The root of Aristolochia serpentaria.—U.S.
Preparations.—Tincture of Serpentaria. Compound tincture of Serpentaria.
Dose.—Of either tincture gtt. x. to ℨj.
Therapeutic Action.—Serpentaria is diaphoretic, stimulant, tonic, stomachic and diuretic. It is especially valuable as a diaphoretic and tonic. To fulfill these indications in the treatment of disease, no article with which we are acquainted, surpasses the one now under consideration. It may be exhibited as a diaphoretic during the early stages of febrile and inflammatory diseases with advantage; but it is in the advanced stages, especially in typhoid fevers, that we have found it most important. Acting as it does upon many of the secretions, stimulating and promoting them, and as an excitant to the vascular system, while at the same time it exerts a sustaining influence on the enfeebled system, it is rendered an agent of rare virtues in the cases referred to. Prof. Wood states, that it is admirably adapted to the treatment of typhoid fevers, whether idiopathic or symptomatic, when the system begins to feel the necessity for support, but is unable to bear active stimulation.
We have found the Serpentaria very useful in the exanthematous diseases, when the excitement was feeble, and the eruption tardy in making its appearance, for the purpose of facilitating the eruptive process. It is equally valuable when a retrocession has taken place, causing a determination to the surface, thereby relieving congestion of internal organs, and reproducing the eruption.
In small doses it promotes the appetite; in large doses it produces diaphoresis if the surface is kept warm, and diuresis if exposed to the cold air; it may also cause nausea, and act as an aperient.
The American Eclectic Materia Medica and Therapeutics, 1898, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.