Notes from the Eclectic Physicians
Notes from the Eclectic Physicians
1854: JOHN KING – GUAIACUM OFFICINALE – GUAIACUM
Properties and Uses -Guaiacum wood is stimulant, diaphoretic, alterative and diuretic. If the body be kept warm while using the decoction, which is the form generally preferred, it will prove diaphoretic; if cool, diuretic. As a diaphoretic and alterative, it has been adminstered (but usually in compoung decoction or syrup), in chronic rheumatism, chronic cutaneous diseases, scroful, and syphilitic diseases. As water cannot take up much of the active principle in the wood, it is probably that its reputed efficacy was owing principally to the active agents associated with the syrup or decoction. The resign of guaiacum is the active principle, which see. The decoction of guaiacum shavings may be made by boiling an ounce in a pint and a half of water down to a pint, the dose of which is from two to four fluidounces every three to four hours.
1855; Dyer (Vegetable Principles) – GUAICUM OFFICINALIS – GUM GUAIAC
This is useful in rheumatism, and enters into the botanical tincture.
We prepare a tincture by percolation from the wood, in the proportions of 3/5viij.to alcohol 76% Oj.Dose, form ten to thirty drops.
The tincture thus prepared may be occasionally used with advantage in the later stages of acute, and in chronic rheumatism. It may also be associated with the vegetable alteratives in the treatment of some chronic diseases, where stimulation of the skin is required. Occasionally it will prove useful in functional diseases of the uterine organs, especially amenorrhea.
1883: Scudder: (alterative)
Preparation:tincture of guaiacum.
Dose: from five to one drachm.
Both the wood and resin are alterative, diaphoretic, stimulant, and diuretic. Guaiacum wood is slightly acrid and stimulant, depending upon the extractive principle which it furnishes. Its decoction occasions thirst, dryness of the mouth, warmth in the stomach with increased heat of the surface, and a more frequent pulse;and if the patient be confined to bed, it serves to promote cutaneous transpiration;and if the surface is exposed to cool air , increased renal activity follows, and if long continued, cardialgia, flatulency, and constipation, and it has been said to produce an eruption of measles when given in large doses.
1883: Scudder – GUAIACI RESINA
Guaiae Resin is an acrid stimulant, its acridity depending upon the extractive principle or bark mingled with the resin.
In small and repeated doses Guaiacum effects changes upon the system an dmany morbid or constitutional states or taints are gradually removed without exerting any sensible effect upon the system, save a slight incease of the secretions. Owing to these silent, inexplicable, and imperceptible changes which it effects, it has been termed alterative.
Guaiac resin is a popular remedy in chronic rheumatism, or the declining stages of the acute. In the same disease, if complicated with secondary syphilis or scrofula, it has been found serviceable.
1895: Lyman Watkins:
Chronic rheumatism with a tendency to tonsillitis,skin dry, joints swollen and tender.
Swelling and tumidity of tonsils, dribbling of saliva, dryness and stiffness in throat, pain on swallowing. Five to ten drops of tincture every two hours.
1898: Webster: (Digestive System)
In a clinical lecture given in Edinburgh in 1889, Dr. Morrell McKenzie remarked as follows regarding the treatment of tonsillitis:-
“A person who has once had acute tonsillitis never really gets well, though he may appear to do so. The treatment, therefore, is important.
One of the most popular remedies is aconite – originally, I believe, a homeopathic drug, but now used extensively by allopaths, (though I object to the term) and strongly recommended by Dr. Ringer. It has certainly never in my hands proved to be of the extraordinary value which he asserts. On the other hand I have found guaiacum, which used to be given in the form of the ammoniated tincture, very efficient. I recollect a Manchester surgeon,
Dr. Crompton, who used to come a good deal to the Throat Hospital about the time it was founded, telling me I should find much more benefit by giving it in the form of a powder; and I did so, letting the patient take a pinch of the resin. This was rather disagreeable, and after a time I had it made into lozenges containing about three grains in each.
In this form it makes an excellent remedy. Nine cases out of ten will get well rapidly if one of these lozenges is given every two hours at the outset.”
1898; Webster; (Muscles) – Guaiacum Officinalis
Guaiac is sometimes useful in chronic rheumatism, though it seems to me that its value has been over-estimated. As it exerts a specific influence upon the throat it may prove especially serviceable in rheumatism of the throat, a condition met at times. As a remedy in chronic rheumatism it should be combined with other remedies of this character, as cimicifuga, colchicum, caulophyllum, salicylate of sodium, etc.
Form for Administration -A tincture of the gum.
