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.
Abortion or miscarriage signifies the expulsion of the foetus from the uterus, before it is sufficiently developed. The causes may be either natural or violent. Among the most prevalent causes, are mercury, constitutional syphilis, either in the father or mother, small pox, sudden and violent excitement of the blood-vessels by surprise, fright, anger, etc. It may also be caused by disease of the embryo, disease of the afterbirth, or direct violence to the abdomen. If it occurs in the early stage, the patient feels languid, uneasy and despondent, and is troubled with alternate chills and flashes of heat; there is nausea, palpitation, pain in the back, and tenderness over the abdomen. The breasts become flabby, and there is more or less hemorrhage. In the more advanced stages, the pains are more severe, and frequently the hemorrhage is so violent that the life of the patient is endangered, unless the proper remedial agents are employed. If miscarriage occurs once, it is liable to recurrence, and hence pregnant woman should be very careful.
TREATMENT. -- Those predisposed to abortion, should carefully avoid purgatives and diuretics, should indulge in no violent exercise, and take a cold sitz-bath every morning on rising, followed by brisk friction with a crash towel. Unicorn root and bayberry should also be taken internally. The pain should be subdued by hyoscyamus, and the hemorrhage checked by the oil of erigeron, or cayenne pepper and matico may be taken. If abortion, however, defies treatment, a strong decoction of cotton root, or ergot, should be taken to promote rapid expulsion of the foetus. After it is expelled, if hemorrhage occurs, the oil of erigeron should be given, and much care observed, until the placenta is removed. During convalescence the patient's strength should be maintained to prevent weakness of the womb.