Common Mezereon. Spurge Laurel. Nat. Ord. Thymelaceae. Linn. Syst. Octandria Monogynia. Hab. Europe.

Med. Prop. and Action. The bark (off.) is stimulant, diaphoretic, and diuretic. It is rarely given alone, but chiefly in combination with Sarsa-parilla. Of the simple decoction (drs. ij., Liquorice-root oz. ss., Water oij., boiled to Oiss.) the dose is fl. oz. ij., three or four times daily. Its operation . is very uncertain, in some instances producing no sensible effect, whilst in others its continued use is followed by disturbance of the cerebro-spinal system, and sometimes by strangury. In large doses it produces vomiting and purging. Dr. Cullen observes that it frequently communicates a filamentous appearance to the urine. Externally applied, the bark is irritant and vesicant; it should be first steeped in hot vinegar and applied to the skin by a compress and bandage: it requires to be applied fresh night and morning, until it produces vesication. On account of its acridity it has been proposed as a substitute for Savine Ointment, in keeping a blister open. Active principles, 1, an acrid resin; 2, a peculiar crystalline principle (Daphnin); and 3, an acrid volatile oil. These principles appear to be dissipated by boiling.

Offic. Prep. Decoctum SarzAe Compositum (see Sarsaparilla).

Dose of the bark, gr. x. infused in fl. oz. ij. of Water, twice or thrice daily.

1069. Therapeutic Uses

In Chronic Rheumatism, Mezereon has long been highly esteemed. Though inferior to many other remedies of the same class, it acts powerfully on the skin, and by this means frequently affords great relief to the patient.

* Bull, de l'Acad. Roy. de Med., March 15, 1841.

See Dub. Med. Press, July 17, 1850. Med. Times, Oct. 18, 1851.

1070. In Primary and Secondary Syphilis, Mezereon was held in high esteem by Russel, Home, and others; but Mr. Pearson,* after extensive trials with it, states that he never found it possessed of any medicinal virtue, either in Syphilis or in the sequela? of that disease; "nor," he adds, "in scrofula or cutaneous affections."

1071. In Lepra And Psoriasis, It Occasionally Proves Useful

Cullen speaks favourably of it; but it appears to be a remedy of minor importance.

1072. In Hysterical Pains In The Left Side, Dr

Copland found benefit from the moistened bark of Mezereon, worn for some time in contact with the skin, so as to produce a superficial sore. He also speaks highly of its benefit in Angina Pectoris.

1073. Daphne Laureola and Daphne Gnidium are used in France in the place of Daphne Mezereum, both internally, and as a vesicatory. They all possess similar properties.