Chapter 28 - Medicinals A - Z

28.3 C

Calcined Deer's Horn ( Cornu Cervinm Ustum). The horns of the deer are said to be in velvet between August and December, and during this period those which fall are collected, coarsely rasped, and placed in an iron vessel, which is tightly covered and placed in an oven, or elsewhere, and subjected to a heat of 200' F., which is continued until the rasped horn becomes of the color of roasted coffee. When cooled, it is reduced to powder by trituration, and preserved in closely stopped vials. It is a powerful styptic, taken in teaspoonful doses every half hour; or, a teaspoonful added to a gill of hot water, and a tablespoonful of this taken every five or ten minutes. It has much efficacy in floodings from the womb, and in excessive menstruation.

Calomel (Hydrargyri Chloridum Mite). This is prepared from mercury, sulphuric acid and common salt. It is alterative, antisyphilitic, and anthelmintic, and, in doses, purgative. It is much used in venereal diseases and chronic affections of the liver, combined with opium; in dropsies, combined with squill, foxglove and elaterium; and in rheumatism and leprosy, combined with antimonials, guaiacum, and other sudorifies. In the beginning of fevers and other complaints, it is often combined with purgatives, as gamboge, scammony, jalap and rhubarb. Given in small doses, not large enough to purge, it gradually excites salivation. Dose, from one to three grains. The tendency of this article to produce salivation, to injure the gums, loosen the teeth, etc., has given rise to much prejudice against it in the public mind; and, indeed, it must be confessed that it has been used by many, from time immemorial, with great indiscretion. In the hands of sensible and prudent men, it is very serviceable in some cases; but the podophyllum and leptandra have so fine an action upon the liver, that they are fast taking the place of calomel and other mercurials, and possibly may in time wholly supersede them. I have not prescribed it in this book, and do not recommend its use.

Camphor.This is obtained from an evergreen tree, growing in the East Indies, Laurus camphora. It is a white, shiny, crystalline substance, extracted from the wood and roots of the above named tree by boiling them, and is subsequently purified by sublimation. It has a penetrating, peculiar diffusible odor, and a pungent, cooling taste. It is moderately stimulant, diaphoretic, and antaphrodisiac. Dose, from one to ten grains.

Canada Balsam. This is the fluid obtained from the fir balsam, Abies balsamea, of Canada, Maine, etc. It is a stimulating, diuretic, and, in large doses, cathartic. A dose is from ten to fifteen drops, two or three times a day, in pills, or in emulsion. It forms a part of several ointments and plasters. It is used to mount objects in microscopic investigations.

Canada Fleabane (Erigeron Canadense). An annual plant, growing in the Northern and Middle States. It is diuretic, tonic, and astringent, and has been found useful in dropsical complaints and diarrhea. The dose of the powder is from thirty grains to a dram; of the infusion, from two to four fluid ounces ; of the solid extract, from five to eight grains; to be repeated, in each case, every two or three hours.

Canella ( Canella Alba). This is the bark of a South American tree, and is an aromatic stimulant and a gentle tonic, and useful in debility of the stomach.

Caraway ( Carum Carui). This biennial plant grows in Europe, The seeds are the part used, and are aromatic and carminative; they are used in wind colic, and to improve the flavor of other medicine. The dose is from ten to sixty grains. The dose of the oil of caraway, extracted from the seeds, is from one to five drops.

Cardamom (Alpinia Cardamomum). This plant grows on the mountains of Malabar. The seeds, which are the medicinal parts, are aromatic and carminative, and are used to expel wind, and to flavor medicines. Dose, from ten grains to two drams. The volatile oil obtained from them has similar properties.

