In Cancer, Conium was introduced by Stoerck, and its efficacy has been attested by Fothergill, Hamilton, Nicholson, Bell, and many French and German physicians of eminence; but it failed in the hands of Siebold, Lange, Hill, Akenside, and Burne. This discrepancy is partly due to the adulteration, &c, of the remedy; but Recamier,* a strong advocate for its use, has shown that the medicinal effects of Conium were powerful in inverse ratio to the quantity of food taken. When administered with a full diet, he observed that the remedy was almost useless. In his practice, he employed an acetous extract, in doses of gr. 1/2, twice daily, before a very moderate meal, and gradually increased the dose until gr. xxiv. were taken daily. As a curative agent, it is now abandoned; as a palliative, it is very useful. Dr. Copland + has observed great advantage from full doses of Conium, in combination with Borax. Hemlock poultices are useful in allaying pain.
Walshe states, that when pushed to gr. x. of the Extract, twice daily, he has seen Conium allay the pain and irritability of that viscus.
963. In Chronic Bronchitis, Coughs, and in irritable states of the Mucous Membrane of the Air-Passages, Conium, in combination with Squills, proves a valuable palliative. Dr. Paris § speaks highly of it: he commences with a dose of gr. iv. - v. thrice daily, and continues it until it produces vertigo or nausea. Dr. Stokes advises inhalation of the vapour (gr. x. - xv. of the Extract in boiling water) once or twice a-day, for a quarter of an hour at a time. It is a constituent of Sir C. Scudamore's Iodine inhalation mixture in Phthisis. (See Iodine.)
* Recherche sur le Trait de Cancer, vol. i. p. 474 Dict, of Pract. Med., art. Cancer.
On the Nature and Treatment of Cancer, op. cit. § Pharmacologia.
964. In Chronic Rheumatism, the inspissated juice of Conium has been used with signal benefit by Dr. Neligan.* He ascribes the failure of the remedy in the hands of others to medical men being afraid to push its use until constitutional effects are fully established. Dr. A. T. Thompson also speaks favourably of it.
Home, of Edinburgh, employed the Extract of Conium in 6 cases. Of these, 3 were relieved, and 3 entirely cured; although 2 of them were of long standing, and 1 occurred in an old person.
A. T. Thompson § states, that his experience authorizes him in saying, that it is more to be depended upon than any other narcotic. In other Neuralgic Affections, it also proves highly serviceable. In Tetanus, the use of Conium was suggested by Mr. De Morgan,|| with the view of diminishing the irritability of that part of the nervous centres which controls the reflex muscular action, and inducing muscular paralysis.
A striking case in which it was successfully employed is recorded by Dr. Corry.¶ Five grains of the Extract were given every third hour.