Dose -From ten to thirty drops
1898: Felter and Lloyd: GUAIACUM LIGNUM (U.S.P.) – GUAIACUM WOOD
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage – Taken internally, guaiacum, both the wood and resin, commonly excites a sense of warmth in the stomach, and a dryness of the mouth, with thirst. They act upon the economy like stimulants, increasing the heat of the body, and accelerating the circulation. If the body be kept warm while using the decoction, which is the form generally preferred, it will prove diaphoretic; if cool, diuretic. As a diaphoretic an dalterative, it has been administered (but usually in compound decoction or syrup), in chronic rheumatism, chronic cutaneous diseases, scrofula, and syphilitic disease. As water can not take up much of the active principle in the wood, it is probable that its reputed efficiency was owing principally to the active agents associated with the syrup or decoction. The resin of guaiacum is the active principle (which see). The decoction of guaiacum shavings may be made by boiling 2 ounces of the shavings in 3 pints of water down to 2 pints, the dose of which is from 2 to 4 fluid ounces every 3 or 4 hours (see Guaiaci Resina).
1898: Felter and Lloyd: GUAIACI RESINA (U.S.P.) – GUAIAC
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage -Guaiac is stimulant. Taken internally it produces the same effects as named in the wood, but in a more active degree. Large doses act as a cathartic. It is used in the same affections as guaiaci ligni or guaiacum wood. Several practitioners have found it beneficial in …orrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, and other uterine diseases, all of atonic character, likewise in acute dysentery, in which its employment is said to be followed by speedy beneficial results. It is much used in chronic rheumatism, an din the abating stages of the acute form, an dhas proved a most valuable agent in these diseass. It is said to be an antidote to the effects of the tincture of Rhus Toxicodendron. If the preparations of guaiacum produce sickness, defective appetite, and irregularity of the bowels, their use must be discontinued. Guaiac gained its greatest reputation in the treatment of constitutional syphilis, having been liberally used for centuries in the treatment of that malady, but at the present day it is almost discarded as an antisyphilitic. It undoubtedly benefits some cases of rheumatism and is well endorsed as a remedy for rheumatic sore throat or rheumatic pharyngitis. A tincture of guaiac, or preferably the ammoniated tincture is to be used. The latter preparation, as well as troches of the powder, have been highly endorsed as a remedy to abort tonsilitis. For this purpose they must be given early or good effects fail to be produced. In chronic rheumatism, where the circulation of the blood is feeble and the vital functions greatly depressed, and the hands and feet are cold, from 30 to 60 drops of the tincture may be used with expectation of benefit. A good tincture is prepared by macerating 8 ounces of guaiac in 1 pint of alcohol. Guaiac is also of some value in atonic dyspepsia, provided no inflammation is present. Certain chronic skin diseases requiring stimulation, are benefited by guaiac. From 1/20 to 1/10 grain of the resin in 1/2 ounce of thick malt extract is recommended as a remedy for habitual constipation. Guaiac is a remedy in atonic conditions only. It is contraindicated in all active febrile, plethoric, or inflammatory conditions, or where there is vaxcular excitment, tending to hemorrhage, or impaired digestion, with tendency to irritation (Locke). Dose of the powdered resin, from 5 to 20 grains; of the tincture, from 1 to 4 fluid drachms, either of which may be repeated 3 or 4 times a day; ammoniated tincture of guaiac, 10 drops to 1 fluid drachm. A mixture of 10 grains each of guaiac and compound powder of ipecacuanha and opium has been found of advantage in rheumatism and dysentery.
1901 : Harvey W Felter (Alternatives) – GUAIACI RESINA – GUAIAC
BOTANICAL ORIGIN -The resin of the wood of Guaiacum officinale, Linne; Nat. Ord., Zygophylleae. West Indies .
These drugs are obtained from the Guaiac trees of the West Indies . Both the wood and the resin are used as medicines. The former come in small shavings of two colors, the heart-wood being green and the sap-wood yellow. Only the heart-wood is official. It is inodorous except when heated. when it is fragrant. Alcohol and water extract its virtues. The Spaniards introduced this drug into Europe from the West Indies , and it became very popular as an antisyphillitic. The resin is of a greenish-brown color, has an acrid taste, and is soluble in alcohol and slightly so in water. It is an alternative, stimulant, diaphoretic, and tonic. It increases the function of the cutaneous capillaries. Being an active stimulant, it is contra-indicated in all active inflammatory and plethoric conditions, or when there is impaired digestions with a tendency to irritation; also in vascular excitement with a tendency to hemorrhage.
Guaiac may be employed in non-inflammatory dyspepsia as a stimulant. It is very valuable alternative in syphilis. Use the following:
Guaiac Wood, aa. 3 ss.
