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.
This is a nervous condition confined to females, though well marked cases of hysteria are occasionally met with in males. The invasion of the disease is sudden and irregular, but in many cases decidedly periodical. The principal characteristics consist in alternate fits of weeping and laughing, with a sensation as if a ball was rolling towards the stomach, chest, and neck, producing a sense of strangulation. Consciousness is lost in violent cases, but it remains clear as a general thing, which distinguishes it from epilepsy. It is dependent upon irregularity of nervous distribution in very impressible persons.
TREATMENT. -- During the paroxysms, the feet should be placed in warm water, and a hot mustard plaster applied to the lower part of the abdomen. A decoction of equal parts of ladies'-slipper and scull-cap should be given until the spasm subsides. A tea made of ginger and bayberry, the tincture of castor, and assafoetida, are also good. The state of the womb should receive attention, and if dependent upon indigestion and constipation, tonics and laxatives are the proper remedies. I have never met with the annoyance or difficulty in the treatment of this disease that so many practitioners speak of, but regard the disease as easy of cure.