Robinia pseud-acacia. Common or False Acacia. North American Locust.
The roots of Robinia (says Treas. of Bot.) “have the taste and smell of liquorice, but are a dangerous poison, and accidents have occurred from their being mistaken for liquorice roots.” The poisonings that have been recorded have been due to eating the beans or chewing the bark. Of thirty-two boys so poisoned (H. R., iv. 72) in the mildest cases there occurred─Vomiting of ropy mucus, dilatation of pupils, dry throat, flushed face. In the severest the vomit was more copious and mixed with blood; with retching, epigastric pains, debility, stupor, cold extremities, dusky pallor, heart’s action feeble, intermittent, extremities pulseless. Recovery took place in two days.
The provings of Burt and Spranger have developed the symptoms which have led to the chief clinical uses, but some of Houatt’s symptoms have also been confirmed. The chief keynote of Rob. is acidity, especially if the time of aggravation is night. Cooper has observed improvement which was going on under Rob. cease at night-time. Sour stomach; vomiting of intensely sour fluid which set the teeth on edge. Eructations of a very sour fluid. Clinical experience has added to these: Sour stools of infants, with sour smell of body and vomiting of sour milk. Heartburn and acidity coming on when lying down at night and preventing sleep. Halbert (Clinique, March, 1899, H. W., xxxiv. 373) relates a case of hyperchlorydria treated with Rob.: Mrs. S., 40, had had stomach troubles many years, for which she had had bitter tonics, stomach douchings, electric massage. She had acid eructations and vomitings of intensely sour food; extreme appetite, but gastric pains an hour or two after meals; stomach and bowels distended with gas almost constantly, and flatulence was extremely irritating. Craved meats, but could not tolerate vegetables; craved solid food, but did not dare take it. Emaciated and cachectic. Meat, eggs, and milk was the diet prescribed. Lavage was performed every alternate day, and after it the patient was directed to eat a full meal; Rob. 3x was given every two hours, and steady improvement occurred in all particulars, till health was practically restored. Burt had a severe neuralgia in left temple, preventing sleep from midnight to daylight. He had also a “dull, heavy aching in stomach,” and a “constant dull, heavy frontal headache, much < by motion and reading. The combination of gastric and head symptoms has placed Rob. among the chief remedies in migraine and sick headaches.
Among Houatt’s symptoms was a facial neuralgia spreading to eyes, forehead, with contraction of the jaw and features; and also a sensation as if the jaws would be dislocated or fractured. Hering gives this case of neuralgia as having been cured with Rob.: “jawbone feels as if disarticulated; intensely sour taste and vomiting.” The paralytic symptoms were very marked in one of the poisoning cases. Flatulence and diarrhœa were produced, and also constipation, with constant ineffectual urging. Among the Peculiar Sensations are: As if brain revolved. As if head were full of boiling water. As if brain struck against skull. Jawbone as if disarticulated. Stomach as if scalded. As if whole body would pass away with stool. The left side was most affected. A sleepy, dull feeling in head and limbs changed from right to left. A. L. Fisher (quoted H. R., iv. 27) has relieved with Rob., when everything else failed, the intensely acid vomiting in four cases of gastric cancer. Millspaugh points out that Trifol. prat., which is a domestic remedy for cancer, is a near botanical ally of Rob. The symptoms are < by touch (neuralgia from contact of food), < by motion. < By reading (headache), < Lying down (heartburn and acidity). < Being raised from the horizontal (nausea and vomiting). < Night. < From fat, gravies, flatulent food, cabbages, turnips, new bread, ice-cream, raw fruit, &c.; they = gastric headache. Reference: A DICTIONARY OF PRACTICAL MATERIA MEDICA By John Henry CLARKE, M.D.