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Editorials and Medical Intelligence

1839 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
pensatory, published in 1742. After entering into a distinction between Persicaria non maculata and the Persicaria suc maculosa, he proceeds to say that " In scorbutic cases, hypochondriac affections, and all disorders from a sluggish circulation of the fluids, it may be found highly useful. Etmtiller said that the English have it so much in esteem as to use it in the belly-ache, cholic, scurvy, spleen, and all chronic diseases. Mr. Boyle greatly commends its distilled water in the stone, and
more » ... in the stone, and in that opinion he agrees with many who have valued it among their secrets for its efficacy in such cases. Also externally applied to dissipate bruised blood." " It is said to be antiseptic, diuretic and aperient." Fountain, in writing on diseases of irritation, in the New York Medical Journal, Vol. V., pages 410 and 411, said (under the head of Purpura urticans), " After he had used various remedies in the case of a female patient to no purpose, a neighboring quack said to her that he could cure her in twelve hours. She consented, and he fulfilled his promise. He fomented her legs an hour or more with a strong decoction of the polygonum persicaria, and bound a large quantity on the affected parts. On removing it, twelve hours after, not a vestige of the complaint was to be seen." My own experience, for many years, of its medicinal powers, goes to corroborate in a measure the above ideas of its therapeutic operation. I have used the Persicaria urens in many obstinate cases of tympanitis and flatulent colic, with the best effects in every instance. 1 order a strong decoction to be used every three or four hours, according to the urgency of the case, by applying it over the abdomen, assisting its operation by an enema, and freely using a drink of the same. I have also found its external application to have succeeded much better than the terebinthian liniment, in cases of chronic erysipelatous inflammation peculiar to the extremities of aged people. 1 say chronic, for I have considered it proper to suffer the acute stage of the disease to pass over before using the polygonum. By referring to a communication in another part of this Journal, the reader will find that Dr. Wheeler introduces to the notice of practitioners an indigenous plant, which, according to his opinion, possesses very valuable properties. It is worth while to have the subject thoroughly investigated by those who have an opportunity of testing the efficacy of the plant in protracted parturition. If it is less dangerous than the ergot, and equally certain in its action, it is destined to have a conspicuous place in our materia medica.
doi:10.1056/nejm183909040210406 fatcat:cpcuxmw2zral7nyzy5dq2ggzr4