In large doses this agent produces very speedily a considerable fall in the pulse, even down to forty and ten beats. It causes vomiting, cold and clammy skin, vertigo, loss of consciousness, convulsions. Its action is very analagous to that of the Aconitum-napellus; its depressing influence over the pulse seems to be more marked than in the case of Aconite, but the subsequent reaction is less violent.
We have some splendid provings of this drug by Dr. Burt, of Illinois, for which we refer the reader to Hale’s New Remedies, page 1033. In its general action upon the organism, this drug is analogous to Aconitum-napellus, Digitalis, Gelseminum, Lobelia-inflata, Tartar-emetic. It has been extensively used in eclectic and allopathic practice, and more recently the homoeopathic profession have begun to appreciate the remarkable curative powers of this agent in a variety of diseases, more particularly in:
Convulsions and chorea; some of the most dreadful cases of nervous derangements, and of puerperal convulsions, have yielded promptly to tolerably large doses of the tincture of Veratrum- viride.
In cerebro-spinal meningitis, this drug may be usefully associated with Aconite, Belladonna, Gelseminum and Cimicifuga- racemosa.
In the various forms of fever, simple remittent, bilious, infantile remittent, exanthematic and even typhoid and yellow fever, it is highly praised by physicians of every school. On account of its powerfully depressing influence over the pulse, it should be prescribed in moderately small doses, not in the heroic doses which eclectic and allopathic physicians are in the habit of resorting to. Five drops of the tincture in six or eight ordinary tablespoonfuls of water, in dessertspoonful doses, more or less frequently repeated, according to circumstances, will be borne even by children.
In congestive chills we give this drug with great relief to the patient, during the congestive stage of the fever.
In acute rheumatism and erysipelas, the Veratrum-viride has been used with good effect. It depresses the pulse, lowers the temperament and excites a salutary perspiration. A lotion of the drug may be applied externally to the inflamed and swollen parts.
In congestive headache and simple hyperaemia of the brain, this agent deserves favorable mention by the side of Aconite and Belladonna. Even in the first stages of true meningitis it may be given with great propriety in alternation with Belladonna. The Veratrum may be given in the lower dilutions or even in the form of tincture; Belladonna second or third dilution.
The remarkable action of Veratrum-viride upon the stomach justifies its use in cardialgia with vomiting, retching and excessive irritability of the stomach.
According to the testimony of physicians, Veratrum-viride has been used with success in various affections of the sexual organs of both males and females. It has reduced the inflammation in orchitis and metritis, has been advantageously employed in the dysmenorrhoea of plethoric individuals, has subdued hysterical and puerperal convulsions and puerperal mania. Professor Simpson recommends this drug in puerperal fever.
Keith offers the following sensible remarks on the subject of Veratrum-viride: “It is used in pneumonia, rheumatism, pleurisy, typhoid, bilious and intermittent fevers, and in most cases where there is high febrile and inflammatory action. In the treatment of dysentery it is a superior auxiliary, given every three or four hours, following it in one or two hours with one or two grains of the Geranin. There are but few remedies by which the heart’ action can be so readily and surely controlled as with the Veratrum, which renders it a valuable remedy in palpitation, and where there is high arterial excitement. It may also be used in neuralgia.”
In palpitation of the heart from anaemia, small doses of Veratrum-viride will prove beneficial.
In pleurisy, we think Veratrum-viride is much less efficient than Aconite and Bryonia; but in the first or congestive stage of pneumonia, we fully agree with a number of other practitioners, that this agent is at least the equal of, if not the superior, of Aconite. Under the influence of Veratrum-viride, if administered in suitable doses, the pulse very soon diminishes in frequency, the capillaries are freed from their engorgement and a moderate perspiration breaks out, with great relief to the patient.