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arotic in the ear, and I can get it from thuja better than any other remedy. Sometimes in atrophic conditions, and when the bones of the ear are exposed, I get the very best results from oil thuja and liquid vaseline.
In my eye practice thuja is one of the most frequent remedies used. Most diseases of the cornea and conjunctiva, ulcers of the cornea, chronic suppurative keratitis, opacities of the cornea-not cicatrices—ulcers of the conjunctiva, chronic granular conjunctivitis, I treat with the pure non-alcoholic tincture. In corneal ulcers and opacities I prize thuja very highly. In granular lids my success has been fairly but not uniformly good; this I attribute to the fact that there is in granular lids, generally, a high degree of inflammation, which is not favorable to the use of thuja. In eczema tarsi I have found thuja very successful, and for styes and warts of the lids it is the remedy par excellence.
I have not mentioned the use of any other remedy in combination with thuja because it has been my purpose to give, solely, the range of action and uses of thuja as I have observed them.
ELI W. WIGHT, M. D., CHICAGO.
Salicin is the neutral principle of the willow. It is also obtained from the poplar. The usual source of supply is the white willow. There are several processes for its preparation. One of the most simple is the following: The bark is placed in water with unslacked lime, and boiled. After filtering, sulphate of zinc is added to the decoction until precipitation ceases. The liquor is again filtered, and evaporated, until a semi-solid substance is cbtained. This is treated with alcohol and the resulting tincture carefully evaporated when crystals of salicin will form. When these crystals are washed with a saturated solution of salicin in cold water, a practically pure drug remains. It crystalizes in the form of scales and needles, is white, and very bitter. It is said to be odorless.
A perfectly pure preparation may be so, but all the specimens which I have examined have a very pronounced odor of the willow. It is soluble in boiling water and in alcohol, also in seventeen parts of cold water. To test for salicin, place a small portion on a white
*Reprinted from National Transactions.
plate and upon adding a drop of strong sulphuric acid a deep red color is produced.
When taken into the stomach it is quickly absorbed and undergoes chemical change. Saligenen, salicylic acid and salicin will be found in the urine. Elimination takes place so slowly that salicylic acid has been detected in the urine two or three days after salicin has been given. Large doses administered to animals will produce convulsions, lessening of blood pressure, and finally stoppage of respiration. In the human adult doses of less than thirty grains produce little or no physiological action; and, for a marked effect, that amount must be repeated, hourly, for several doses. A person under the influence of full doses of the drug appears dull, the face flushes readily; he complains of slight deafness, noises in the ears, and frontal headache. The breathing is deep and short, the voice husky. A stinging, or pricking sensation, is felt in the extremities. A large dose of salicin does not depress the normal temperature. tion of the heart is accelerated and the pulse becomes weak.
Salicin was first discovered in 1830, but was not much used in medicine until 1874, when it was introduced by Doctor Maclagan as a remedy for acute rheumatism. Following this introduction it was used quite extensively for a number of years; but often its results were not satisfactory, probably owing to the method of administration.
Doctor Maclagan believed, that to do any good, it was necessary to get a large quantity of the drug rapidly into the system. Clinical experience seems to corroborate this view. Many observers believe that its action depends principally, if not wholly, upon its conversion, in the system, into salicylic acid; and, therefore, prefer to use the latter substance. But this view is not accepted by all, and a careful study of salicin will probably reveal many properties which are not in common with salicylic acid.
In my experience, I probably have prescribed salicin more often than any other one remedy and I do not now recollect an instance where it failed to do what was expected, except when the form of administration was at fault. As it is perfectly harmless, in ordinary doses, it is always safe and its tonic properties will benefit nearly every case of illness. I believe it to be nearer a cure-all than any other drug. We are sometimes in doubt, as to the proper remedy, because the symptoms are so obscure that we cannot make a proper diagnosis. The patient principally complains of feeling ill, may, or may not, have an increase of temperature, pulse normal or otherwise. All these cases are benefited, and usually cured, by five or ten grain doses of salicin given every two hours until the condition shows marked improvement, then every three or four hours.
