DISCOVERY OF NUX VOMICA

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The Arabians first introduced Nux Vomica as a medicinal agent. Serapion describes the bean of the Strychnos St. Ignatii as Nux Vomica, and it is probable that his Nux Mechil is the Nux Vomica of the moderns. Gerarde says :
” Avicen and Serapio make Nux Vomica and Nux Methel to be one, whereabout there hath beene much cavilling; yet the case is plaine, if the text be true that the thorne apple {Datura Stramonium) is Nux Methel. Avicen affirmeth the Vomiting Nut to be of a poisonous qualitie, cold in the fourth
degree, having a stupefying nature, and bringeth deadly sleep.”

He goes on to state : ” Of the phisical vertues of the Vomiting Nuts, we thinke it not necessarie to write, because the danger is great, and not to be given inwardly, but mixed with other compositions, and that verie curiously by the hands of a faithfull apothecarie.”

According to Dr. Christison, it has been used as a medicine from time immemorial, by the natives of Hindostan. Formerly, owing probably to its poisonous effects, Nux Vomica was very sparingly employed as an internal remedy.

Dr. Woodville {Med. Bot., 1794) says : ” In Britain, where physicians seem to observe the rule saltern non nocere more strictly than in many other countries, the Nux Vomica has been rarely, if ever, employed as a medicine.

On the Continent, however, and especially in Germany, they have certainly been guided more by the axiom ‘ what is incapable of doing much harm is equally unable to do much good.’ The truth of this remark was lately very fully exemplified by the practice of Baron Stoerck, and is further illustrated by the medicinal character given of Nux Vomica, which, from the time of Gesner that of modern date, has been recommended by a succession of authors as an antidote to the plague, as a febrifuge, as a vermifuge, as a remedy in mania, hypochondria, hysteria, rheumatism,
gout, and canine madness.

” In Sweden it has of late years been successfully used in dysentery ; but Bergius, who tried its effects in this disease, says that it suppressed the flux in twelve hours, which after 47 wards returned again. A woman, who took a scruple of this drug night and morning, two successive days, is said to have been seized with convulsions and vertigo. Notwithstanding which, the dysenteric symptoms returned, and the disorder was cured by other medicines ; but a pain in the stomach, the effect of the Nux Vomica, continued afterwards for a long time.

Loureiro recommends it as a valuable internal medicine in fluor albus; for which purpose, he roasts it till it becomes perfectly black and friable, which renders its medicinal use safe without impairing its efficacy.”

Preparation: Hahnemann orders the seeds to be reduced to a fine powder, in a marble mortar, and fifty grains to be mixed with one thousand
drops of alcohol, then to be placed aside in a cool place for a week ; of this, one drop is to be mixed with five hundred drops of alcohol, and this constitutes the second attenuation; then dilute, as previously ordered, to the thirtieth attenuation.

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