This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
The use of alkaline diuretics is advantageous in the early stages of this malady, the citrate of potash or the acetate being the most suitable; they are presumed to act directly on the kidney, washing away debris and epithelium, which obstruct the tubules. In later stages, when dropsy is present, and indeed in all forms of dropsy,
20-gr. doses of the acetate, or half that quantity of nitrate, given in conjunction with digitalis, squill, or other vegetable diuretics, often secure a copious secretion from the kidneys.