Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

for more

woody. We are not acquainted with its precise properties, but under. stand that it is much employed in the Southern states. It is said to be purgative and alterative, and probably to possess more or less of the acrid quality common to the Euphorbiace&. It is used in lues venerea, obstinate cutaneous affections and other complaints which are usually treated with Sarsaparilla."

This is historically true, and perhaps all that could have been said by those whose allotted labour and researches were thus circumscribed by the inattention to which the curative virtues of the plant has been doomed by those who, living within its reach, were called upon extended investigations.

The earliest direct knowledge I have of its being brought into use at the South, was communicated to me by my friend Dr. Thos. Y. Simons, of Charleston, S. C. In a letter received from him in 1834, he refers to its having been adopted in hospital practice according to the recipe established by himself. This assertion howerer must not be understood to interfere with the claims of any other practitioner-but none such are within my reach.* At the time alluded to, I resided in Georgetown, S. C., and my attention was at once directed to the successful prescriptions of an old negro, who for many years had engrossed the practice of the neighbouring plantations and of this town in venereal cases, much to the curtailment of the fees of regular practitioners. The secret of his remedy was of course religiously guarded-no bribe or entreaties availed to dispossess him of it. Chance, however, favoured my curiosity, and riding through the woods on a professional visit, I overtook the old man, with mattock and spade so busily engaged that I advanced upon him before he could avoid my inquiry. I found him gathering large sacksful of the Stillingia—and he surrendered at discretion.

I immediately instituted a series of experiments with the plant, and continued to use it without hesitation while I remained in the State.

I have been unable to discover it in the neighbourhood of Mobile, but entertain no doubt that it is not foreign to the soil, it being indigen. ous to all analogous localities.

I was much pleased with its effects, sufficiently so, indeed, to continue it among my standard prescriptions—and disclaiming all pretensions of ranking it among the Panaceas, I will, if your pages are not better pre-occupied, submit to your readers a few cases selected from my me. moranda. I regard it as eminently entitled to a high rank among our best alteratives, and as such I have ordinarily used it, and frequently as an adjunct to other remedies of like character as well as to medicines differing from it in their tendencies.

* Since writing this article 1 discover that Dr. Frost, of the South Carolina Medical college, refers to this plant in his Syllabus. He conjoins its use with that of the Sarsaparilla. From his remarks, however, I infer that the Professor ascribes the efficacy of the prescription to the virtues of the Sarsaparilla wherein we differ, because I obtained influences means of the Stillingia which were not derivable from the use of the Sarsaparilla either alone, or in combination with other approved medicines. Besides, the Stillingia used in powder or tinct. has been equally effective when uncombined. Dr. W. G. Ramsay, of Charleston, S. C., is said also to have prescribed it successfully in the Marine hospital of that city.

3 xxxij.

Case 1st: Secondary Syphilis.-Myrtilla, a free coloured woman, aged 34, of scrofulous temperament, mother of several children, consults me for the following symptoms : ulceration of the throat and posterior nares; entire loss of velum pendulum palati; partial loss of bones of the palate; mercurial erythema of the remainder; great dissonance in speech; ulceration and partial destruction of upper and lower turbinated bones of the nose ; excessively fætid and sanious discharge from the nostrils ; emaciation; rheumatic affections of the limbs and pain in the frontal sinus; strength and appetite greatly impaired.

BE Rad. Stillingiæ Sylvaticæ incis:
Rad. Sarsaparill.

aa 3 iij.
Fol. Sennæ

3 ij. Aq. fontan. Coque usque ad 3 xvi. Cola. Sumat zij dulcific. cum mell. opt. ter in die.*

Inject the nostrils and wash the ulcerated parts frequently with the following wash :

Chlor. calc. 3j.

Aq. fontan. 3 ij. By a steady perseverance in this plan, she left me greatly improved in health and strength, with a sound condition of the diseased parts.

Case 2d: Secondary Syphilis.—Martha, a coloured girl. Throat and nose implicated, but to a less extent than the preceding case. She was put on the use of the Stillingia, and as her symptoms were more recent, I conjoined the use of Van Swieten's pills of Oxymur. Hyd. et Mur. ammoniæ, aa $ gr. three times a day. She was discharged cured.

CASE 3d: Secondary Syphilis.-G. W. T. Rheumatic pains; nodes on tibia and humerus ; nocturnal pains, distressing; daily exacerbations of fever; appetite lost; health and strength rapidly declining; bubo not yet cicatrized, discharge sanious. Prescribed Stillingia, occasionally interposing Dover's powder at night, and black wash to the bubo. Cured.

