparation is also useful as an injection in gleet, leucorrhoea, and prolapsus of the rectum and womb. The syrup of the blackberry root is also a valuable preparation; so also is blackberry brandy, so called, which is the juice of the fruit mixed with brandy. This is excellent in summer complaints.

Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga Bacemosa). This grows in rich soils throughout the United States. The root is the part used. It is slightly narcotic, sedative, antispasmodic, antiperiodic, and exerts a marked influence over the nervous system; being useful in St. Vitus's dance, epilepsy, nervous excitability, asthma, delirium tremens, and many spasmodic affections. It has an especial affinity for the uterus. It reduces the arterial action very materially, and hence is useful in palpitation of the heart. It has been used successfully in acute rheumatism, but more particularly in chronic rheumatism. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, half a dram to two drams; solid extract, dose, four to eight grains; tincture, four ounces to the pint of alcohol; dose, one to three drams; cimicifugin, the active principle, dose, one to six grains.



Black Willow (Salix Nigra). This tree is found in the Northern States, along the banks of rivers, especially in New York and Pennsylvania, and is known by the common name of pussy willow. It is a bitter tonic, and is sometimes used in fever and ague. A decoction made from the buds is said to be a powerful antaphrodisiac, and is accordingly useful in the treatment spermatorrhea.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis). A perennial plant, growing in light, rich soils, in most parts of the United States. The root is the part used. It is emetic, narcotic, expectorant, alterative, esebarotic, and errhine. It is used in typhoid pneumonia, bronchitis, rheumatism, dyspepsia, etc. Three to five grains stimulates the digestive organs, and accelerates the pulse. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, five to fifteen drops ; solid extract, half a grain to a grain and a half; tincture, twenty drops to a dram; sanguinaria, the alkaloid principle, from one twentieth to one tenth of a grain. Four grain pills, made of sanguinarin, twelve grains, caulophyllin, twelve grains, solid extract of cimicifuga, twelve grains, are said to be efficacious in amenorrhea, dysmenorrheal, and other female disorders.



Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum Thalictroides). A perennial plant, growing in low, moist grounds in most parts of the United States. The root is the part used. It is antispasmodic, diuretic, diaphoretic, alterative, emmenagogue, anathematic, parturient, and tonic. it is used in rheumatism, dropsy, epilepsy, hysterics, cramps, amenorrhea, dysmenorrheal, chorea, leucorrhea, hiccough, to hasten delivery, and to relieve after pains. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, fifteen to thirty drops; solid extract, dose, one to three grains; tincture, dose, half a dram to a dram; infusion, dose, two to three ounces; caulophyllin, the active principle of the root, dose, one quarter of a grain to a grain. In cases of protracted labor, occasioned by fatigue or debility, the Infusion is said to be fully equal to ergot in hastening delivery. A wash made by combining one ounce of fluid extract with one ounce of the fluid extract of golden seal, and eight ounces of water, is very excellent for apthous sore mouth.



Blue Flag (Iris Versicolor). A perennial plant, growing in damp places, in most parts of the United States. The root is the part used for medicinal purposes. It is cathartic, alterative, sialagogue, and diuretic. It acts particularly on the glandular system; in large doses, it evacuates and exhausts the system, acting on the liver, and fulfilling the purposes of mercury. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, twenty to forty drops; solid extract, one to three grains; tincture, one to two drams. Iridin, the active and resinous principle, dose, half a grain to three grains. Equal parts of blue flag, mandrake, and prickly~ ash bark, mixed, and given in five to ten grain doses, every two or three hours, will act as a powerful alterative, and cause free salivation, without making the breath offensive or injuring the gums. Three grains of iridin, five grains of leptandrin, and twenty grains of bitartrate of potassa, form an excellent cathartic in dropsy, producing free watery stools.

Blue Pill (Hydrargyri Pilulm), This mercurial preparation, generally known by the common name of blue mass, or blue pill, is made by rubbing mercury, confection of roses, and pulverized liquorices root together until all the mercurial globules disappear. The mass is divided into pills when wanted. It is the mildest of all the mercurial preparations, and the least liable to produce salivation or irritation of the system. But even this should be used sparingly, and with caution, and I do not recommend its use. The blue mass is alterative and cathartic, and is considerably given to stimulate the action of the liver, and to produce an alterative effect upon the digestive organs. The leptandra and the podophyllum have become its rivals, and will, I sincerely hope, finally take its place.

