2634. Modus Operandi

Dr. Pereira* enters into this subject at a great length. From his observations it appears - 1, that the operation of Nux Vomica is occasionally that of a local irritant; 2, that its active principle is absorbed into the system; 3, that the muscular contractions caused by Nux Vomica arise chiefly from changes effected in the nervous stimulus, and not from alterations in the contractility of the muscular fibre; 4, that the spinal cord is the part principally affected, although probably every part of the nervous system is specifically operated on; 5, that its action on the nervous system is that of an excitant or stimulant; 6, that no change is produced in the blood discs; 7, that death frequently results from a stoppage of the respiration, in consequence of spasm of the respiratory muscles, sometimes from exhaustion of nervous power. Dr. Harley's experiments, however, seem to show that Strychnine and Brucine do not cause death by exhaustion, or by suffocation, arising either from closure of the glottis or from spasm in the walls of the chest, but by destroying the powers of the tissues and fluids of the body to absorb Oxygen and give off Carbonic Acid. From the researches of M. Vella, it appears probable that a direct antagonism exists between Strychnine and the Woorara poison, and that they stand in the relative position of poison and antidote. According to the experiments of the Rev. S. Haughton, M.D.,§ it is probable that a similar antagonism exists between Strychnine and Nicotine. (See Nicotiana Tabacum.)

Offic. Prep. 1. Extractum Nucis VomicAe (Nux Vomica lb. j.; Rectified Spirit q. s. Prepared by first softening the Seeds by steam, then drying and reducing them to powder. The powder is then exhausted by boiling with successive portions of the Spirit. The liquid is then strained, the spirit distilled off, and the extract evaporated by a water bath to a proper consistence). Dose, gr. 1/4 - gr. ij.

2. Tinctura Nucis Voroicae (Nux Vomica Oz

ij.; Rectified Spirit Oj. The Seeds are softened by steam, dried and pulverized, and the Tincture is then prepared by maceration and percolation). Dose, x. - xxx.

Dose of powdered Nux Vomica, gr. 1/4 - gr. iij.

When any of these preparations cause muscular stiffness or convulsive twitchings, they should be discontinued for a few days, and then resumed if the circumstances of the case require it.

2635. Therapeutic Uses

In Amaurosis, M. Peterquin,|| of Lyons, found the external application of Nux Vomica very serviceable. He employed the Tincture, which was rubbed into the eyelids and temples daily. Alteratives and tonics were administered at the same time. (Bee Strychnia.)

Paralysis. See Strychnia.

2636. In Diarrhoea, depending upon sub-acute inflammation of the Mucous Membranes, with mucous glairy stools, tenesmus, griping, &c, Nux Vomica is stated to prove highly useful. Amongst others who have testified to its value are M. Recamier,¶ who, in a chronic case which had resisted all other remedies, effected a cure by the alcoholic extract in doses of gr. 1/8; and Dr. Nevins,** who found it of the greatest service in Diarrhoea

* Mat. Med., vol. ii. pt. i. p. 643, et seq.

Lancet, June 7, 14, and July 12, 1857.

Gaz. Med. de Paris, Sept. 17, 1860.

§ Proceedings of Roy. Irish Acad., Nov. 29, 1859. || Med.-Chir. Rev., July 1842. ¶ Richard, Elemens d'Hist. Nat. Med., t. ii. p. 148. ** Trans. of Lond. Ph., 1851, p. 172.

which accompanies exhaustion after Fevers. He advises the following formula: -2635 Therapeutic Uses 219 Ext. Nucis Yom. gr. ss., Pulv. Rhei, Pil. Hydrag. āā gr. ss., Ferri Carb. gr. j., Pulv. Opii gr. 1/8, M. ft. pil. ter die sumend. Dr. Graves,* also, speaks highly of its efficacy.