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 value of chlorate of potash in phthisis has been much disputed: by some it has been esteemed a specific, and though it really cannot be called so, it has the power of relieving at least some of the symptoms. Dr. Fountain introduced it with the hypothesis that it gave up oxygen to the blood (v. Physiological Action), and seems to have found benefit from the salt, not only in consumption, but in various disorders with impeded respiration (Medical Times, ii., 1859, American Journal, I860).1 Dr. Harkin records that in the first or second stages of phthisis doses of 5 to 20 gr. improved color and strength, and diminished cough and diarrhoea (Dublin Quarterly, November, 1861). Dr. Symonds considered it of service in promoting the healing of vomicae (British Medical Journal, i., 1868), and Spender, pointing out that full doses may readily be given, because of its great solubility in boiling water, "regrets that its value in phthisis is not better known" (British and Foreign Re-view, i., 1872). On the other hand, Dr. Flint's observations satisfied him of benefit from the drug in only one out of fourteen cases, mostly advanced (American Quarterly Review and Medical Times, ii., 1861). Dr. Cotton could trace no definite effects to it, though it seemed to improve the vigor of cachectic individuals generally. I have myself known the carbonate as well as the chlorate relieve pleuritic stitches, diminish profuse purulent expectoration, and check copious perspiration.