The use of cactus as a nerve sedative was brought out in the discussions at the last national meeting. Dr. Wagner said that he used it instead of the bromides or other sedative drugs to quiet the nerves where there was much restlessness in the advanced stages of fevers and where there was nervous weakness and excitability in children. In cases where from weakness in protracted acute disease, where the heart was feeble and there was gasping or sighing respiration, he gave it in drop doses frequently repeated, with the best of results.
Nearly twenty years ago I had occasion to use this remedy in the treatment of weak heart from the use of cigarettes, and writing upon that subject at that time, the remedy has since come into general use for that purpose in our school. Dr. Welch, in the discussion above referred to, gave it to a physician's wife who was very feeble, nervous and sleepless, and the results were very prompt. In cases of hysterical women where pulsatilla is indicated, it is seldom that there are any contra-indications for cactus, and if given in combination with pulsatilla the results of the latter are usually intensified.
Dr. Hamlin gives the remedy in cases of neurasthenic old ladies who complain of dizziness and other disagreeable sensations. I have found it most excellent in this class of cases, or in any form of feebleness in aged people especially where the heart was involved. I cannot conceive of a more direct, prompt or generally satisfactory remedy.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.