This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Pulsatilla Nigricans Soerck, Pharm. Edinb. Pulsatilla flore minore nigricante C. B. Anemone pratensis Linn. A species of anemone, much resembling the pulsatilla vulgaris, or pasque flower, but its flower is less, and of a darker hue. It is a native of the south of Germany, and other neighbouring countries.
All the anemonies have a considerable degree of acrimony; but this seems to possess the largest share. The whole plant when chewed impresses the tongue with a sharp, burning, durable taste. The root is milder than the other parts. On distilling the plant with water, the liquor which comes over is strongly impregnated with its virtues; and the remaining extract is also con-siderably active.
Dr. Stoerck of Vienna, to whom the introduction of so many of the more powerful vegetables is owing, has likewise recommended this to the medical practitioner. From numerous trials, he celebrates its efficacy in various chronic diseases of the eye; in venereal nodes and nocturnal pains; in foul ulcers with caries; in serpigo; and suppressed menses. He relates in-stances of its curing blindness of many years continuance, by dissipating and dissolving films and obscurities of the cornea. In these cases, its good effects were first indicated by considerable pain excited in the eye. The sensible operation of the medicine was nausea and vomiting, particularly when the distilled water was used; an increased flow of urine; and some-times gripes and looseness; with increased pain at first in the affected part. From all these circumstances, the pulsatilla seems to be endued with very active and penetrating powers, yet such as may be employed with perfect safety if proper caution be used. The dose of the distilled water to adults is about half an ounce, twice or thrice a day; of the extract., reduced to powder with the addition of sugar, five or six grains. Bergius mentions having given the extract copioufly, especially in diseases of the eyes, but without any effect (a).
The Edinburgh college had adopted the distilled water of pulsatilla, but has now changed it for the extract.