Cascarilla. This medicine is the bark of the West India shrub, Croton eleuteria. It has an aromatic odor, and a warm, spicy taste. It is a pleasant aromatic and tonic, and is used in dyspepsia, chronic diarrhea and dysentery, wind colic, and other debilities of the stomach and bowels. It counteracts the tendency of cinchona to produce nausea. Prevention Fluid extract, dose, twenty to twenty five drops. tincture, dose, one dram; infusion, dose, one to two drams. An alkaline infusion, composed of fluid extract, three ounces; carbonate of potassa, two drams; and water, ten ounces, is excellent in weak stomach, with acidity. Dose, one dram.

Castor ( Cestrum). A peculiar substance obtained from the beaver. It is antispasmodic and emmenagogue. It is used in typhus, hysterics, epilepsy, retention of the menses, and in many other nervous diseases. Dose, from ten to fifteen grains. A medicine of no great value.

Castor Oil ( Oleum Ricini). This is obtained by expression from the seeds of the castor oil bush, Ricinus communis. When exposed to the air, it becomes rancid and spoils. As a mild cathartic this oil is extensively used, but may be rendered less offensive by being mixed with a few drops of oil of wintergreen, peppermint or cinnamon; and its bad taste may be nearly destroyed by rubbing it up to a thick batter with carbonate of magnesia. Or, if boiled a few minutes with a little sweet milk, sweetened with loaf sugar, and flavored with essence of cinnamon or peppermint, it may be easily taken. Dose, for an adult, one to two tablespoonfuls; for a child, one, two or three teaspoonfuls, according to its age.

Catechu. This is a solid extract, made from the wood of the Acacia catechu, a tree growing in Asia. It is in dark, brown, and 'brittle pieces, and is soluble in alcohol. It is a powerful astringent, and is used in chronic diarrhea and chronic dysentery. It makes a useful gargle in some forms of sore mouth, in elongated uvula, spongy gums and sore nipples. The dose of the powder is from ten to twenty grains, and of the tincture, from one to two teaspoonfuls.

Catnip (Nepeta Cataria). A native of Europe, and widely naturalized in this country. The tops and leaves are the medicinal part, and are carminative and diaphoretic when drunk as a warm infusion. It is useful in fevers, in wind colic, nervous headache, hysterics, and nervous irritability. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose two to three drams; infusion, dose two to three ounces. Fluid extract of catnip, two ounces; and the fluid extract of saffron, one ounce and a half, united, make a popular remedy for colds, and the rashes of children. In nervous complaints, a combination of fluid extract of catnip, six drams; fluid extract of valerian, four drams; and fluid extract of skullcap, four drams, is a valuable remedy. Dose, one to two drams.

Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum Annuum). This plant grows in hot climates, and is known by the common name of red pepper. The berry, which is the part used, has an intensely hot and pungent taste. It is a powerful, diffusible stimulant. and is about the only, stimulus which the stomach will bear in certain forms of dyspepsia. It is useful in all cases of diminished vital action, and is frequently united with other medicines, either to promote their action, or to lessen the severity of their operation. It is much used in colds, hoarseness, etc., as it promotes a free discharge of mucus and phlegm. Taken in small doses, it has a fine effect upon the mucous membrane of the stomach and bowels, lessening very much the severity of piles, and sometimes curing them. It may be sprinkled daily upon the food, or taken in the form of cayenne lozenges; it is frequently useful as a gargle in sore throats, scarlet fever, etc. Dose of the powder from one to eight grains. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, five to ten drops; tincture, dose, half a dram to a dram, used in low forms of fever, and gastric insensibility; infusion, dose, one to two drams. A valuable gargle in scarlet fever may be made by combining fluid extract of cayenne one ounce; common salt, one dram; boiling vinegar, one pint; boiling water, one pint.

