An Alkaloid. The active principle of Delphinium Staphisagria. Formula, C27 H19 NO2. (Garrod.)
* Obs. on Various Arts, of Mat. Med., p. 49. Dict, of Pract. Med., vol. ii. p. 289.
Diseases of Females, p. 276.
§ Med. Chir. Trans., vol. xii. p. 286.
Med. Prop and Actum. Pure Pelphinia has little effect upon the mucous membrane of the stomach and bowels. It may be administered, in • cases, to the extent of gr. iij. - iv. daily, in doses of gr. 1/2, without exciting vomiting. In this quantity, however, it sometimes operates on the bow but causes very little irritation. In most instances it acts as a diuretic, and occasions a considerable flow of pale urine. When taken to the extent of gr. iv., it gives rise to sensations of heat and tingling in various parts of the body, similar to those which are produced by rubbing it on the skin: and its other effects are very similar to those of Veratria. Its external application causes a sensation of burning, not unlike that after the application of a. blister, but-not to an unpleasant degree, unless the friction has been too long continued. It produces a slight redness of the skin, which lasts from a few minutes to one or two hours. (Turnbull.*) It may be applied in the form of solution (gr. xl. ad Spirit. Rect. fl. oz. xij.) or in ointment (gr. xxx., Olive Oil fl. drm. j., Lard oz. j.).
Dose, gr. 1/4 - gr. 1/2. Seldom administered.
In Tic Douloureux, Rheumatism, and Paralysis, its external application is stated by Dr. Turnbull to be very efficient. In Neuralgia in the Tongue, or at the point where the infraorbital nerve escapes from its foramen, it is to be preferred to the other alkaloids, because it can be applied to the tongue or gums without occasioning much irritation. In Para-lysis, it appears more useful than Veratria, from its property of exciting the circulation in the affected part.