- Helenin, inulin, volatile oil, acrid resin, bitter extractive.
- Extractum Inulae Fluidum, Fluid Extract of Elecampane. Dose from ten to sixty minims.
- Specific Medicine Inula. Dose from five to forty minims.
Administration—The agent is given in infusion to excellent advantage, and a syrup may be prepared which is serviceable in lung troubles.
Helenin is given in doses of from the one-twelfth to the one-fourth of a grain four or five times daily.
Physiological Action—The tonic influence of this agent has been recognized for many years. It acts directly upon the nutritive functions of the body. In general debility from protracted disease or from overwork, or from age, its influence is plainly apparent. It imparts tone to the digestive and respiratory organs and to the urinary tract.
Therapy—In atonic condition of the abdominal viscera with engorgement great relaxation and general inactivity this agent exercises specific properties. It influences not only the character of the circulation but acts also as an alterative, improving the character of the blood. It is of advantage in those atonic conditions where, with great inactivity of the gastro-intestinal tract, there is disorder of the skin and discoloration and eruptions.
The direct tonic influence of inula seems to be exercised also upon the respiratory tract after protracted disease promoting recovery. It lessens excessive bronchial secretion controls the night sweats and imparts real tone and strength.
Hare says that inula has an actively astringent influence. Giving it during the course of cough if there be great secretion the influence is very desirable but if there is but little secretion it makes the cough very tight.
Foreign authorities have written considerable in the last five years on the action of this agent in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis claiming that it has a directly toxic action upon the tubercle bacilli. They believe that a pure alkaloid of inula will exercise a more positive influence than creosote, or guaiacol preparations. Von Unruh experimented with inula and echinacea hypodermically (see echinacea). He uses Subculoid inula, from three to five cc. daily. His first report will be found in The National Quarterly, Volume I, Number 7. It certainly promises favorably. It must be carefully investigated. Inula is a useful remedy in certain coughs.
Perhaps the alkaloid inulin will be found superior to the fluid medicine in these cases. It is certainly an important remedy in the relief of irritation of the trachea and bronchi. Where there is persistent irritating cough, with pain beneath the sternum, and abundant expectoration, the condition being acute or sub-acute in character, and accompanied with sonic elevation of the temperature, it will be found serviceable. It is an expectorant of a soothing character. It is also diuretic and diaphoretic in its general influence. Excessive catarrhal discharges from the bladder are readily controlled by its use, and vaginal catarrh yields readily to its influence. It acts directly upon the glands of the cervix uteri and in catarrhal endometritis it speedily overcomes the glairy mucous discharge and materially improves the condition. Emmenagogue properties are claimed for it but this property has yet to be demonstrated.
Dr. Burd says that he is acquainted with an old German physician who claimed to have cured forty-seven cases of hydrophobia with elecampane, without a single failure. The patients had the diagnostic symptoms plainly marked so that there was no doubt that the disease was present. He made a very strong decoction of the remedy in sweet milk. He gave half a pint of it every hour. He claimed that all these patients vomit a peculiar green vomit, and when this stops the medicine can be discontinued or given in less quantities.
The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.