The Eclectics physicians were living in western towns and had access to both the Native Americans that used Echinacea angustifolium, and the plant itself. They pioneered its study and discovered more about it than has been discovered in the 100 years since they stopped studying it. If you want to know about this plant, read what the Eclectics wrote about it in their textbooks! Here you will find all the excerpts.
One of the things I find really interesting is this…..they took an obscure plant, studied it, and discovered it had a million applications. To me, its the story of why its worth studying medicinal plants. You never know what amazing discovery you will find. Anyhow, without further fuss, here are the Eclectic notes on Echinacea.
An alterative of great value in strumous diathesis, syphilis, old sores and wounds. a powerful antiseptic, locally and internally, in diptheria, typhoid conditions, cholera infantum, and in blood poisoning.
Strumous and syphilitic diathesis, ulceration with prfuse secretion, tendency to systemic poisoning, foul phagedenic ulcers, diarrhoea with nausea and vomiting, profuse and bad smelling discharges, purplish skin with bluish shining appearance, vesicular eruptions, viscid exudations, painful superficial irritations, burning of surface, breath offensive, dusky colored mucous membranes, profuse acrid saliva, tendency to gangrene and sloughing, weakness and emaciation. Ten drops to one drachm in four ounces water; teaspoonful every three hours.
1898; Webster; (Antiseptics, Antizymotics, Correctives)
This remedy promises to fill one of the most important purposes of any of this class. It is comparatively a new one, but has already afforded eminent satisfaction to quite a large number of Eclectics as a corrector of depraved states of the blood, where ordinary remedies have failed to satisfy the demand.
It resembles both baptisia and rhus tox., in some respects, though as a remedy for the septic phase of typhoid fever, where there is a tendency to gangrenous states it excels the former remedy, while in erysipelas where sloughing is imminent, it is preferable to the latter. Its action seems to be more that of restorative to the tissues generally than these, while it possesses none the less power as an antiseptic.
Dr. Meyer, of Nebraska , who introduced the remedy, has successfully administered it in diseases of the stomach, cholera infantum; cholera morbus; intermittent, remittent, congestive, continued and typhoid, fevers; and in small pox, measles, boils, carbuncles, ulcerated sore throat and ulcers of the lower extremities. According to his observation it has no superior in malarial fevers. In six out of ten cases of typhoid fever, two of the patients were out of bed on the eighth day, three on the tenth, and one on the twelfth. He asserts that twenty-five drops of the pure tincture injected into the rectum, in case of hemorrhoids, repeating the injections three times per day, will promptly effect a cure. He recommends it locally, as a cure for the effects of the stings of bees and wasps, snake bites and poisoning from rhus and other noxious plants. He makes the following statement regarding its value in rattlesnake bites:-
I injected some of the poison into my system, on the forefinger of the left hand; the swelling was rapid, and in six hours was up to the elbow. At this time I took a dose of the medicine, washed the swelling with it and lay down to sleep. I slept four hours, and on rising did not find a single sign of swelling on my finger or arm.? The recoveries from rattlesnake poisoning are effected in from one to two hours.
From his knowledge of the influence of this remedy upon other poisons, Dr. Meyer prophesied its success as a remedy for hydrophobia – which Professor Goss has, in a measure, verified, he having used it in the cases of two persons who had been bitten by a rabid dog; several months later no manifestation of the disease was apparent. He has had more success with it since.
Dr. Hayes, of Denver , Colorado , reported six cases of malignant diphtheria cured by this agent, in the Eclectic Medical Journal – where the principal portion of the information regarding it emanated. The first one he considered hopeless, and so informed the parents; but to his surprise, the patient, a girl twelve years of age, recovered upon echinacea, being convalescent in four days. The auxiliary treatment consisted of the inhalation of oil of eucalyptus, evaporated in hot water.
I have used it in one seemingly hopeless case of diphtheria with complete success. In another, where the evidence of malignant blood poisoning was pronounced by marked exhaustion, extensive exudation and sloughing of the fauces, the patient was tidied through to convalescence upon echinacea, but was afterward killed by injudicious feeding. Another genuine case – and this means a severe one – recovered promptly upon echinacea, and still another which had been saturated with the drug for several days previous to the onset, perished from blocking of the respiratory passages with exudate. It seems to be the remedy for the form where the blood depravation manifests itself in tendency to sloughing of the soft tissues, while it possesses no power to correct that condition which tends to the throwing out of plastic exudates. These four are the only genuine cases met with between the reading of the report referred to and this writing, but I have formed a very favorable opinion of the remedy from this limited experience. Diphtheria reports may usually be received with some allowance, considering the proneness of thoughtless or ignorant practitioners to include all cases of follicular tonsillitis – a harmless and self-limiting, though unpleasant condition, readily amenable to aconite and phytolacea, in combination – in the diagnosis.
