CRANBERRY TREE-HIGH CRANBERRY-WHITE DOGWOOD-SNOWBALL.
The name Viburnum, the wayfaring tree, was given to this species of plants by Gerard, an English, in reference to its abundance along the roadsides.
Of the two Viburnums which we use, the Opulus and the Prunifolium, the former is widely diffused throughout the north, in this country and Europe.
While Hering says that the first provings were made by Dr. H. C. Allen and eleven others, male and female, and published in 1881, Dr. E. M. Hale used it before this time, and says: “The use of Viburnum opulus in the treatment of dysmenorrhoea did not originate in the practice of any physician. It is a tradition in
this country that the aborigines so used it among themselves, and that the secret of its use was handed down to the white people. Anyway, it has been in successful use here for more than a century as a domestic remedy in many painful affections of women.
We can bear in mind that Viburn. op. contains Valerianic acid. The great and especial use for Viburn. op. is for uterine pains. “The physician who finds a remedy for any painful disorder is a public benefactor. The physician who shall find a remedy for painful menstruation will have the blessing thousands of suffering women” (Hale).
The particular sphere of Viburn. op. seems to be not only for membranous dysmenorrhoea (138) but also for neuralgic (139) and spasmodic dysmenorrhoea, with sudden and excruciating colicky pains through the uterus and lower part of the abdomen, preceding the flow. The especial thought that I have of the remedy is a sensation as though the uterus were congested and full of blood and if the flow would only start there would be relief. The uterine pains are violent and cramplike, and sometimes extended down the thighs (139).
Another symptom of the remedy is cramps in the calves (52), between the menses, worse just before the period, and with scanty and delayed menstruation (136) and dysmenorrhoea.
Hering gives: “Cramps in abdomen and legs of pregnant women.” Hale speaks of its usefulness for the “severe false pains (153) preceding normal labor” and it is of value for after pains (153).
I use Viburn op. in the tincture.