Wormwood. Nat. Ord. CompositAe. Linn. Syst. Syngenesia Su-perflua. Hab. England and Northern Europe.
Med. Prop. and Action. The flowering tops and the whole plant are aromatic, tonic, and anthelmintic. When taken in large doses, or for a long period, they communicate a very bitter taste to the secretions. 80 disagreeable is the plant to some persons, that the smell of it occasions violent headache and nervous derangement. The plant yields a green Volatile Oil having the odour of Wormwood (01. Absinlhii); a bitter principle (Absinthine); and an acid (Absinthic Acid). 8alt of Wormwood (Sal Absinthii) is impure Carbonate of Potash obtained by incinerating Wormwood. Wormwood is best given in the form of Extract, in doses of gr. v. - gr. xx. Externally applied, it is said to be discutient and antiseptic.
Dote: Of powdered root, gr. xv. - gr. lx. Of infusion (prepared by macerating oz. j. of dried herb in Oj. of boiling water), fl. oz. j. - fl. oz. ij.
In Dyspepsia, Wormwood, as a pure bitter tonic, proves serviceable. It is best given in infusion, of which fl. oz. j. - fl. oz. iss. may be taken three or four times daily. It has no advantage over less disagreeable medicines of the same class.
1. - lxx.), given in hot beer an hour before an expected paroxysm, is stated to be very efficacious in preventing its occurrence. It produces copious diaphoresis. In 10 cases in which it was used by Hufe-land. 3 recovered, 3 were relieved, and 4 received no benefit. Several high German authorities bear witness to its efficacy, and Dr. Elliotson details a case evidently benefited by its use. It has also been used with advantage in Chorea. Wutzer employed it successfully in the Convulsive Diseases of Childhood, and it was recommended by Biermann in Eclampsia Infantum, occur-ing during dentition. He commences, for children, with g. 1/2, and gradually increases the dose (Dunglison).§
Muys equal to Cinchona. He speaks highly of its efficacy, and advises it in doses of gr xx. - 3ij , immediately on the approach of pyrexia.
438. Against Worms, it has been successfully employed, but it has fallen into disuse, not so much from its inefficiency, as from its intensely bitter and disagreeable taste. Dose, as a vermifuge gr. lx. - gr. cxx. in Aq. fl. oz. v. It should be followed by a brisk cathartic. M. Cazin* speaks very favourably of it, and considers that it not only expels worms, but, if continued, prevents their reproduction.
* Op. cit. p. 418.
Huf eland's Journ., 1842. Also Bur-dach,Archiv. Gen. de Med. t.vii. p.588.
Lancet, July 9, 1836. § New Remedies, p. 123.