It is a hairy plant, with oblong narrow leaves, tough branched stalks; bearing numerous small yellow flowers; followed by short roundish pods, full of small reddish brown seeds. It is annual, common in waste places, and flowers in July.
This plant is not in much esteem: it has been employed in the cure of hoarseness like the horse radish (see Raphanus rusticanus); and perhaps, as having less acrimony than the other siliquose plants, it may be more frequently used. Cullen's Materia Medica. The leaves are herbaceous to the taste; the flowers attenu-ant, expectorant, and diuretic; the seeds resemble in their qualities those of mustard, but are much weaker: their acrimony is extracted totally by water, and partially by spirit. Water is strongly impregnated with them in distillation. Stahl highly commends the active parts of this plant in scirrho-cancerous tumours. It is also a name of the sophia.
Erysimum alliaria. See Alliaria. Erysimum barbarea. See Barbarea. Erysimum latifolium, also called sinapi syl-vestre, etc. Broad leaved hedge mustard. Its virtues are similar to those of the other kind. Raii Hist.
Erysimum theophrasti. See Fagopyrum. Erysipelas, (from to draw, and near; because the neighbouring parts are affected by the eruption; or from red, and black, a dark red). Antonii sancti ignis; ignis sacer; brunus; herpes ferus; ignis Persicus; zoster, zona, macula lata; the girdle; shingles; in Switzerland, the violet; in this country, the rose; by Galen and Celsus, phygethlon; commonly in English, Saint Anthony's fire.
Dr. Cullen places this disease in the class pyrexiae, and order exanthemata; which he defines an inflammatory fever of two or three days, attended Commonly with sleepiness, often with delirium. In some parts of the skin, most frequently on the face, there is an erythematous inflammation. (See Phlogosis erythe-he distinguishes two species: 1. Erysipelas vesiculosum; an erythema, with a spreading redness occupying a broad space, which in some parts runs into large blisters; comprehending the e. rosa; typhodes; pestilens; contagiosum; and febris erysipelatosa of Sydenham.
2. Erysipelas phlyctenodes; an erythema, consisting of many pimples occupying particular parts of the trunk of the body, and running quickly into phlyc-tenae, or small blisters. This comprehends the e. zoster; e. zona; shingles; zona ignea of Hoffman; her-fies zoster. When symptomatic it is the e. exveneno. The term erysipelas has been applied by medical writers to the erythematous inflammation, as well as the erysipelatous fever; but Sauvages properly uses the term vitium cutaneum, because, where only a symptomatic fever attends, he calls it erythema; and erysipelas when exanthematic fever precedes.
This disorder may affect any part of the body; but the face is most frequently its seat; next the arms, the body, and then the feet. The seat of the true species is in the surface of the skin; Heister says in the scarf-skin and the internal membranes.
It most frequently happens in autumn, or in any season when hot weather is succeeded by cold and wet. The sanguine and plethoric, young people, and pregnant women, are most subject to it: those who have once been affected are very liable to future attacks.
The causes are chiefly sudden cold succeeding a great heat or sweat, obstructed perspiration, and an acrimonious blood. Tissot attributes it to two causes; 1st, An acrid humour, commonly bilious, diffused through the mass of blood; and this was the opinion of Hippocrates and Galen. 2diy, The humours not being duly discharged by perspiration.
The symptoms of this disease are well described by Tissot. It begins with a violent shivering, succeeded by a burning heat, a violent headach, and sickness, that continue till the erysipelas appears, which happens only on the second or third day: the fever and sickness then abate; though frequently a small degree of both remains during the increase of the disease. When the inflammation is in the face, the headach continues until the decline of the eruption; the eye lids swell, and the eyes close. It often passes from one cheek to the other, and extends successively over the forehead, neck, and nape of the neck, when the disease is of unusual duration. Sometimes also, when in a high degree, the fever continues, the brain is oppressed, the patient is delirious, and in great danger. A violent erysipelas in the neck brings on a severe and often fatal angina. When it attacks the leg, the whole limb is swelled, and the heat and irritation from it- extend up to the thigh. Whenever the tumour is considerable, the part it seizes is covered with small pustules, filled with a clear watery humour, resembling those which appear after a burn: these afterwards dry and scale off. Sometimes, when erysipelas affects the face, the fluid from the pustules is glutinous, and forms a thick scurf nearly resembling those of sucking children, and they continue on the face many days. When the disease is violent, it continues eight, ten. or twelve days, at the same height; and is at last terminated by a very plentiful sweat, that may sometimes be predicted by a restlessness, attended with shivering, and a little anxiety of some hours duration. In the progress of the disease, the whole skin, and even the inside of the mouth, are very dry.
An erysipelas rarely comes in this climate to suppuration; when it does, the suppuration is always unkindly, and much disposed to degenerate into an ulcer. But in the colder countries, and even in Scotland, a phlegmonous inflammation, with proper pus, often comes on in different points. Sometimes a malignant species of erysipelas is epidemical, and then it frequently terminates in a gangrene. The eruption often retires suddenly; and the patient is disordered with a propensity to vomit, a sensible anxiety and heat; the erysipelas ap-pears again in a different part, and he feels himself relieved. But if, instead of re-appearing on the surface, the humour is thrown upon the brain, or the breast, he dies within a few hours; and these fatal changes and translations sometimes occur without the least reason for ascribing them either to any error of the patient, or his physician. If the humours have been transferred to the brain, the patient immediately becomes delirious, with a highly flushed visage, and very quick sparkling eyes; soon after he becomes delirious, and dies lethargic. When the head, however, is affected, it is not always that the external inflammation recedes: more frequently the violence of the determination is such that the internal as well as the external carotids take their share, and the brain as well as the skin suffers. The lungs are more seldom attacked, and generally from a recession of the external inflammation. The anxiety and heat are then violent. There are some constitutions subject to a very frequent, and, as it were, an habitual erysipelas: if it often affects the face, it is generally repeated on the same side, and that eye is at length considerably weakened.