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