Synonyms—Bittersweet, woody nightshade.
- Dulcamarin, solanine, gum, resin, wax.
- Extractum Dulcamarae Fluidum, Fluid Extract of Dulcamara. Dose, from half to one dram.
- Specific Medicine Dulcamara. Dose, from one-half to ten minims.
Potatoes and tomatoes belong to this family, and although the fruit is edible, the vines are usually poisonous.
Solanine may be obtained from the new sprouts of the ordinary potato.
Physiological Action—This agent is a powerful poison to all living protoplasm. It coagulates the blood and destroys the integrity of the corpuscles.
Injected into the veins it causes dyspnea, thrombosis in the vessels and arrest of respiration. Toxic doses produce tremors, muscular contractions, central paralysis, collapse, coma, a violent fall of the temperature and death.
It is a narcotic, and in toxic doses causes nausea, vomiting, faintness, pain in the joints, numbness of the limbs, dryness of the mouth, convulsive movements, a small hard pulse, paralysis of the tongue, a purplish color of the face and hands, twitching of the eyelids and lips, trembling of the limbs, erythematous eruption, suppression of venereal desire, though recovery has followed after very large doses. Clarus administered six grains of solanine, which produced general cephalic distress, with occipital pain, increase of the frequency and loss of the force of the pulse, followed after some hours by sudden vomiting, diarrhea, great weakness, and marked dyspnea.
Therapy—Dulcamara is a remedy for all conditions resulting from suppression of secretion, from exposure to cold and dampness. It will restore normal excretion and secretion.
In acute coryza, in bronchial and nasal catarrh, in lung congestion and bronchial cough, with pain in the chest, all from cold, in bronchial asthma, and in acute bronchitis it is an excellent auxiliary remedy.
In eruptive fevers it assists in determining the eruption to the surface, especially if there is retrocession. It has a direct action upon the skin also, being given in pustular eczemas and vesicular disorders quite freely. It has produced good results in psoriasis, pityriasis, lepra, and other scaly skin disorders. It acts as an alterative in such cases, and will influence the skin derangements of scrofula and syphilis to a certain extent. It is available in the various skin disorders of childhood from disordered blood and deranged stomach.
It is an excellent alterative, if administered with care, and is therefore valuable in syphilis, scrofula, and other blood disorders. In acute and chronic rheumatism from exposure to dampness and cold, and in gout, it has been advantageously used.
Nervous irritation with depression, with hyperesthesia of the organs, and pruritus pudendi are relieved by it. It may be used in spermatorrhea with undue excitement, priapism, nymphomania, and satyriasis. It should be given first in small doses, increased to full amount if necessary. In suppression of the menses with headache and nausea and acute ovarian congestion, it will work well.
It is advised in the treatment of catarrh of the bladder, and as a stimulant to the urinary secretion.
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.