This section is from the book "Botanic Drugs Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics", by Thomas S. Blair. Also available from Amazon: Botanic Drugs, Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
American Wormseed, Chenopodium anthelminti-cum. The volatile oil is official in the U. S. P.
The Amer. Jour, of Physiology printed an article by Salant and Livingstone showing that intravenous injections caused a fall in blood-pressure in certain animals, with a marked decrease of vagus irritability. There was some respiratory depression independent of the effect upon circulation.
Oil of Chenopodium has long been known as an efficient anthelmintic against the round worm in doses of 3 to 10 drops three times a day for two days, followed by a cathartic. It is now little used in this connection, being displaced by santonine, which is much less disagreeable to take.
The important use of chenopodium is in the treatment of hookworm disease. Keith, of Singapore, reports over one thousand cases successfully treated. He has the patient fast from after mid-day to next morning, when he gives 10 minims of the oil in a capsule. This dose is given three mornings in succession, the last treatment being followed by a full dose of castor oil.
Schuffner and Baermann, of Sumatra, report forty thousand successful cases with no ill effects from the remedy. After an evening meal composed wholly of liquids, and no breakfast, 16 minims of the oil is placed on sugar, one-third of this being taken hourly; three hours after the last dose 17 grammes of castor oil and 3 grammes of chloroform are administered.
The oil is put up in five- and ten-minim soluble elastic capsules, thus overcoming the objections to its use. Thus administered, it is probable it will "come back" as a remedy for round worm; and it is even asserted that the drug is promising in the eradication of tapeworm infestation.