Celandine (Chelidonium Majus). This plant is indigenous to Europe, and is extensively naturalized in the United States. It is a drastic purge, producing watery stools, and is equal to gamboge; it is useful in affections of the liver, and particularly in those of the spleen. In the form of a poultice it is effective in scrofula, indolent ulcers, skin diseases, and piles. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, ten to fifteen drops; solid extract, dose, five to eight grains; tincture, dose, half a dram to a dram; infusion, dose, two and a half to four drams. A very good hydragogue cathartic is made by compounding two and a half drams of fluid extract of celandine with half a dram of fluid extract of henbane, one ounce of sulphate of potassa, one grain of tartar emetic, six ounces of elder water, and ounce of syrup of squill.

Chalk. On account of its gritty particles, it is unfit for medicinal use until it has been levigated, after which it is called prepared chalk. This is the only form in which it is used in medicine. It is an excellent antacid, and is admirably adapted to diarrhea accompanied with acidity. The most convenient form of administering chalk is that of the chalk mixture, which consists of prepared chalk, I half an ounce; sugar and powdered gum arabic, two drams each; cinnamon water and water, four fluid ounces each, and rubbed together. in a mortar till they are thoroughly mixed. Dose, a tablespoonful frequently repeated.

Cassia Buds. This spice is a product of China. It consists of the calyx surrounding the young germ of one or more species of cinnamon. Cassia buds have some resemblance to cloves, and are compared to small nails with round heads. They may be used for the same purposes as the cinnamon bark.

Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis). This perennial plant grows in Europe, and its flowers, the whitest of which are best, are considerably used in medicine. They are gently tonic, and are generally used in cold infusion, in cases of weak stomach, dyspepsia, etc. In large doses, the warm infusion will act as an emetic. Preparations. Fluid, extract, dose, half a dram to a dram; solid extract, dose, four to fifteen grains; infusion, dose, half an ounce to an ounce. For dyspepsia, wind in the stomach, etc., thirty pills may be made by combining one dram of solid extract of chamomile with five grains of the solid extract of rhubarb and ten grains of asafetida, and taken, one pill at a time, two or three times a day, with advantage.

Charcoal (Carbo Ligni). Prepared charcoal is antiseptic and absorbent, and is employed with great advantage in certain forms of dyspepsia, attended with bad breath and putrid eructations; it has a good effect in correcting the fetor of the stools in dysentery: it is considerably used, and with much advantage, as an ingredient in poultices. Dose, when taken internally, from one to three teaspoonfuls.

Chloroform ( Chloroformum). This is an anesthetic, used to produce insensibility during surgical operations. A teaspoonful or more is poured upon a handkerchief, which is held to the patient's nose, but not so closely as to prevent the admission of air. The numerous sudden deaths which have occurred from its use prove it to be an unsafe agent, and it is now seldom employed by careful surgeons. Taken internally it is sedative and narcotic; applied externally, combined with other articles, it is useful in painful affections, as nervous headache, rheumatism, neuralgia, etc. The dose when taken internally is from ten to twenty drops, in flax seed tea.

Cinnamon. This is the bark of trees growing in Ceylon, Malabar, and Sumatra. It is a very grateful aromatic, being warm and cordial to the stomach; it is also carminative and astringent. It is not often prescribed alone, but is chiefly used as an aid to less pleasant medicines, and enters into a great number of preparations, It is peculiarly adapted to diarrhea; and in treating this complaint it is often joined with chalk and astringents. Dose of the bark, from ten to fifteen grains. The oil has properties similar to those of the bark.

Cleavers ( Galium Aparine). An annual plant, common to this country and Europe, having an acid, astringent taste. The whole herb is used in infusion, as a cooling diuretic, in scalding of the urine, inflammation of the kidneys and bladder, in gravel, suppression of the urine, etc. It is also used in fevers and all acute diseases. The infusion is made by adding two ounces of the herb to a pint and a half of warm water. It should stand three or four hours, and be drunk freely when cold. Equal parts of elder blows, cleavers, and maiden hair, infused in warm water, make a refreshing drink in scarlet fever and other eruptive diseases.

