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.
In the early part of this century Dr. Granville published a small treatise "to establish the claims of a new and powerful remedy," and in his second edition (1820) congratulates himself on the conclusive and numerous facts which have proved he was "not indulging in the chimeras of a revery" when he recommended the prussic acid for treating, if not curing, consumption. Being before the days of physical diagnosis, his cases scarcely bear examination, and his peculiar egotistic style jars upon the professional reader; but he may be credited with pointing out the relief often given to the general nervous irritability, the dyspepsia and harrassing cough of phthisical subjects. The exaggerated views entertained both by the eminent Majendie and by Granville as to its powers of checking the disorder and curing asthma, chronic cough, etc., have not been verified by later experience. We can only say that it is a useful palliative for the irritative dry cough, especially in cases when morphia is not suitable, and that with alkalies and calumba it is often serviceable in phthisical dyspepsia.