Squill, Urginea maratimea. Universally official, as is also Indian Squill in Great Britain.

Pharmacology

Squill is toxic, owing to the presence of a water-soluble glucosidal substance resembling strophanthin; it stops the heart in systole. There is also a resin and a trace of caffeine.

Squill is a member of the digitalis group. See "Digitalis." Tincture of squill has a stronger action upon the heart than has tincture of digitalis; especially does it produce more vaso-constriction.

Like several others of the digitalis group, squill is a gastro-intestinal irritant, causing vomiting and purging. As its irritating effects upon the digestive mucous membranes are marked, it is to be expected that its excretion would influence the bronchial mucous membrane and that of the kidney. Squill is, therefore, expectorant and diuretic.

Therapeutics

As a cardiac remedy squill is rarely used alone; it is combined with digitalis and mercury. In cardiac dropsy the formulae containing squill are peculiarly effective. In renal dropsy squill should not be used; it is too irritating.

Squill is a valuable expectorant in bronchitis and emphysema, especially with tenacious sputum. In irritating cough and spasmodic croup squill serves well. It is combined with other expectorants, but neither the syrup nor the vinegar of squill should be combined with ammonium carbonate. It is done, but I believe should not be.

Dosage

The average dose of squill is 1 1/2 grains. Vinegar of squill, Acetum Scillae, is given in 15-minim doses, the tincture in the same dose, and the syrup in 30-minim doses. Compound syrup (Hive Syrup) is used in the treatment of croup, the average dose being 30 minims, less with young children.