Dr. Hayes reports success with echinacea in ?mountain fever.? Fifteen cases were successfully treated, all but one – which had been maltreated by another physician – recovering within fourteen days from commencement. Several cases of the same kind were aborted by the remedy, at an early stage. He also cured two cases of typhoid fever with it in twenty-one and fourteen days respectively. Both had been exposed to sewer gas.
I have employed echinacea in both typhoid and typhus fever, with the best of satisfaction. I believe that unless there is the serious abdominal complication demanding baptisia in alternation, or a pronounced indication of the tongue calling for some more-specific corrective, this agent may be safely relied upon in all cases of a dynamic fever, however classed nosologically. It is a sedative, and such influence is very acceptable in many such cases. It seems to correct the downward tendency of the fluids, restoring proper blood-making, secretion, excretion and innervation, probably by acting as an antiferment.
October 23, 1887, writes Dr. Hayes, in the report referred to, ?I was called to a case with a history of blood poisoning and treatment with caustic, mercuric bichloride and hot water – a man sixty-five years of age. Two physicians had given him up. I was much inclined to follow their example, but thought it a good case to test echinacea. On entering the room Professor Scudder’s ?rose’ and Professor Howe’s ?tandog’ were suggested by the intolerable stench. Examination revealed a mass of dead flesh between the metacarpal bones of the index finger and thumb of the right hand. Lifting it, the metacarpal bone lay bare the whole length, both extensor and flexor muscles having sloughed off. The old man was very weak and exhibited the characteristic symptoms of severe poisoning, so I dismissed the thought of amputation and applied the echinacea locally, diluting it one-half; also gave it internally full strength. At the end of a week the patient was out of bed.
?The other day he walked into my office and exhibited his hand. The chasm was pretty well filled with healthy flesh, the bone being visible at only one small point, the edges of the wound (?) contracted, and so covered with skin that it is reduced to less than one-third its former dimensions. Several times during the treatment I withdrew the internal medicine. Every attempt was followed in a short time by sloughing at some point.?
Shortly after my return from Europe (October, 1890) a rancher from San Bernardino county applied to me for relied from effects of a tarantula bite on the hand, received while working among his grape vines. The bite had been inflicted more than a month before I saw the hand, and plenty of time had elapsed for the effects of the poison to become manifested locally. The middle finger of the right hand over the dorsal aspect of the first phalanx, presented a purplish, sloughing ulcer, as large as a silver quarter, and the whole finger was enormously swollen its entire length, and presented a bluish, shiny appearance. The entire hand was purple and oedematous, while the patient was worn and emaciated from the constitutional effects of the poison and loss of rest resulting from the local discomfort. The home doctor had treated the case from the beginning, but nothing used had seemed to afford any benefit.
I prescribed echinacea as follows: -
R Echinacea (s. m.), fzss.
Aqua, ad fzvi.
S. Take a teaspoonful every hour while awake. Also. -
R Echinacea (s. m.), fzss.
Aqua, ad fzvi.
S. Use to saturate a compress applied to the ulcer, wetting every two hours.
Thus I gave the agent singly, determined to allow it a fair field and no favors.
On the second day afterward I saw the hand, and was surprised at the evidence of improvement already visible; and within a week the angry appearance was all gone and ulcer nearly healed. All the malignant aspects of the case had given way, and a few days more sufficed to send the patient on his way rejoicing.
During the December following, one of my old patrons, a carpenter, accidentally inflicted an ugly wound across the back of his hand, with a saw, on a rainy day, and this, with the effects of a wetting received, resulted in serious prospects for the wounded member. When I first saw it, the ragged wound was everted, erysipelatous in appearance, the whole hand presenting an angry and oedematous aspect. The pain was severe, extending along the tendons of the extensors to the forearm, threateningly. Here I used the echinacea, both internally and locally, though the internal use was associated with that of aconite and rhus tox. A speedy recovery followed.
