The leaves and tops of Epilobium angustifolium, Linné, and Epilobium palustre, Linné (Nat. Ord. Onagraceae). North America. Dose, 10 to 60 grains.
Common Names: 1. Willow Herb, Great Willow Herb, Rose Bay, Wickup. 2. Wickop, Swamp Willow Herb, Marsh Epilobium.
Principal Constituents.—The plants have not been satisfactorily examined.
Preparations.—1. Infusum Epilobii, Infusion of Epilobium (1 ounce to water, 16 fluidounces). Dose, 2 fluidrachms to 1 fluidounce.
2. Specific Medicine Epilobium. Dose, 10 to 60 drops.
Specific Indications.—"Diarrhoea with colicky pain; feculent discharges with tenesmus; diarrhoea with contracted abdomen; chronic diarrhoea with harsh, dirty-looking, contracted skin"; diarrhoea of typhoid fever; typhoid dysentery.
Action and Therapy.—Epilobium is a remedy for the diarrhoea of debility and irritability of the intestinal mucosa. It is the most certain and kindly remedy we have ever used to control the diarrhoea of typhoid fever; and the experience covers a period of years. The diarrhoea does not entirely cease, but becomes reduced to fewer movements and of an increased consistence.
It has long been recognized as a valuable agent in "camp or army diarrhoea"; and in domestic practice it is in common use in some parts of the country to check the summer diarrheas of young children—mucoenteritis, enterocolitis, gastro-enteritis, and cholera infantum. The experience of physicians justifies these claims. The indication is greenish discharges of half-digested food and mucus. It is equally useful in chronic dysentery and in that of a typhoid type. In most cases of intestinal irritation it acts well, and is indicated by a slick, contracted tongue with nearly effaced papillae and pinched emaciated features. It is also of service in impaired digestion with uneasy sensations in the abdomen, sometimes amounting to pain and even colic, and accompanied by a persistent diarrhea. The infusion is the best preparation. It may be prepared in the usual way, and aromatized with essence of peppermint and preserved with a small quantity of glycerin.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.