Every year or so some one brings this rather curious drug to the front which we may conclude that it has virtues, but that they are not very clearly defined. The latest one to write on it is Dr. Edward J. Farnham, of Chicago, in Ellingwoods Therapeutist. The following is what he has to say of its use in practice.
“It has been applied externally to enlarged, or scrofulous glands, and internally it is given in obesity; though it has failed to cure so often as to cast doubt upon its value in these disease, but a specific diagnosis promises to distinguish the cases wherein it is likely to prove curative.
“In doses of from one to two drams three or four times a day, it will, in suitable cases, reduce excessively fat patient without interfering with normal health. It is not a suitable remedy where adiposity is a normal condition, but in those cases where an excess of adipose tissue is an abnormal condition. It applies to cold tropic conditions where the skin is cold and clammy with loose and flabby rolls of fat and a relaxed and pendulous abdomen. Here fat is a morbid condition, the result of a vitiated function. The remedy corrects the morbid condition by toning up the vascular and sympathetic systems. It is more especially a remedy for the lymphatic temperament.
“Fucus vesiculosis is curative in recent cases of goitre in young women,and this lesion may be associated with some disorder of menstruation. In old, fibrous cases of goitre it is not so valuable. If there be an undue deposit of fat in the case it is likely to relieve both conditions.
“In exophthalmic goitre it is also reputed curative, but here, as in simple goitre, the general condition must be our guide. As iodine is a tonic where the sexual power is feeble in the male, and is also a remedy in cases of goitre where menstrual disorder is also present in the case, we may find it curative of both lesions. Here we might associate it with Gelsemium for the extreme nervousness of exophthalmic goitre, with Veratrum for the vascular excitement, and with Apocynum or Macrotys for the menstrual disorders. It relieves irritation of the urinary tract in desquamative nephritis.
“Fucus does not show any remedial effect until it has been employed for sometime. After it has been administered several weeks its curative power is manifested. When given to reduce obesity, it must be given at least a month before its good effects will appear. It tones muscular fibre and is a remedy to have in mind in fatty degeneration of the heart. It increase the flow of urine. It acts on kidney lesions removing congestion and irritation of the urinary tract. It acts well on all chronic inflammation of the mucous membranes.
“Fucus has been recommended to remove abdominal deposits, and tumors both benign and malignant. It acts on the glandular system directly and is indicated in cases when the abdominal wall are flabby. Dose, five to thirty drops, three or four times.