CASE 4th: Primary Syphilis.-Sarah. Chancres, and great irritation of external labia. Prescribed Decoct. Stillingiæ, Van Swieten's pills, black wash to chancres. Cured.

Case 5th: Congenital Syphilis.—Mary, aged 6 months, born of a mother who, during gestation, had been infected by her husband. The case was well defined by extensive crops of syphilitic eruptions on the genitals and gluteal muscles, with occasional patches on the loins, thighs and back. Great emaciation, skin wrinkled and capable of being wrapped around its limbs.

Rx Oxymur. Hydrar., grs. ij.
Brandy

3 i. Dose: one drop in a tea-spoonful of sweetened water, three times daily -the dose gradually increased to three drops. Decoct. Stillingie, according to preceding formula, one tea-spoonful sweetened with honey three times a day. Perfectly cured, with rapid amendment of health and flesh. N.B.—During this course I also prescribed for the mother the powdered Stillingia, grs. x three times a day, although she had been free from the disease long since.

* This is the formula adopted by Dr. Simons.

CASE 6th: Mercurial Erythema.-W. W. D., aged 22, consulted me for an affection of his throat. On a visit from home he contracted gonorrhea. A physician gave him pills for several weeks, which, he says salivated him to excess. Examination of his throat displayed a high state of erythematous inflammation, involving the whole of the soft palate, the velum and the tonsils, accompanied with papular eruptions. His voice was considerably affected and he suffered severely from mer. curial rheumatism. He had not been tainted with lues at any period of his life. I prescribed the preparation of Stillingia, and at the end of a week he left me for his home, nearly as well as he ever was. I, however, provided him with a supply of the remedy to be continued on his arrival at home. I shortly after received a letter assuring me of his perfect recovery.

Case 7th: Chronic hepatitis- Enlargement of spleen, with icteric symptoms.-J. W., aged 40, of bilious temperament, had been subject to repeated attacks af autumnal bilious remittent and intermittent fevers of our rice districts. His treatment being usually of a domestic nature, was consequently irregular and imperfect. He consulted me under the following circumstances : chronic enlargement of the spleen, sallow complexion, jaundiced suffusion of adnata of the eyes, cachectic diathe. sis, loss of appetite, impaired digestion, much harrassed with eructa. tions, bowels irregular, alvine dejections sometimes pasty and lead coloured, at other times clay coloured, passive epistaxis, gums spungy, breath fætid.

R Mass Hydrarg., grs. v, quaque noct. 3ta.

Decoct. Stillingiæ, 3 ij ter in die. Under this treatment he was entirely restored in four weeks, with the exception of the splenic engorgement which was of long standing.

CASE 8th: J. M. L.-Consulted me on account of a tumour, which his attending physician had told him was a dislocation of the ensiform cartilage! The tumour was the size of a small billiard ball, situated under the skin, midway between the umbilicus and the xiphoid cartilage. It had the feel of a steatomatous tumour, was slightly moveable, gave great pain on pressure and when the body was bent. It was particu. larly uncomfortable after a full meal and during digestion. Its growth had been rapid. His complexion bilious; bowels habitually costive rarely having an evacuation oftener than once in eight days; appetite morbid ; palpitatio cordis especially urgent during digestion, and usually troublesome when taking exercise.

Treatment: I cupped him over the tumour and applied the tartarized ointment to pustulation. He was ordered 5 grs. of blue mass every al. ternate night, followed the next morning by a saline aperient. This course did not effect a disappearance nor even a diminution of the tu. mour. I resorted to the Decoct. Stillingiæ, continuing the blue mass.

At the end of the first week there was an evident decrease of the tumour, with melioration of all the other symptoms—and for the first time in many years his bowels were brought to a normal periodical condition. By a perseverance for six weeks the tumour gradually disappeared and he never was troubled with it up to the time of my departure from the State.-

CASE 9th : Hemorrhæa Petechialis.-- A. C., a coast captain of ir. regular and intemperato habits, subject to frequent attacks of acute, supervening upon chronic, hepatitis, sent for me. I found him labor. ing under the disease at the head of this paragraph. He had been up the river for his load, and being detained by adverse winds, he indulged daily in drinking freely, particularly of porter. He was seized with chilliness followed by fever, which continued high and unintermittingly upon him for three days, without medicine or medical assistance. The wind becoming fair, he returned to Georgetown. While on the passage, he discovered that his body generally, but more especially his arms, legs and feet were covered with what he supposed to be flea bits. His gums were much ecchymosed and spongy, as also the roof of his mouth both discharging blood freely. Complexion thoroughly jaundiced, diffi. cult respiration, pulse full, strong and quick, not compressible. Headache-Eyes turgid. Alvine discharges dark, pitchy, tenacious and scanty.

