This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
These concretions are generally oval or pear-shaped, and formed in the gall-bladder or hepatic ducts. They vary in size, from that of a small pea to a fowl's egg, and in chemical composition present cholesterine, coloring matter, and the salts of lime, magnesia, etc. They occur oftener in females than in males, from the fact that their inactive life is more conducive to their formation. They give rise to a dull, heavy pain in the region of the liver, and more or less febrile excitement. In their passage through the duct they cause the most excruciating pain, which is accordingly intensified in proportion to the size of the stone. Impaction of the cystic duct, with complete obstruction and inflammation, ulceration, and perforation of the duct and bladder may occur, giving rise to great difficulties.
TREATMENT. -- To reduce the spasm, Dover's powder, or other anodynes, should be given, and hot packs or fomentations should be applied externally. A vapor bath and lobelia emetic often afford great relief. Belladonna plasters should be applied over the region of the liver, as they dilate the cystic duct, and alleviate the pains. Thoroughwort is a good remedy, and should be freely taken. If the stones can be found in the alvine discharges, their chemical character should be definitely ascertained and the proper chemical treatment resorted to in order to prevent their re-formation. Those who may desire my services in this respect can forward to me the stones, and on receipt I will carefully analyze them, and suggest the proper treatment.