Cloves ( Caryophyllus Aromaticus). The flowers of this tree, a native of tropical climates, collected before they are fully developed, form cloves. They are highly stimulant and aromatic, and are used to give tone to the digestive organs, particularly when flatulency exists, and to relieve nausea and vomiting. They are more generally employed to improve the taste and modify the action of other medicines. The dose in powder is from five to eight grains. The oil of cloves has similar properties; dose, one to three drops. A little cotton moistened with the oil, and pressed into a decayed tooth, will frequently relieve the toothache.

Cochineal ( Coccus Cacti). An insect found in Mexico, inhabiting different species of cactus. They are gathered for use by detaching them from the plant with a blunt knife, and dipping them, enclosed in a bag, into boiling water. Cochineal is anodyne, and bag been used with advantage in whooping cough and neuralgia. It is much used for coloring tinctures and ointments, and the color called carmine is prepared from it. A tincture is prepared by macerating two ounces of cochineal in one pint of alcohol for seven days, and filtering through paper. Dose, from twenty to twenty five drops, twice a day.

Cod Liver Oil (Oleum Morrhuce). This is obtained from the livers of codfish, and is nutritive and alterative. It is a popular remedy in consumption and scrofula, and in those complaints generally in which there is impaired digestion, assimilation, and nutrition. Dose, a tablespoonful three times a day. Inability to digest this oil, to eat fat meats, or to take fats in any form, is an unfavorable indication in consumption.

Collodion. This is gun cotton dissolved in ether. It is applied with a camel's hair brush, to cuts, burns, wounds, leech bites, etc., over which it forms a thin pellicle or skin, protecting the injured part from the atmosphere. It should be kept in well stopped bottles, to prevent its evaporating and becoming unfit for use.

Colocynth ( Cucumis Colocynthis). A native of northern Africa. The part used in medicine is the fruit deprived of its rind. It is a powerful drastic, hydragogue cathartic; causing, by its harsh action, griping, vomiting, and sometimes bloody discharges; from the severity of its operations, it is rarely used alone. Useful in dropsy, derangements of the brain, and for overcoming torpid conditions of the digestive and biliary organs. Preparations. Solid extract, dose, two to twenty grains; compound extract, dose, two to twenty grains.

Colombo (Cocculus Palmatus). A perennial climbing plant, growing in East Africa, and cultivated in the Isle of France. It is a pure, bitter tonic, and is used in dyspepsia, bilious vomitings which attend pregnancy, and during recovery from exhausting diseases. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, twenty to thirty drops; solid extract, dose, four to eight grains; tincture, dose, one to three drams; infusion, dose, three drams to an ounce. A compound infusion made by uniting one dram of fluid extract, four drams of orange peel, and one ounce of water, is useful in a weakened state of the bowels, showing itself in a diarrhea. Dose, two drams every hour. Fluid extract of colombo, one ounce; fluid extract of ginger, two drams, and water, one pint, also make a useful compound for the same purpose. Fluid extract of colombo, one dram; fluid extract of rhubarb, one dram; fluid extract of ginger, half a dram; water, one pint, this is useful for a like purpose. The following is also a very good preparation for a similar use; fluid extract of colombo, half an ounce; fluid extract of cascarilla, two drams; tincture of orange peel, two drams; syrup of cinnamon, one ounce; water, six ounces. Dose, one dram every hour.

Coltsfoot (Tussilago Farfara). A native of Europe, and naturalized in this country, especially in the Northern States. It grows ill wet places and low meadows. The leaves are principally used. They are emollient, demulcent, and slightly tonic; used in coughs, asthma, and whooping cough; and externally in the form of poultice for scrofulous tumors.

Comfrey (Symphytum Officinale) . A perennial European plant, cultivated in this country. The root is the part used. It is demulcent, and slightly astringent, and is serviceable in diseases of the mucous tissues, and in scrofulous habits; also in diarrhea, dysentery, coughs, bleeding from the lungs, whites, etc. It may be taken as an infusion, or as a syrup, one ounce to a pint of water; the dose being one to three fluid ounces, three to four times a day. The fresh root bruised forms a valuable application to ulcers, bruises, fresh wounds, sore breasts, and white swellings.

