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.
Pyrethrum is a native of the Mediterranean coast, and 34 the root is the medicinal portion - pyrethri radix, in the form of cylindrical, wrinkled pieces, of the size of the little finger, hard and brittle, which, when dried, have little or no odor. Externally, it is of an ash-brown color, within white, and possesses an extremely acrid taste, with a burning and tingling sensation over the whole mouth and throat, which continues for some time, and excites a copious flow of saliva.
Pyrethrum root is an irritant and sialogogue, and when it is rubbed on the skin it causes much irritation, and may even excite inflammation.
Its activity depends upon an acrid oil and a compound resin called pyrethrin. It is rarely used internally, and only as a masticatory.
Pyrethrum has been employed as an excitant in paralysis of the tongue and muscles of the throat, relaxed sore throat, spontaneous salivation, certain forms of headache; for such purposes being chewed, or employed in the form of a gargle, in tincture or decoction.
Of pyrethrum as a masticatory, gr. xv to
Pyretbri, Tincture Pyrethrum, is composed of pyrethrum rectified spirit Oj.
Pyrethrum has been employed in dental practice for neuralgic affections of the face, for which it is chewed; for the relief of odontalgia, in the form of the tincture applied to the irritable pulp on a pellet of cotton; as a stimulant to the gums and mucous membrane of the mouth in relaxed conditions; for obtunding sensitive dentine, in the form of a strong alcoholic extract. The ethereal oil of pyrethrum is recommended as a pleasant and efficacious remedy in odontalgia, applied in the same manner as the tincture; the fluid extract is also employed as an ingredient for local anaesthetic preparations, combined with chloroform, ether and lavender, etc. (See Chloroform.)
For Relaxed Conditions of Mucous Membrane of Mouth and Gums.
To be used as a stimulant gargle.