Cowhage or Cowitch. Nat. Ord. LeguminosAe. Linn. Syst. Diadelphia De-candria. Hab. West Indies. A closely allied species (Mucuna Prurita) is found in the East Indies, the Tenas-serim Provinces, &c.

Med. Prop. and Action. The setAe, or hairs from the outside of the pod (off.), are anthelmintic. Their action is purely mechanical, as is shown by the fact, that in infusion or tincture they are perfectly inert. Externally, Cowhage has been used as a local stimulant.

1847. Therapeutic Uses

As a remedy against A. Lumbricoides or Round Worm, Cowhage has enjoyed great repute. Its action is mechanical: the setae are supposed to wound and irritate the worms, obliging them to leave their hold on the lining coat of the intestines. The setae are to be made into an electuary with honey or molasses, and of this one or more teaspoonfuls should be taken for three or four successive mornings. This should be followed by a brisk purgative. The pods should be dipped into honey before being scraped, as if the setae prick the hands they cause intense itching. It is rarely employed by British practitioners.

1848. In Paralysis, the setae have been employed as a local stimulant by Graefe and others. Their position on the affected limb is to be maintained by a bandage. They create some cutaneous inflammation, and require frequent renewal.