The fresh root of Taraxacum Dens-Leonis (Leontodon Taraxacum, Linn.). Dandelion. Nat. Ord. CompositAe. Linn. Syst. Syngenesia Aequalis. Hab. England, Europe, and Northern Asia. Gathered between September and February from meadows and pastures in Britain.
Med. Prop. and Action. Tonic and alterative. It is also a mild diuretic and diaphoretic. It appears to act particularly on the liver and to increase the biliary secretion, and has, in some instances, been advantageously substituted lor Mercury when the latter has been inadmissible. It has also been highly spoken of as a deobstruent in visceral obstructions, and was supposed by Zimmerman to prove effectual in removing pulmonary tubercles.
* Op. cit.
Ranking's Abstract, xxviii. p. 199.
Dublin Hosp. Gaz, Sept. 15,1868.
§ Diseases of the Skin, p. 867. || Op. cit.
Its activity appears to depend upon a peculiar, crystallizable, bitter principle. Taraxacine.
Offic. Prep. 1. Decoctum Taraxaci (Dried Dandelion Root sliced and bruised oz. j.; Distilled Water Oiss. Boil for ten minutes and strain. The product should measure Oj.). Dose, fl. oz. j. - fl. oz. iij.
2. Extractum Taraxaci (prepared from the fresh expressed juice which is heated to 212° for ten minutes, strained, and evaporated by a water bath at a temperature not exceeding 16° to a proper consistence). Dose, gr. x. - gr. xx., or more. This extract is said to be far superior to those of the London and Edinburgh Pharmacopoeias.
vij.; Rectified Spirit q. s. To every three measures of juice expressed from the root one of Spirit is added. The mixture is set aside for seven days and filtered. It should be kept in a cool place). Dose, fl. drm. ss. - fl. drs. iij.
In Dyspepsia, Taraxacum has obtained a high name, particularly in those cases where the liver is implicated, and in the indigestion of gouty subjects. Dr. Todd * speaks highly of it in inflammatory duodenal Dyspepsia, and recommends the following as an efficient formula: - Ext. Tarax. 3ij., Potass. Nit. 3ss., Sp. Ether. Nit. f3j., Inf. Aurant. fvj., M. coch. amp. bis terve die sumend. Dr. James Johnson advises another formula, which has been found very serviceable when Mercury is contra-indicated, and there exists much sensibility of the nerves of the stomach: -Decoct. Tarax. fvij., Ext. Tarax. ij., SodAe Carb. ij., Ext. SarzAe 3j., T. Gent. Co. fss., M. cap. coch. mag. ij. bis die. This remedy is extolled by the German physicians, particularly by Kaempf.
Dr. Wilson Philip considers that where Mercury is advisable, Taraxacum renders it more efficient; and that under certain circumstances it might be advantageously substituted for it. Sir R. Martin§ states, that in the indolent Enlargements of the Liver, accompanied with torpid action of the Viscus, such as occur in Bengal, he has found Mercury of little service; and adds that he has derived more advantage from the following formula, a spare diet and the external application of Acet. Can-tharid. being employed at the same time: - Ext. Tarax. gr. xxxvj., Ext. Aloes gr. xij., Ext. Acet. Colchici, Pulv. Ipecac. Rad. āā gr. vj., M. ft. pil. xij., cap. ij. omni nocte. In Incipient Scirrhus of the Liver, Dr. Pemberton.|| who warmly advocates the use of this remedy in all Chronic Hepatic Affections, successfully employed Taraxacum in several instances, in doses of 3ss, of the extract, twice daily. As a remedy for chronic affections of the liver generally, it is favourably spoken of by Dr. Watson.* In Jaundice depending upon hepatic disease, it may be advantageously combined with small doses of Colchicum and other remedies.
* Cyc. Pract. Med., vol. ii. p. 652. Influence of Tropical Climates, p. 662.
On Indigestion, p. 221.
§ On the Influence of Tropical Climates, &c., p 285.
|| On Lis. of the Abdominal Viscera, p. 42, et seq.
Clark considers Taraxacum a very valuable remedy in tuberculous constitutions, from its power of diminishing abdominal plethora, and its especial influence on the urinary and biliary secretions. Hufeland also speaks highly of it in tuberculous subjects; and Zimmerman considers that it is the best remedy for the dispersion of pulmonary tubercles.
Rigby§ considers that Taraxacum proves highly useful, by keeping up a healthy action of the liver, and acting on the cutaneous surface. He directs half a tea-spoonful of the extract to be taken in a little warm milk every night. Thus given, it is by no means disagreeable.
2725. In many Chronic Cutaneous Diseases, especially when connected with visceral derangement, it proves highly useful as an alterative and diaphoretic.