This is the root of Gossypium herbaceum, or the common cotton plant of our Southern States. it is said to be much employed by the slaves of the South for producing abortion, and Dr. Bouchelle, of Mississippi, to whom we are mainly indebted for what is known on this subject, considers it not inferior to ergot in its power of promoting uterine contraction. (See U. S. Dispensatory.) He believes that it operates without injury to the general health in any way, and uses it habitually to assist lingering labour. He boils four ounces of the inner bark of the root in a quart of water to a pint, and gives a wineglassful every twenty or thirty minutes. Dr. Thomas J. Shaw, of Robertson County, Tenn., confirms the statements of Dr. Bouchelle. (Nashville Journ. of Med. and Surg., July, 1855.) This is a subject well worthy of further investigation. Ainslie states that in India a decoction of the root is used in urinary disorder.

Several other medicines have been used, under the impression that they possessed the power of promoting uterine contraction. By not a few, Borax has been supposed to be endowed with this property; but others deem it utterly inefficient, and with greater probability on their side. Digitalis is supposed by Mr. W. H. Dickinson, from the extraordinary power which it has displayed in his hands in arresting hemorrhage of the uterus, to promote uterine contraction; but admitting the therapeutic effect, it is not necessary to appeal to such an agency in its production. in another part of this work (vol. II. p. ill), the result is considered as more probably ascribable to a sedative action on the capillaries. Uva Ursi is, with a greater appearance of probability, ranked in this class of medicines; as it undoubtedly has a peculiar tendency to the urinary organs. it has been used in not a few instances; and some are disposed to claim for it an energy little inferior to that of ergot. Dr. Parker recommends Tartar Emetic as efficient in promoting uterine contraction, given in very small doses, every ten or fifteen minutes, till some nausea is produced. (Ann. de Thérap., 1865, p. 184.)

* Since the publication of the first edition, the author has received a letter from his friend, Dr. Quinton Gibbon, of Salem, N. J. (Oct. 17, 1856), detailing several cases in which tansy appears to have acted very favourably in bringing on uterine contraction in tedious labour in one after ergot had failed. in one of the cases, two drachms of the dried herb was used; in another, the quantity was indefinite. The os uteri was dilated, and the protraction of delivery was owing simply to languor of the uterus. The pains were brought on in from twenty minutes to half an hour. Dr. Gibbon does not consider the medicine so efficient as ergot, but nevertheless very useful in moderate cases, or as a substitute. {Note to the second edition.)