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.
Iron acts powerfully in dropsy resulting from a state of anaemia or hydraemia of the system, and good effects may be obtained from 3 to 5 gr. of ferrum redactum taken at meal times, or 15 to 30 min. of tincture of perchloride about half an hour after meals. Dropsy dependent upon mitral disease is best treated by iron and digitalis (in addition to purgatives), and dropsy connected with albuminuria is very amenable to the same combination: it should not be used during acute renal congestion (cf. Rotta: "Fer en Hydropisie," Annuaire de Therapeutique, 1857). Husemann praises it in "cachectic dropsy," and in that form which is connected with chronic nephritis and amyloid de-generation of the kidney. Dr. Anstie has written strongly in favor of the tincture of iron in chronic pleuritic effusion, and my own experience quite corroborates his observations.