Natural order. Apocynaceae. Common name. American hemp. Habitat. A perennial plant growing throughout the United States, north of the Carolinas. Preparation. Tincture from the fresh root. General Analysis Acts upon the kidneys, skin, and serous membranes, giving rise to various dropsical affections; also to some extent upon the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, especially the intestines, where it causes increased secretions watery diarrhoea. It causes weakness of the sphincters of the rectum and bladder, and produces congestion of the haemorrhoidal vessels. It also has a depressing action upon the heart, causing great weakness and irregularity of the pulse. Characteristic Symptoms Mind Bewildered; nervous; low-spirited (Lycopodium, Natr. mur., Pulsatilla). Head Vertigo, suddenly appearing and disappearing. Hydrocephalus; stupor; sight of one eye totally lost, the other slightly sensible; constant involuntary motion of one arm and leg; forehead projecting; sutures open; stage of exudation. Stomach Great thirst, but water disagrees, causing pain, or is immediately thrown off (Arsenicum). Thirst on waking. Short unsatisfactory respiration. Sinking feeling at pit of stomach (Hydras., Ignatia, Pulsatilla, Sepia). Distressing vomiting at intervals. Great irritability of the stomach and vomiting. Abdomen Ascites. Abdomen distended and painful (Arsenicum, Mercurius). Stool Tenesmus of rectum. Bearing down pain in anus. Evacuations very scanty. Watery stools. Symptoms always immediately after eating. Urinary Organs Scanty discharge; no uneasiness. Profuse light-colored urine; no sediment (Apis, Argentum nit.). Female Organs Menorrhagia continuous or paroxysmal; fluid or clotted; nausea; vomiting, palpitation; pulse quick, feeble when moved; fainting when raising head from pillow. Respiratory Organs Cough short and dry, loose and r The great clinical key-note of Apis is oedema, and the drug is pre-eminently useful in the treatment of oedematous swellings when occurring acutely, as an apparently primary condition, or when associated with erysipelas or any other form of disease. In general dropsy it is an invaluable remedy. It is chiefly indicated by the whitish waxen, transparent appearance of the skin, absence of thirst, and scanty urination. The urine is highly albuminous, and contains tube-casts. Local oedema is usually present, especially about the eyelids. The dropsy generally comes on rapidly, and predominates in the upper part of the body and the face. It is especially indicated when such troubles arise from acute inflammation of the kidneys, whether during or following eruptive diseases or not. It may also be indicated in sub-acute or chronic Bright’s disease. In hydrothorax there is also great suffocation, the patient not being able to lie down, and feeling as if he were going to die. In pleuritic exudations Apis stands next to Sulphur as a remedy to cause absorption. In acute hydrocephalus, especially tubercular, Apis is a valuable remedy in the first stage, and is indicated by the child boring its head into pillow, rolling it from side to side, and uttering shrill, piercing cries. Often one side of the body is convulsed and the other paralyzed. In cystitis, dysuria, and strangury Apis is only secondary to Cantharis in usefulness. In cardiac inflammations and dropsies Apis is a valuable remedy, being indicated by dyspnoea, scanty urine, swollen limbs, etc. The laryngeal symptoms of Apis usually arise from rapid oedematous swellings which may occur in the larynx or glottis. Sometimes there is great difficulty of breathing from oedema of the pharynx and soft palate. Apis may be indicated in any form of erysipelas, and when attacking any part of the body, the swelling rapidly becoming oedematous, and especially when characterized by burning, stinging pains, the mental condition being usually one of apathy and indifference, bordering on unconsciousness. This mental state also often indicates the drug in diphtheria, scarlatina, and other fevers where they assume a low form, even genuine typhoid, or typho- malaria, especially if there be a tendency to oedema. It is an excellent remedy in intermittent fever, the chill occurring about 3 P.M., and other symptoms agreeing as noted in the preceding pathogenesis. In urticaria Apis is indicated by the intolerable burning, stinging pains. Apis is often useful in diseases of the female organs, but should be used cautiously during the first three months of pregnancy, as in low potencies it is liable to produce miscarriage. It is useful in erysipelatous and oedematous conditions of the genitals. Ovarian dropsy, even cystic degeneration of the ovaries has been cured. Ovarian neuralgia, and ovarian and uterine inflammations may call for this drug. The right ovary is oftenest affected (left ovary Cimic., Lachesis). Burning stinging pains and great soreness in right ovarian region are the most characteristic symptoms. Apis may be a valuable remedy in many diseases of the eye asthenopia, staphyloma, any kind of inflammations of the cornea, ophthalmia; in fact in any form of eye disease characterized by serous exudation, oedema and sudden piercing pain. Carbuncles, panaritia, etc., characterized by severe stinging pains. The drug is also useful for ailments from the stings of insects; ailments from the use of iodine, or the abuse of cinchona, turpentine or cantharides. It has been recommended for bad effects from vaccination (Silicea); also from suppressed or delayed eruptions (serous exudations, oedema, etc.).
Very useful in all varieties of dropsy, both idiopathic and secondary, especially when dependent upon disease of the liver. Not so useful in albuminuria. Has cured both the hydrocephalus and hydrothorax. In the former resembling Apis, but lacking the cephalic cry. In all dropsies the chief indications are great thirst, and extreme irritability of the stomach (Arsenicum). Menorrhagia with symptoms as named above under “Female Organs.” Has also been used for watery diarrhoea, and for haemorrhoids where there is a sensation “as if a wedge were being hammered into the anus.”.