Dr Goss commends this agent very highly in syphilis – in both secondary and tertiary stages. Antisyphilitics are so few, and so unreliable generally, that we may well afford to investigate the merits of this new acquisition, in this direction.
The following extract is from an article on this agent, by Dr. W. E. Kinnett, published in the first volume of the Annals of Eclectic Medicine and Surgery . It suggests still further uses for it, as a plasma remedy: -
?I did not have to wait long to test my new medicine. I was treating a case of perityphilitis in a girl fifteen years old and it seemed that an abscess would be the result, most of the symptoms being present. I thought of my echinacea as an ?antiseptic? and a blood ?purifier?; I at once commenced administering internally, thirty drops every three hours, and saturated a cloth and applied to the part and kept it wet with the medicine continually. The symptoms of abscess soon began to disappear and my patient improved rapidly.
?I have made extensive use of echinacea in follicular tonsillitis, combining it or giving it alone. I have used it as a dressing for wounds and open sores and find it a very fine remedy, and in many cases superior to anything else I have found.
?I have also been using it in cases of cholera morbus and cholera infantum, combining it with neutralizing cordial in some cases, and in others I have combined it with other remedies that were indicated, such as aconite and nux vomica, and at other times giving it alone.
?I have just dismissed a very severe case of dysentery in a child two years old, which I treated mainly with echinacea, adding other indicated remedies. It sweetens the breath, corrects the very bad smell of the discharges from the bowels, and acts as a tonic.
I have injected it into pus cavities after evacuating them (using full strength) and they healed more rapidly than any I had previously treated. I have used it in two cases of rhus poisoning with success. It does not cause pain when applied to recent wounds. I have not had any cases of diphtheria since I have been testing the remedy. As soon as a case presents itself I will give echinacea a thorough trial. I administer it in doses of from five to thirty drops every two or three hours in water or syrup.?
I have recently been using echinacea in an aggravated case of rhus poisoning, which in California sometimes results in serious consequences. A year before, the patient, a youth who had been in the habit of going into the mountains with dogs and chasing rabbits until dripping with perspiration while breaking through the chaparral thickly lined with the shrub, was confined to his bed for three weeks suffering excruciatingly with the burning and itching all over the body, while his face was swollen beyond recognition. The following season he repeated the rabbit hunt and was again severely poisoned but was only confined to bed for a week. Echinacea was used internally, and as a bath, several times a day upon this occasion, the alcohol vapor bath being employed in connection with it. Since that time he has been exposed to the same influence with complete immunity from the poisonous effects of the scrub, several times.
1898; Webster; (Skin) – Echinacea Purparea
Echinacea is a remedy of rare virtue when superficial irritation of acute and painful character is met. Burning of the surface with redness is a good indication for its use. In some very severe cases of this kind I have met with gratifying success from the continued local and internal use of the remedy.
In chafing and other forms of erythema, echinacea is one of the most reliable remedies we possess, not only for temporary relief of the burning and itching, but for permanent cure. The internal use of the agent seems to relieve the system at large, or else th skin itself, of the irritable element with predisposes to the condition.
Form for Use. – A twenty-five per cent. dilution of the specific medicine or a saturated tincture in water. Cloths can be saturated with this and applied to the affected surface, or if this be impracticable, the part may be frequently bathed with the preparation. Internally, a teaspoonful may be given every hour or two.
Specific echinaceae is made of the root gathered in the far west. This differs materially in properties from that grown farther east. It has but little taste, but leaves in the throat and tongue a tingling sensation.
This is a perenial herb with a thick, black root, the latter having a pungent taste. The plant grows to the heighth of two or three feet, being found in rocky and sandy soils.
This remedy is one of the most important of our recent accesions. It is both alterative and antiseptic. It is used in many disorders of the blood, as syphilis, scrofula, and chronic ulcerations. It is one of the reliable remedies for blood poisoning.
Echinaceae causes an excessive flow of saliva and perspiration. THe fresh root scraped and given freely is the treatment used by the sioux indians for snake bite. It is a remedy of some value in typhoid fever, and is well spoken of in diptheria, spinal meningitis, and in unhealthy conditions of the mouth and fauces. It may be employed in cases in which baptisia is useful.
The dose of this remedy ranges from two to ten drops of the specific preparation.
sp.med: Tendency to formation of multiple cellular abscesses, bluish coloration of skin, evidence of bad blood. dose: twenty drops every three hours.
