Selected writings of A. Jackson Howe.
Professor Howe did not carry a pocket medicine case, but he had always a few remedies in his pocket. With a merry twinkle in his eye he would frequently display before the class a little ivory box of morphine tablets and a half-ounce vial of specific veratrum. The lesson intended was that to know a few medicines well was vastly better than to be less familiar with many. Dr. Howe knew veratrum and used it to effect. His reference to Dr. Palmer is interesting, as it compliments one who, many years ago, dared to investigate and use remedies not popular in his own school. Only recently Dr. Palmer, well along in years and experience, and still an highly honored member of the dominant school in this city, gave expression to his belief in the virtues of several well-known Eclectic medicines and recounted his successful experience with them in his specialty— that of diseases of women.—Ed. Gleaner.
VERATRUM VIRIDE.—At a recent meeting of the Academy of Medicine, in this city, the subject of Antipyresis was up for discussion, and Dr. Palmer is reported as having made the following observations: "A remedy in which the speaker has faith as a febrifuge is tincture Veratrum viride. He considers it superior to Digitalis. It not only reduces the pulse but also the temperature, though not to the same degree. Its effect is well marked if employed in the treatment of pneumonia, and particularly in pelvic inflammations. It need not be, it ought never to be, given in large doses, so large as to provoke vomiting. Small doses frequently repeated act best."
The above quotation is made from the fact that I have been a champion of the remedy for twenty-five years, and now find an able and liberal observer to advocate the same views. My estimate of the worth of Veratrum as a medicine may be too high, but continued experience increases its value as I learn to appreciate therapeutic action. I respectfully request those who entertain prejudice against Veratrum, or who hold Aconite in too high esteem, to employ the agent in pulmonic and uterine troubles.
Another speaker in the discussion referred to above adds to the testimony. He says: "I am glad to hear Dr. Palmer allude to Veratrum viride. I remember distinctly with what derision his former distinguished teacher in theory and practice always spoke of this remedy. For a time I was skeptical as to its utility, but how the medicine was given with confidence in pneumonia, and cases where it was indicated."—HOWE, Eclectic Medical Journal, 1885.
The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.