This is one of our indigenous drugs that seems to have been almost forgotten by the majority of physicians in the rush for something new; it has not received the careful study and proving that it deserves.
During the past winter I have prescribed it in several cases of albuminuria presenting the following symptoms: Pulse, rapid but lacked strength; temperature, in the morning below, and dirty white coat on tongue; stomach and abdomen full and doughy to touch; accumulation of gases in stomach and bowels with eructations; occasional night sweats and edema of extremities.
It was prescribed in 1st dilution and never more than in one drop doses; generally twenty to thirty drops to water, four ounces, a teaspoonful every two hours. If there is nausea alternate with Ipecac 1st dilution, five to ten drops, water four ounces, a teaspoonful every two hours. It is better to give these two remedies in alternation in both cases, as Apocynum alone will produce nausea in a great many cases, and cannot be continued long on that account. In using the remedy in this way it is pleasant and prompt in its action. The appetite and digestion improves, the odematous condition subsides, and he amount of albumen daily decreases till in a short time it entirely disappears and the patient rapidly regains the usual health and vigor. Now, I do not claim that Apocynum is a specific for Bright’s disease, but if, in any case, you have these symptoms, or the majority of them, no difference what the name is, give Apocynum and your patient will get well if there is vitality enough in him to recuperate. What I wish to call your attention to in particular is the effect of this remedy in obesity and corpulence, and rheumatism, presenting the symptoms heretofore named. In these troublesome cases, the result has been surprising. Corpulent patients have decreased in size around the waist six inches in one month, and decreased in weight nearly twenty pounds in thee same time; with a corresponding increase in health and strength. The only noticeable effect to most patients was an increase in the amount of urine passed and a more regular action of the bowels, with an increased tendency to physical exercise. In some of the cases that were relieved by this remedy there were frequent eructations from the stomach, and some very unpleasant cerebral fullness, and loss of consciousness, for a few seconds at a time.
As an anti-fat it deserves an important place in therapeutics. When obesity is becoming a burden to the patient, and there is a plethoric condition, with gastric and cerebral disturbance, Apocynum will give prompt and certain relief, and reduce the excessive fat materially, and is free from any unpleasant after effect.
Do not become skeptical in regard to this treatment on account of the dilution of the remedy, and the small dose prescribed, but test it without prejudice at the first opportunity that presents and satisfy yourself.
Prof. Jerome M. Keys, M.D.