Treatment : V. S., 3 xvi. Cathartic of Calomel and Jalap.

2d day :-Powder had operated freely, but character of the evacuations not yet changed; pulse softer and more slow; petechiæ still abundant ; gums hemorrhagic; sensations of faintiness, or rather oppression, through the past night; pain of right hypochondrium when pressed.-Repeat the cathartic. Habt. haust. acid nitric.

3d day:--Much improved in general; petechiæ still out. Complains of much pains in the gums, and I distinguish very unequivocal mercu. rial fætor. Upon rigid enquiry I find he had been taken freely of calo. mel previous to his attack while upon the river.—Continue haust. acid nitric and observe caution, as the weather was very cold and damp.

4th day :-Much worse. Contrary to orders he had gone into his garden in thin slippers and occupied himself in trimming a grape arbour. Profuse salivation, accompanied with increased hemorrhagy from gums and slight flow from the legs.-Great mercurial erethism; face swollen and painful; astringent and demulcent gargles allayed the suffering, and I then commenced with the Decoct. Stillingiæ according to the preceding formula, in addition to which I prescribed Scruple doses of Ext. taraxaci three times a day. The effects were obvious in a few days. The petechiæ faded and gradually disappeared; the liver resumed its healthy action; the evacuations assumed a natural character; the gums ceased to bleed and he was at his business in a fortnight after.

The preceeding cases are selected from among others and are suffi. cient to exhibit the various conditions of the system to which the remedy is applicable. It is not infallible. What medicine is or ever has been? But if we possess within our immediate reach a valuable agent, by whose means human suffering can be abridged, and those sufferings appertaining to the most direful and desolating “ills that flesh is heir to," we are inexcusably responsible to the high and solemn obligations we assume as medical men, if we permit this, or any other means of alleviation to remain unnoticed and untried.

V.--Case of old, unreduced luxation of both Radii, backwards, with

bony union of the Radius and Ulna; observed in the dead subject.

By R. J. FARQUHARSON, H.Y., M.D. In a post-mortem examination of the body of a German, æt. 24, dead of typhoid fever, attention was directed to the condition of the elbow joints, by a marked prominence of both external condyles, with the fore. arm on each side fixed in a state of extreme pronation, the back of the hand corresponding to the front of the elbow joint. Flexion was perfect, but complete extension of the arms into a straight line was im. possible. On one side, the phalanges of the fingers were dislocated, forming, by their union, irregular angular lines, accompanied by large cicatrices. Upon dissection, the muscles of the arm and fore-arm were found well developed, their direction and relative position being, however, considerably altered; the insertions of the biceps flexor cubiti and brachialis internus were in immediate contact; the pronator quadratus was as large as usual. The interosseous space and membrane were preserved, being even more extended than normal; this appeared to be brought about by the arched form of the radius, the ulna retaining its straight direction. Upon opening the joint, no marks of laceration of the general capsular ligament were apparent; the head of the radius was found behind the external condyle, lodged in the inter-space between the olecranon and coracoid portions of the great sigmoid cavity; the head of the bone was flattened, and increased in breadth, being covered by a fibrous substance, perhaps the remains of the orbicular ligament. The altered head of the radius formed with the great sigmoid cavity of the ulna, a common articulating surface, upon which the trochlea of the humerus moved in flexion and extension. Appearances almost precisely similar were presented in the dissection of the other elbow joint. A portion of the head of the radius on one side, together with part of the articular surface of the humerus, had a reddish or flesh color, and a diaphanous appearance. Upon making a section of these parts with a scalpel

, (which was easily done), there was found within a soft and thin shell of bone, a delicate areolar structure, filled with a homogeneous substance of a dark-red color, transparent, and much resem. bling jelly. The structure in the condyles of the other humerus was similar, with a thicker coat of cartilage and bone externally, and matter of a lighter color within.

Upon a removal of the soft parts by maceration, the radius was found united to the ulna by bony anchylosis, from the neck down, one-fourth of its whole length: the articular surface of the head of the radius had escaped this bony union almost entirely. The bones of the fore-arm, taken as a whole, are appreciably shortened, but the radius is elongated by an inch or more; the head of the bone being above its normal situa. tion, while the wrist-joint preserves its usual transverse direction. The radius has a decided curve forward, while the humerus is bent inwards in its lower third, and is obviously larger than it should be. That this abnormal state of the parts concerned in the elbow joint was of long standing, will scarcely admit of a doubt: the great change in the form of the head of the radius, the imperfect development of the bones of the fore-arn the bony union, the return of the soft parts about the joint to

« ForrigeFortsett »