Common Silk Weed (Aselepias Syriaca). This is a perennial plant, common throughout the United States. It gives out a milky juice upon being wounded, and hence is often called milk weed. he root is diuretic, alterative, emmenagogue, and anodyne; and is sometimes used in dropsy, retention of urine, suppressed menstruation, scrofula, and rheumatism. Dose of the powder, from eight to twenty grains; of the decoction, from one to two fluid ounces.

Copper (cuprum). The following are the principal salts of copper used in medicine: Subacetate of Copper ( Cupri Subacetas). This is known by the name of verdigris, and is used as a detergent and escharotic; it is applied to warts and fungous growth is, and to foul ulcers and ringworm. When reduced to a fine powder, by trituration in a porcelain mortar, the finer parts of this are separated, and called prepared sub acetate of copper; this is the preparation used for the purposes above named.

Sulphate of Copper (Cupri SuIphas). In small doses, the sulphate of copper is astringent and tonic; in large ones a prompt emetic. It is given in small doses in hysterics, epilepsy, and intermittent fevers; and in large doses, to produce speedy vomiting in croup, and to eject poisons from the stomach. A weak solution is sometimes used for syphilitic ulcers, and as an injection in gleet. Dose, as a tonic, one quarter of a grain to one grain in pill; as a rapid vomit, from two to five grains, in two ounces of water. The medicines which are incompatible with copper, are alkalis, earths and their carbonates, borax, salts of lead, acetate of iron, and astringent vegetable infusions, decorations, and tinctures.

Corrosive Sublimate. This, in chemical language, is the bichloride of mercury. It is one of the milder mercurial preparations, although when taken in large doses, 1*~c-. is a violent poison, and operates very quickly. It is less apt to salivate than any other mercurial, except blue pill. It is much used as a remedy in syphilis, particularly in the secondary stage, in which, in many cases, it does much good. It is also popular in many skin diseases, as leprosy. When employed for this purpose, it is generally associated with alterative and diaphoretic medicines, such as the compound decoction or syrup of sarsaparilla, preparations of yellow dock, etc. In order to avoid its irritating effects, it is often united with opium, or extract of conium. Dissolved in water, it is valuable as a wash in some skin diseases. It is an ingredient in many of the quack nostrums which are extensively advertised. It is the most powerful antiseptic known.

Cotton ( Gossypium Herbaceum). Cotton is chiefly employed in cases of recent burns and scalds, an application of it which surgeons have learned from popular use. It diminishes the inflammation, prevents blistering, and hastens the cure. It is applied in thin and successive layers. The absorbent should be used. The inner bark of the root is said to be emmenagogue, parturient, and abortive. It is excellent in chlorosis. Preparation. Fluid extract, dose, three drams.

Cranesbill (Geranium Maculatum). An indigenous plant, growing in all parts of the United States, in the open woods. The root is the medicinal part. It is a powerful astringent, similar to kino and catechu, and a valuable substitute for those articles, because less expensive. It forms an excellent gargle in sore throats and ulcerations of the mouth, and is valuable for treating those discharges arising from debility, after the exciting causes are removed. It has no unpleasant taste, and is therefore well adapted to infants and persons of delicate stomachs. As an injection, it is used in gleet and whites. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, half a dram to a dram; solid extract, dose, three to ten grains ; geraniin, the active principle, dose, one to three grains ; tincture, dose, two and a half to three drams; infusion, dose, one to two ounces. A valuable, astringent wash for sore mouth etc., and as an injection in leucorrhea, etc., is made by uniting fluid extract of cranesbill, half an ounce ; fluid extract of black colhosh, half an ounce; fluid extract of golden seal, half an ounce; fluid extract of witch hazel, half an ounce; and water, one quart. Geraniin, dioscorein, and caulophyllin, united in equal parts, and given to an adult in six grain doses, every fifteen or twenty minutes, have an excellent effect in diarrhea and cholera morbus, when there is much pain and rumbling of the bowels.