Water, O iss.
Boil to a pint.
Dose, a wineglassful four times a day.
Sometimes the iodide of potassium or ammonium may be given with it. Given with these salts it is a good alternative in chronic skin diseases when the patient is scrofulous or syphillitic, and there is great torpor of the system.
Guaiac is a decided emmenagogue and powerful stimulant to the sexual organs. It is excellent for atonic amenorrhoea. The specific medicine may be given in half drachm dose every three to four hours. If there is vascular excitement or fever it is contra-indicated.
In chronic rheumatism, with feeble circulation and great depression of the functions of the body, when the feet and hands are cold, give from one-half to a teaspoonful of the tincture. Prepare the tincture by macerating eight ounces of Resin of Guaiac in one pint of alcohol. This preparation is a powerful stimulant and anti-rheumatic. It is useful in asthenic gout. Give from ten to thirty grains of the powder in mucilage.
Use this agent as an alternative when there is great debility and a stimulant is desired. If given early in doses of from twenty-five to thirty drops of the tincture it will abort tonsillitis. The ammoniated tincture of Guaiac, a very decided stimulant, is also used for this purpose.
The dose of Guaiac in powder ranges from ten to thirty grains; of the tincture, from five to sixty drops; of the specific medicine, from one to thirty drops. The infusion must be given in large doses to obtain its alternative effects.
1901 : Harvey W Felter (Alternatives) – GUAIACI LIGNUM – GUAIACUM WOOD
BOTANICAL ORIGIN – The heart-wood of Guaiacum officianale Linne, and of Guaiacum sanctum, Linne; Nat. Ord., Zygophylleae. West Indies .
It is alterative, stimulant, diaphoretic, and tonic. It increases the function of the cutaneous capillaries. Being an active stimulant, it is contrac-indicated in all active inflammatory and plethoric conditions, or when there is impaired digestion iwth a tendency to irritation, also in vascular excitement with a tendency to hemorrhage.
In chronic rheumatism, with feebel circulation and great depression of the functions of the body, when the feet and hands are cold, give from one half to a teaspoonful of the tincture. Prepare the tincture by macerating eight ounces of resin guaiac in one pint of alcohol. This preparation is a powerful stimulant and anti-rheumatic. It is useful in asthenic gout. give from ten to thirty grains of the powder in mucilage.
Amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea when due to atony of the pelvic viscera;inactivity of the skin;chronic muscular rheumatism;obstinate skin eruptions. Guaiacum is of value in inveterate forms of syphilis , gout,rheumatism, lupus and dropsy. it is not well borne when there is a tendency to congestion.
Guaiacum is a low evergreen tree, native to the West Indies and Southern Florida . Its earliest importation into Europe was from San Domingo, as recorded by Oviedo (487), A.D. 1526; but that it was known in Germany previous to that date is proved by treatises by Nicolaus Poll (517), 1517; Leonard Schmaus (578), 1516; and Ulrich von Hutten (332), 1518, by whom it is given a place. Oviedo (487), who landed in America in 1514, observed the tree, which was called by the natives Guayacan. This drug, and its resin as well, was used empirically in domestic (native) medicine before its introduction to the profession.
Resin of Guaiacum is a product obtained from slow combustion, wherein, by a crude method, a horizontal guaiacum log, raised from the ground, is slowly burned, the resin collecting in grooves that are cut in the logs. It is used more extensively than is the wood.
Both the resin and the wood of Guaiacum were recognized from 1820 to the year 1890, the 1820 edition giving as its common name Lignum vitae. The editions of 1900 and 1910 limit the official drug to the “resin of the wood of Guaiacum.” Officially recognized by the U.S.P. 1910 as derived from Guaiacum officinale or from Guaiacum sanctum.
Guaiacum is a low evergreen tree, native to the West Indies and Southern Florida . Its earliest importation into Europe was from San Domingo, as recorded by Oviedo (487), 1526 A. D.; but that it was known previously in Germany, is proved by treatises by Nicholaus Poll (517), 1517; Leonard Schmaus (578), 1516; and Ulrich von Hutten (332), 1518, by whom it is given a place. Oviedo , who landed in America in 1514, observed the tree, called by the natives Guayacan.
This drug, and its resin as well, was used empirically in domestic (native) medicine before its introduction to the profession.
Resin of Guaiacum is a product obtained from slow combustion, wherein, by a very crude method, a horizontal guaiacum log, raised from the ground, is slowly burned, the liquid resin collecting in grooves cut in the log. The resin is used more extensively than is the wood.
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