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.
Trousseau undervalued the virtues of bismuth when he held it unsuited for gastric pain connected with leucorrhoea. It has really a special sphere of action in various uterine disorders which induce or follow on gastric derangement, as has been well shown by F. W. Mackenzie (London Journal of Medicine, 1857). His cases seemed to prove the stomach primarily at fault, since complaint was made of pain, sinking, flatulence, etc., before the ordinary symptoms of uterine irritation appeared; bismuth greatly relieved them, and my own experience is somewhat to the same effect. In dysmenorrhoea, with severe pain in the back, hips, legs, and hypogastric region, palpitation, etc., I have often given it with good effect, and in uterine hemorrhage (profuse menstruation) it has proved strikingly efficacious when recognized styptics had failed, being thus allied in action with oxide of silver and arsenic; apparently a sedative influence is exerted both on the stomach and the uterus through the mucous tract and connected nerve-ganglia.