This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
Colchicum is hardly ever used except for gout. Given during the attack, it most markedly relieves the pain; in smaller doses given between the attacks it diminishes their severity. It is often very useful for dyspepsia, eczema, headache, neuritis, conjunctivitis, bronchitis, and other conditions which, when occurring in those suffering from gout, are probably related to it. How it acts is not known. Occasionally it is combined with other cholagogues, especially if it is desired to give these remedies to a person who is the subject of gout. If any symptoms of gastric or intestinal irritation appear, its use must be discontinued for a time. As it is a cardiac depressant, those who take it should keep the bowels well open, lest it accumulate in the body. Hence it is commonly combined with magnesium sulphate. The seed is said to be less active than the corm. A well-known formula is: extract of colchicum root, calomel, powdered aloes, powdered ipecacuanha, of each 1 gr., .06 gm., with 1/4 to 1/2 gr.; .015 to .03 gm. of extract of nux vomica.