It is called cardiaca because it is supposed to relieve-in fainting and disorders of the stomach, particularly in children and in hypochondriacs. It is biennial, grows waste in wild grounds, and flowers in July.
It hath been celebrated in disorders of the stomach, proceeding from thick phlegm. It is said to loosen the belly, promote perspiration, urine, and the catamenia. The leaves and tops have a strong, rather a disagreeable. smell, and a bitter taste, and it has probably been useful in hysteric affections. By keeping, or by boiling, the disagreeable smell is dissipated. An extract of a pungent bitter quality is obtained by evaporating the watery decoction. But an infusion of the tops before it flowers is the best preparation. See Dale, Miller's Bot. Off. Lewis's Mat. Med.
Cardiaca, cordials, (from the heart and upper orifice of the stomachy because they act on the heart by their application to the stomach). In pharmacy it signifies cordial, and is also named cordialia. analeptica, resumptiva, and by Paracelsus, defensiva.
The word cordial is of a large extent. Things of very opposite natures may prove cordials by relieving the same symptoms when produced by opposite causes. To understand their operation, it is necessary to consider that a languor or faintness may be the consequence either of what oppresses or of what exhausts the vital powers; what retards the progress of the vita! principle, or impedes its influence, produces the same sensation as its diminution. In both these cases, medicines of opposite natures produce the same effect, by adding force to the fibres: thus, under an oppression of spirits, from heat, when no extraordinary action or indisposition of body hath exhaused them, a glass of cold water is a cordial, for it stimulates the fibres, and rouses them to their wonted action; and when, from violent exercise or a tedious disease a person faints, warm medicines, or aromatic and spirituous liquors, are also cordial, by producing the same effect. But in general, by cordials, is understood those preparations whose warm and active parts, immediately on being received into the stomach, produce a cheerfulness, and are suited to increase the strength and the heart. Valcarengus observes, that a cordial is whatever destroys, or at least blunts, the force of a morbific cause, restores the lost tone of the solids, and gives due motion to the fluids; by that means procuring a just equilibrium.
Cardiaca passio. The Cardiac passion is a disorder frequently mentioned by the ancients; but by the moderns it is mostly treated of under the name of syncope, and, indeed, from the description of the ancients, it may well be referred to that article. The name cardiaca passio is from the part supposed to be affected. Coelius Aurelianus says, "that this disorder, according to some, derived its name from the part affected; for they imagined that the heart is the principal seat of it."soranus declines giving a Y y 2
C A ft 348 C A R definition, and says, "that there is no perceptible sign of any tumour about the heart," which some suppose; and he asserts, "that it is a quick and instantaneous solution, or relaxation." Hippocrates mentions this disorder in his first and second books of Epidemics. Erasistratus also speaks of it in his books concerning the belly. Artimedorus Sidensis says, it is a tumour about the heart: but from the description of Coelius Aurelianus, in his De Acut. Morb. lib. ii. the syncope is very clearly and accurately described. See Lypothymia.