Squill. The Bulb, sliced and dried, of Urginea Scilla (Scilla Maritima), the Officinal Squill or Sea Onion. Nat. Ord. Liliaceae. Linn. Syst. Hexandria Monogynia. Hab. The shores of the Mediterranean.
Med. Prop. and Action. Squill is expectorant and diuretic in doses of gr. j., gradually increased until slight nausea is produced. In larger doses, it is powerfully emetic and purgative. Its diuretic effect is seldom observable if purging or emesis be produced, and, consequently, when the first of these effects is desired, the medicine should be given in small doses, and discontinued on the occurrence of nausea. When it Tails to occasion diuresis, which it occasionally does, it increases the cutaneous secretion. Its diuretic operation is rendered more certain by combination with other remedies of the same class. As an expectorant, it is said to attenuate the mucus, and also to excite a more copious excretion of it from the lungs, thereby lessening the congestion upon which the difficulty of respiration depends. As an emetic, it is objectionable on account of the uncertainty of its action; large doses, in some instances, having a very slight effect, whilst, in others, a small dose acts with extreme violence. In excessive doses, its operation is that of an acro-narcotic poison, gr. xxiv. having proved fatal. When recent, the bulbs are very acrid, and, applied to the skin in this state, cause inflammation and vesication; but, by long keeping, this property is either greatly diminished or altogether dissipated. Their activity depends upon two principles: 1, an acrid resin; 2, a bitter principle, Scillitine or Scillitite. Squill spoils by exposure to the air, and consequently requires to be kept in closely-stoppered bottles.
Offic. Prep. 1. Pilula StillAe Composita (Squill in fine powder oz. j. 1/4; Powdered Ginger oz. j.; Powdered Ammoniac oz. j.; Hard Soap oz. j.; Treacle oz. ij. or q. s.). Dose, gr. v. - gr. x.
iiss.; Dilute Acetic Acid Oj.; Refined Sugar lbs. ij.; Proof Spirit fl. oz. iss. Digest the Squill in the Acetic Acid for three days, with a gentle heat; express, add the Spirit, and filter; then mix in the Sugar, and dissolve with the aid of heat. The product should weigh lbs. iij. oz. ij., and should have sp. gr. 1.330). This is a substitute for Oxymel ScillAe (Pharm. Lond.). Dose, fl. drm. ss. - fl. drs. iss.
iiss.; Proof Spirit Oj. Prepared by maceration and percolation). Dose, x. - xx.
Acetum ScillAe (Pharm. Lond.) (Bruised Squill iiss.; Dilute Acetic Acid Oj.; Proof Spirit f iss. Macerate the Squill in the Acid, with a gentle heat, for three days; express, and let the dregs subside; then to the strained fluid add the Spirit). Dose, f3ss. - f3j.
Dose of powdered Squill, gr. j. - gr. ij.
In Asthma, great benefit is often derived from Pil. ScillAe Co., in combination with Ext. Hyos-cyam. vel Conii. The following formula of the late Dr. Bree has been found highly serviceable: - ℞ Ext. Hyoscyam. gr. iij., T. ScillAe gutt. xv., Acid. Nit. Dil. xxx., Aq. fiss., M.
2449. In Chronic Bronchitis, Coughs, and Catarrh, Squill proves highly useful, by promoting a more copious secretion from the mucous follicles, unloading the air-passages, and relieving the congestion and dyspna. It should never be employed until all active inflammation has subsided. Dr. C. B. Williams* observes that Squill is principally useful in mild cases unattended with purulent expectoration, and advises its being combined with an alkali and with a small portion of Opium, in order to prevent it passing off too rapidly by the kidneys.
2450. In Croup, Squill has been advised by Hufeland, Rumsey, and others, in the latter periods of the disease. "It should not," observes Dr. Copland. "be exhibited in the more inflammatory states of the malady, until after the depletions have been carried sufficiently far, and we wish to procure the expulsion of the concrete exudations formed in the air-passages." It ought to be exhibited in small doses, in the remissions, and pushed to the extent of producing vomiting, when paroxysms of suffocation occur. After the membranous substances are removed, the remedy should be laid aside. Dr. Copland prefers the emetic effect to be obtained from Squills, as Antimony lowers too quickly the vital power, which ought in the advanced stages to be supported, so as to enable the diseased organ to throw off the morbid matter formed upon its surface. In certainty and uniformity of action, it is, however, very inferior to Antimony, Ipecacuanha, &c.
2451. In Dropsy, Anasarca, &c., Squill given singly appears to exercise inconsiderable influence, but in combination with other remedies it proves of the greatest service. The following is Dr. Baillie's formula: - ℞ Pulv. ScillAe gr. j., Pil. Hydrarg. gr. iij., Pulv. Digitalis gr. j. - iss., M. ft. pil. ter quaterve in die sumend. It may also be advantageously combined with the Acetate or Bitartrate of Potash. It is inadmissible in dropsy, connected with granular disease of the kidney, or whilst any acute inflammatory action is present. It is principally indicated in asthenic cases.