In that condition following undue exposure, when it is commonly said the patient has “taken cold,” salicin will give more pleasing results than any other remedy within my knowledge, and I have prescribed it almost every week, for many years, with great satisfaction to my patients, and myself. If there is a feeling of fullness, or pressure, above and between the eyes it may be combined with an equal amount of salicylate of soda and given, according to the conditions, in five or ten grain doses every one or two hours, until relief is experienced, which is usually within a few hours.
It was in 1884 and 1885 that the attention of the writer was particularly called to salicin as a remedy in certain puerperal conditions. In most cases where there is an unusually high temperature, either from internal or external causes, the use of salicin will be found very effective.
A few cases in illustration of the use of salicin are the following: Mrs. N was confined with her second child, which was puny to a marked degree, and, on this account, excited the curiosity and interest of her neighbors who came in a body, as it were, to see the prodigy. As a result the patient was reduced to a condition of nervous exhaustion which tíreatened to terminate in a fatal puerperal fever. I was called, at four o'clock on the morning following, and found the patient with a high fever, delirium, and a frightful pain over the region of the uterus. I at once put her upon ten grain doses of salicin, with a water bag as hot as the patient could endure upon the lower abdomen. Within an hour she expressed herself as feeling better, and the remedy being continued hourly during the day she recovered without any interruption. Mrs. A
the seventh day after her delivery, became very much excited in a discussion, with her nurse, over the care of the child. I was called and on my arrival in the evening found upon examination a temperature of 104° F. and considerable tenderness over the lower abdomen. The lochia being suppressed I gave her gelsemium, and with ten grain doses of salicin, she made a rapid recovery and was able to get up on the fourteenth day.
Mrs. M, in the eighth month of pregnancy; was seized with pain in her right arm between her shoulder and elbow, and also in the left thigh just above the knee. The pain in the thigh was at first anterior, but shifted posteriorly, while the pain in the arm remained stationary. I gave the patient fifteen grains of salicin, and ordered the dose to be repeated in one hour; after which time she slept for four hours. On waking the remedy was continued in doses of ten grains every two hours. The next day she had ceased to suffer pain except to a slight degree in the left arm in about the same location as if the disease had shifted from the right to the left side. She recovered from this attack and developed an inflammation of the cervical glands, of a mild character, for which I gave phytolacca. In about ten days she was again seized with rheumatism in the same location and was again cured with salicin.
Mr. B --, suffering from a rheumatic attack, complained of great pain in the left hip. He was confined to his bed and could be moved only with great difficulty. He had experienced several previous attacks in which he had been treated by other physicians. When I arrived at his bedside he remarked that he was good for three months as he had never had an attack of shorter duration. I gave him fifteen grains of salicin repeated every two hours, for three doses, followed by ten grain doses repeated at the same intervals. I called to see him every second day and at the fourth visit found him practically well. I ordered the salicin to be continued in five grain doses, to be taken every three or four hours for several days. I did not see him again professionally but he subsequently informed me that he returned to his business in two weeks from the date of the attack.
I could fill pages with instances showing the remarkable useful. ness of this drug, and the evidence constantly accumulates. Since writing the above Mr. McK----, called at my office. He is one of those people we constantly have with us, not very ill but never entirely well. He has a chronic stomach trouble. At a previous visit about two weeks ago I gave him salicin, five grains every two hours, time to be lengthened to three or four hours as he improved. His remarks was, “Doctor, that last medicine you gave me was the greatest stuff I ever saw.”
A most important matter in regard to salicin is the form of its administration. Many of the pills and tablets commonly found in the market dissolve too slowly in the stomach and those who use them are likely to be disappointed. The drug should be used in its natural state. As it is very bitter it may be enclosed in capsules, putting five grains in each and giving as many at a dose as is necessary. Many druggists will make a mass unless they are otherwise