Crawley ( Corallorhiza Odontorhiza). A perennial plant, growing on barren hills and hard clay soils in New York. The root is the part used. It is sedative and diaphoretic, and is used in inflammatory diseases, and in typhoid fever; also in flatulency, cramps, hectic fever and night sweats. When the liver requires to be acted upon, it should be combined with mandrake or Culver's root. The powdered root should be kept in well stopped vials; its dose is from twenty to twenty five grains, in warm water, every hour or two.

Creosote ( Creosotum). This is obtained by the distillation of tar. It is irritant, narcotic, styptic, antiseptic, and moderately escharotic. It has been given in diabetes, epilepsy, hysterics, neuralgia, bleeding from the lungs, and chronic bronchitis. It is an excellent remedy for arresting nausea and vomiting, when not dependent on inflammation. The dose, when given internally, is one or two drops. It is most easily taken in the form of pill. In some forms of bronchitis, the vapor of creosote is inhaled with advantage. It may sometimes be applied with excellent effect, to indolent or ill conditioned ulcers, in which case, two, four, or six drops may be dissolved in an ounce of distilled water. In some cases the solution is mixed with poultices. One or two drops of pure creosote, introduced into a hollow tooth on a little cotton, is generally a speedy remedy for tooth. ache, but great care must be taken that it does not come in contact with the tongue or cheek.

Croton Oil ( Oleum Tiglii). This is obtained from the seeds of the Croton Tiglium, a plant growing in the East Indies. It is a powerful cathartic, producing watery stools, and is used in torpidity of the bowels, dropsy, apoplexy, mania, inflammation of the brain, hydrocephalus, coma, and wherever a powerful revulsive action is needed to call the blood away from the brain. A drop placed on the tongue of a person in the comatose state, will generally operate. Two to six drops, rubbed upon the skin, produce an eruption of pimples in twelve hours. In this way, it is used in diseases of the throat and chest, and some other affections. If the skin is very sensitive, let it be combined with an equal quantity of sweet oil. Use only under the direction of a physician.

Cubebs ( Cubebe). A climbing perennial plant, growing in the East Indies. The berries are the medicinal part. They are stimulant, purgative, and diuretic, acting particularly upon the urinary organs and arresting discharges from the water pipe, and much used in the treatment of gonorrhea and gleet. It should not be used during active inflammation. Dose of powdered cubebs, from thirty to forty grains. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, half a dram to a dram and a half ; ethereal fluid extract, dose, one to two drams; solid extract, dose, two to twenty grains; tincture, dose, one to two drams. A compound, made of fluid extract of cubebs, five drams; fluid extract of ergot, one and a half drams; cinnamon water, half a dram ; and powdered loaf sugar one dram, may be taken with advantage in gonorrhea, gleet, and leucorrhea; dose, one dram.

Culver's Root (Leptandra Virginica.) A perennial plant growing throughout the United States in limestone districts, and flowering in July and August. The root is the medicinal part. It is frequently called black root. When dried, it is tonic, cholagogue, and laxative, and is a very valuable remedy in affections of the liver, as it acts upon this organ with energy, without purgation. It is also useful in typhoid fevers, and in dyspepsia, diarrhea, and dysentery. A powder is made from it, containing its active principle, and called leptandrin, which has a fine effect in diarrhea, cholera infantum, typhoid fever, some forms of dyspepsia, and in all diseases connected with derangements of the liver. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, one third of a dram to a dram; leptandrin, the active principle, dose, in acute cases, one fourth of a grain to one grain; in chronic cases, one to two grains; tincture, two ounces to a pint of alcohol, dose, one dram to one half ounce.

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