Boneset (Eupatorium Perfoliatum). An indigenous plant growing in most parts of the United States. The tops and leaves are medicinal. It is tonic, diaphoretic, expectorant, and, in large doses, or when taken as a warm infusion, emetic and aperient. Preparations. Fluid extract ,, dose, one to two drams; solid extract, dose, five to fifteen grains; tincture, dose, one to one and one-half ounces; infusion, dose, one to two ounces. Eupatorin, dose, one to three grains. Two scruples of eupatorin, one scruple of xanthoxylin, and one grain of strychnia, mixed, and made into twenty powders, is excellent for torpor of the liver or kidneys, and for rheumatism; one powder being taken three or four times a day.



Buchu (Barosma Crenata). It grows at the Cape of Good Hope. The leaves are the medicinal portion; they are stimulant, diuretic, antispasmodic and tonic. Buchu is chiefly given in complaints of the urinary organs, attended with increased uric acid gravel, chronic inflammation or morbid irritation of the bladder, urethra, and prostate, and retention or incontinence of urine. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, half a dram to two drams; tincture, dose, two I. o five drams; infusion, one to five ounces. A combination of fluid extract of buchu half an ounce, acetate of potash two drams, and water eight ounces, taken in doses of four ounces three or four times a day, is a valuable diuretic. This combination, however, may be improved by the addition of a little sweet spirits of nitre.

Buckhorn Brake ( Osmunda Begalis). This is a fern growing in moist grounds in most parts of the United States. The root, which is the medicinal part, should be gathered in the latter part of May, and in August, and very carefully dried, to prevent molding. It is mucilaginous and tonic, and is used in coughs, diarrhea and dysentery, and as a tonic while getting up from exhausting disease. One root infused in a pint of hot water for half an hour will convert it into a thick jelly. This mucilage may be sweetened with sugar, and freely taken.

Buckthorn (Rhamnus Catharticus). This plant grows in Europe, where it is much esteemed by practitioners. The berries and juice are actively medicinal. It is a powerful cathartic, producing large watery discharges. It is seldom used alone on account of the severity of its action. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, one dram; syrup of buckthorn, made by uniting four ounces of fluid extract with twelve ounces of simple syrup, dose, two drams.

Bugleweed (Lyeopus Virginicus). This grows in shady and wet places throughout a greater part of the United States. The whole herb is used. It is a mild narcotic, sedative, sub astringent, and styptic. It is a valuable remedy in bleeding from the lungs, incipient consumption and pneumonia. It quiets irritation and allays cough and nervous excitement. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, one to two drams; infusion, dose, two to four ounces.

Burdock (Lappa Minor). A native of Europe, and growing in the United States. The root is used, which is useful in scurvy, syphilis, scrofula, gout, leprosy, and disease of the kidneys. It needs to be used for a long time. It is said to be useful for persons afflicted with boils, stye, etc. An ointment prepared from it is serviceable in some diseases of the skin, and obstinate ulcers. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, one dram; solid extract, dose, five to fifteen grains; tincture, dose, half an ounce to an ounce.

Burgundy Pitch. This is the concrete juice of the Norway pine, Abies excelsa, growing in Europe and Northern Asia, and of the silver fir tree of Europe, Abies picea. It gently excites the skin, and is used chiefly in the form of plasters, either alone or mixed with other gums and resins.

Butternut (Juglans Cinerea). This is a forest tree, growing in various parts of this continent, known also by the names of oil nut and white walnut. The inner bark of the root is used, and is a mild cathartic, being useful in cases of constipation. It is much employed by families as a domestic remedy, in intermittent and remittent fevers. It evacuates the bowels without debilitating them. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, one to two drams; solid extract, dose, five to fifteen grains; juglandin, the active principle, dose, one to three grains. A very good pill is made by mixing one and a quarter drams of the solid extract of butternut, three quarters of a dram of the solid extract of jalap, and ten grains of soap, and dividing the whole into sixteen pills. Two or three may be taken for a dose.

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