I will give the Hydrastis a brief notice, as it is in such general use for all the purposes of a tonic, that my readers know as much about it as I do. It improves the appetite and facilitates digestion; but beyond this it relieves gastro-intestinal irritation.
Its topical action, wherever applied, is that of a tonic, strengthening the circulation and nutrition. It is in common use for these purposes in diseases of the skin, diseases of the eyes, and diseases of mucous surfaces.
As a stomachic and tonic, I like the action of the finely powdered root, as well as the more costly preparations. Indeed, in most cases, I would prefer this, in equal quantity, to the Hydrastine.
A tincture made with Alcohol of 30° will be found a good preparation. It is more convenient for carrying, and added to water, gives a pleasant stomachic. A very good prescription would be Rx Tincture of Hydrastis, ℨij.; Tincture of Nux Vomica, gtts. xx.; Water, ℥iv. A teaspoonful every three or four hours.
The Sulphate of Hydrastia is (when properly made) soluble in water in the proportion of four grains to the ounce. It makes a valuable collyrium in chronic conjunctivitis, or the latter stages of the acute. It is also an admirable injection in the second stages of gonorrhoea, and in gleet.
Specific Medication and Specific Medicines, 1870, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.