This section is from the book "A Practitioner's Handbook Of Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Thos. S. Blair. Also available from Amazon: A Practitioner's handbook of Materia Medica and Therapeutics.
Dulcamara, Bitter-Sweet. In large doses narcotic, producing so many disagreeable symptoms as to be almost abandoned as a narcotic drug. Its physiologic action is quite complicated, and it is hard to work out its action in small doses. However, all schools agree in all essentials concerning it. Parke, Davis & Co. in their literature state it briefly as follows: "In large doses narcotic, but used principally as an alterative diuretic, diaphoretic, and discutient. Employed in the treatment of cutaneous eruptions, particularly of a scaly nature; also in chronic rheumatism and chronic catarrh." The homeopaths arrive at the same place by the route of subjective symptomatology. I quote a homceopathic author (William Boericke, M.D.):
"Hot days and cold nights towards the close of summer are especially favorable to the action of dulcamara, and it is one of the remedies that correspond in their symptoms to the conditions found as effects of damp weather, colds after exposure to wet, especially diarrhea. It has a specific relation also to the skin, glands, and digestive organs, mucous membranes secreting more profusely while the skin is inactive. The rheumatic troubles induced by damp cold are aggravated by every cold change and somewhat relieved by moving about. Results from sitting on cold, damp ground. Congestive headache, with neuralgia and dry nose. Patients living or working in damp, cold basements. Now for an eclectic view of dulcamara in small doses:
"Dulcamara is a remedy for all conditions resulting from suppression of secretion from exposure to cold and dampness. It will restore normal excretion and secretion. It is an excellent alterative if administered with care." This drug is one of very many instances in which I could quote three harmonious views expressed in a different manner according to the school point of view. Any one studying materia medica in this way will soon discover little reason for a divided profession.
In small dose therapy, dulcamara is given in doses of f.e., 2 to 20 I; ec. tr. (very active), 1/2 to 5 I ; for children, @, I or 2 I The smaller doses are well to begin with, and may be carefully increased.