Cephalics, (from the head, also capitalia,) remedies against disorders of the head. Dr. Cullen says, "however frequently employed, such a general meaning is sufficient to show the absolute impropriety of the term. It has been proposed to limit it to such medicines as have the power of increasing the energy of the brain and the activity of the nervous system. But in this manner it has been applied without any proper distinction and precision; and till this can be done, the term would be better laid aside."in general, authors mean by cephalics, cordials, and whatever promotes a free circulation of the blood through the brain.
In general, cool applications are useful cephalics, when inflammation prevails; but the ether, and the spirit of ammonia, as we have just observed, are more frequently useful. The old pharmaceutical works are full of formulae under this title, to be applied as capitones, frontals, or in other forms, which modern practice wholly disregards. The medicines were generally of the stimulant kind. The herbals are equally full of medicines, which clear, which purge, which fortify the brain, under the name of cephalics. Perhaps err-hines and sialogogues may have some effect in promoting a discharge; but these act on more general principles. The chief cephalics retained in some of the lists of the older authors are, the betony, the valerian, the lavender, the abrotanum, and the vanilloes.
Cepha'i.ica policis. A branch from the cepha-lica vena, sent off from about the lower extremity of the radius, running superficially between the thumb and the metacarpus.
Cephalica tinctura, of a former edition of the Edinburgh Dispensatory, consisted of four ounces of wild valerian root, finely powdered; one ounce of Virginian snake root, powdered; half an ounce of the tops of rosemary; and six pints of white French wine; digested for three days, and then strained off. If to this were added two ounces of senna, one ounce of black hellebore, and two pints of French white wine, the cephalica tinctura purgans is formed. It is now totally disregarded, though it may be useful as a nervous or antispasmodic medicine; particularly in those nervous complaints connected with fullness of the vessels of the head.
Cephalica vena. The cephalic vein, called also capitis vena: because the head was supposed to be relieved by taking blood from it. It docs not attend particular artery; it comes over the shoulder between the pectoral and deltoid muscles, and runs down the back part of the arm; when it arrives at, or a little below, the bending of the fore arm, it divides into two, below the outer, as the basilic does below the inner, condyle of the os humeri. The inner of the two branches of the cephalic vein is called mediana cephalica, and is the safest to bleed in. It is a branch from the axil-larv vein.