This section is from the book "Dental Medicine. A Manual Of Dental Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Ferdinand J. S. Gorgas. Also available from Amazon: Dental Medicine.
Capsicum is obtained from the tropics of both hemispheres, being the fruit of capsicum annuum, and of other species of capsicum. The crimson or yellow pods are dried and ground to powder, which has a bright red color, and an aromatic smell, with a bitter, acrid, burning taste. Its acrid, pungent qualities are due to a peculiar substance in the form of a thick, yellowish-red fluid, called capsicine.
Capsicum is a powerful stimulant, producing, when small doses are taken, a sensation of warmth in the stomach, and a general glow over the body. It promotes the digestive process, and stimulates the circulation, and also the genito-urinary organs. In excessive doses, capsicum is an irritant poison.
It is employed in certain forms of dyspepsia, flatulent colic, scarlet fever, yellow fever, delirium tremens, opium habit, etc., etc. Externally or locally as a gargle, in putrid or other forms of sore throat, chronic inflammation of the fauces, hoarseness due to relaxed condition of the vocal cords, relaxed uvula, and in poisoning by opium, belladonna and aconite, it has proved useful as a stimulant.
Of powdered capsicum, gr. v to gr. x, in pill. Of the tincture of capsicum - Tinctura Capsici (capsicum to diluted alcohol, Oij - the dose is to
Of the infusion - Infusum Capsici (capsicum ; boiling water Oj) - the dose is
The infusion is also used as a gargle.
In dental practice the tincture of capsicum is serviceable in the early stages of acute periodontitis; and also where it is necessary to hasten suppuration as quickly as possible, on account of the increasing severity of the attack - a solution composed of gtt. xxv, in a glass of warm water, of which a mouthful is to be retained for some minutes.
The tincture of capsicum is also useful in chronic dental periodontitis, to resolve the inflammatory products. It is also used to stimulate the gums and mucous membrane of the mouth in chronic inflammation and ulceration, and for looseness of the teeth as a result of salivation; also in cases of turgidity and puffiness of the gums. It is often serviceable in chronic alveolar abscess as an injection, after the sac has been destroyed, also in recession of the gums from the necks of the teeth, for the purpose of stimulating them. A few drops added to a solution of aromatic sulphuric acid will prove serviceable in caries of the maxillary bones, and in disease of the antrum. An efficacious stimulant gargle may be made of the tincture of capsicum to rose water
Dr. Kirk recommends capsicum as a local stimulant and counter-irritant in the initial stages of pericemental inflammation before the formation of pus has taken place; in cases of soreness about roots of pulpless teeth, due to external violence, cold, etc., and not to septic irritation; for relief of severe neuralgias following the extraction of lower molar teeth, in the form of a cataplasm applied to the affected side of the face, or by moistening a piece of heavy blotting paper and applying this to the side of face. Dr. J. F. Flagg recommends the use of capsicum for pericemental inflammation in the form of the powder sewed in small linen bags to be placed in the mouth over root of affected tooth. Dr. Leffmann recommends small oval disks cut from capsicum plaster (Seabury & Johnson's), the surface of which has been lightly anointed with the ethereal extract, or oleoresin of capsicum, which can be nicely adapted to the gum.