Apocynum cannabinum. (Indian hemp.)
Preparation.—The preparation I prefer is, an alcoholic fluid extract, representing the crude article ounce for ounce. Of such fluid extract, the dose will vary from the fraction of one drop to ten drops, as the maximum If the physician prepares his tincture, it should be from the recently dried root in the proportion of ℥viij. to Alcohol 76° Oj.
It is probable that the Apocynum Androsaemifolium possesses identical properties, and as the distinction is recognized with difficulty, even by those most conversant with botanic medicines, they have been used indiscriminately.
The Apocynum is a true specific for that atonic condition of the blood-vessels, that permits exudation, causing dropsy. I have employed it in my practice for some eight years, and it has not failed me in a single case, where the diagnosis was well made.
It is a positive remedy for dropsy, whether it takes the form of oedema, anasarca., or dropsy of the serous cavities, where there is no obstruction to the circulation, and no febrile action. We would not expect it to effect a cure in dropsy from heart disease, or ascites from structural disease of the liver, neither would we where there was a frequent, hard pulse, and other evidences of febrile action. Still in these cases, if we can partially remove the obstruction in the first case, and after an arrest of febrile action in the second, the Apocynum will remove the deposit.
It is not worth while to inquire how it removes dropsical accumulations. It seems to strengthen the circulation, and as absorption takes place there is an increased flow of urine.
I have also employed the Apocynum in cases of passive menorrhagia with advantage. It may be especially recommended in those cases in which the flow is constantly too profuse, too long, and too frequently repeated. I use it with water, in the following proportion: Fluid Extract of Apocynum, ℨj. to ℨij; Water, ℥iv.; a teaspoonful every three hours.
Specific Medication and Specific Medicines, 1870, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.