Cephaelis Ipecacuanha. It is a Brazilian plant of the order Chinchonaceae. The root is used, of which there are three kinds, the brown, the grey, and the white.

The brown is the best. As an emetic Ipecacuanha is the most certain, safest, and the best that we have. It is also a valuable expectorant and diaphoretic remedy, and greatly aids the action of aperients. It has a specific action on the Bronchial mucous membrane, so as to excite its secretion when too dry; it relieves the system, and causes perspiration. As an emetic it does not nauseate, and reduce the system so much as Tartar Emetic, nor is its action so irritating as Sulphate of Zinc.

An emetic given at the commencement of fevers will arrest their course; and if it fail, it is sure to give to the disease a milder form; say from 10 to 20 grains of Ipecacuanha powder. Dr. Graham says, "In doses of two or three grains, repeated every 3 or 4 hours, till it operates by vomiting, sweating, or purging, it is found of great utility in dysentery and chronic looseness : indeed its effects in these severe complaints are often invaluable, and it is perhaps the most beneficial aperient in dysentery; for when we can bring it to act in this way, it produces a steady determination of the peristaltic motion of the bowels downwards, at the same time that it strengthens their internal surface, and relaxes the skin."

Where it is necessary to excite nausea and vomiting in children and delicate persons, Ipecacuanha is the best; its expectorant property renders it very useful in catarrhal affections, when it is frequently combined with squills. In hooping cough and in asthma, it relieves spasmodic restriction, and to clear the chest of phlegm by vomiting. In spitting of blood it is invaluable, arresting its progress, and preventing its return. In dyspepsia, or indigestion, bilious, and liver complaints, it has great efficacy.—Dose; of powder, as an expectorant, from 1 to 2 grains; as a diaphoretic, from 2 to 4 grains; as an emetic, from 10 to 20 grams, according to the age and strength of the patient. The vomiting is promoted and facilitated by drinking copiously of warm watery fluids. The Ipecacuanha Lozenges are useful in cough, and may be taken also to the extent of an emetic, even one or two sometimes being sufficient for that purpose.

The compound powder, or the celebrated Dover's Sudorific Powder. Ipecacuanha, in powder, and purified opium, of each one part; sulphate of potass, eight parts, triturate them together into a fine powder. This powder is one of the most certain sudorifics, recommended by Dr. Dover as an effectual remedy in rheumatism; it is useful also in dropsy, and several other diseases, where it is difficult, by other means, to produce a copious sweat. The dose is from 2 to 5 grains repeated as the patient's stomach and strength can bear it. Avoid much drinking immediately after it, to avoid vomiting before the other effects are produced."

It is a valuable anodyne, sudorific, and alterative, of great service in acute and chronic rheumatism, and in other complaints; it relieves pain, procures sleep, and relaxes the skin." —It is the best to buy the root, which is soon powdered. The wine may be made by steeping well half an ounce of the root, bruised in half a pint of sherry for two or three weeks, and then filtering. Dose; expectorant, 10 to 20 drops; as an emetic, 2 to 4 drachms ; for a child from 10 drops.

Important Disclaimer:   The information contained on this web site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.

This page and the rest of the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs was reproduced from old herbals written in the 1700 and 1800s. They are of historical interest to show the traditional uses of various herbs based on folk medicine and ancient wisdom. However the traditional uses for these herbs have not been confirmed by medical science and in some cases may actually be dangerous. Do not use the these herbs for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.

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