1905: Petersen: ECHINACEA ANGUSTIFOLIA:
Syn – Echinacea: Black Sampson: Cone Flower.
P. E. – Root.
N. O. – Compositae.
N. H. – In the Western states. U.S.A.
Properties: Alterative: antiseptic: anti-syphilitic.
Use: The remedy in all depraved conditions of the blood. Has an alterative and restorative effect on the tissues, hastens retrograde metamorphosis and has marked antiseptic properties; therefore its range of usefulness in both acture and chronic affections is large. We think of it in scrofula, syphilis, typhoid fever, puerperal fever, diphtheria, uraemic poisons, appendicitis, cholera infantum, cholera morbus, diarrhoea, cerebral spinal meningitis, carbuncles, septic fevers, boils, tonsilitis, small-pox, measles, pneumonia, and in fact all septic and depraved conditions of the blood it is the remedy and should be given in good sized doses either alone or with other indicated remedies. In ulcers, ulcerated sore throat, catarrh, nasal catarrh, inflammation of the male and female urethra, and of the vagina, in exzema, erysipelas, rhus tox poisoning, use it internally and locally. In poisonous bites of rattlesnakes, tarantulas, wasps, etc. give in 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoonful doses every 1/4 to 1/2 hour, until relieved; then in smaller doses and at longer intervals; it should also be applied to the sore pure or in 25 to 50% solution according to the severity of the case. In hemorrhoids it may be injected in the tumore, 15 to 20 drops, repeated if necessary. Of value in gonorrhoea. Has been recommended in hydrophobia. In skin diseases of systemic origin echinacea should not be forgotten, both locally and internally. In ulcers, sores, boils, etc., where it fails to cure, the cause will be found to be a deficiency of the lime salts, such as calcium phos. 2x, calcium sulph. 1x. or in some cases silica 3x. and if such is the case these elements should be supplied and the trouble will be corrected. As echinacea has a tendency to correct abnormalities and exerts this same influence on the temperature of the body, it is a valuable remedy in both sthenic and asthenic conditions and may be associated or alternated in these cases with other indicated remedies. used with some of our special sedatives it will to some degree counteract their depressing effect. As a wet surgical dressing it has no equal. The average dose of echinacea is from 5 to 10 drops 3 to 4 times a day; but in severe cases and poisoning of the blood by poisonous bites, etc., it must be used in much larges doses and at short intervals. Locally use pure or in 25 to 50% solution. In constitutional syphilis it is a great remedy if associated with other alteratives such as berberis aquafolium or iris versicolor. In septic conditions from abortion or in puerperal septicaemia it is the best remedy we have.
1909: Felter and Lloyd: ECHINACEA – ECHINACEA
History - Conspicuous among the remedies introduced within recent years, echinacea undoubtedly takes the first rank. As with all new remedies, it has suffered the usual over-estimation, and the exaggerated claims made for it led by Prof. Lloyd to view it with suspicion for a long time. Prof. H. T. Webster (Dynam. Therap.), was the first to give an extensive, though sectional account of the therapy of the drug. Though now a well-known drug, echinacea stands peculiarly along in being essentially a new remedy. Many remedies which have lately been introduced can be traced back for years, and some of them for centuries, as having at some time occupied a place in either domestic or professional practice, but our ancient scientific works are silent concerning this species of echinacea.
Gray, in his Synoptical Flora of North America, published some years ago, wrote: “Used in popular medicine under the name black sampson,” but since he refers to the plant as “black sampson”, a name applied to Echinacea purpurea, it may be accepted that he referred to that drug. A careful search through the large numbers of works upon domestic medicine, herbals, medical botanies, and the so-called “irregular” works upon practice, contained in the Lloyd Library, failed to reveal even a mention of Echinacea angustifolia as a medicinal agent. In this connection, the following from the pen of Mr C. G. Lloyd, who identified the drug first used by Dr Meyer and Dr King, will serve to distinguish between black sampson and Echinacea angustifolia:
“Echinacea purpurea, Moench, is a plant growing in the eastern states from Pennsylvania west. it was introduced in King’s Dispensatory under the name of Rudbeckia purpurea, and the common name black sampson. Echinacea angustifolia, De Candolle, is an entirely different plant, found only in prairie regions, and not occurring east of the prairie regions of Illinois, and has never been used under the name black sampson. There is no mention of it in medical literature preceding the paper of Drs. Meyer and King”. The first notices concerning echinacea are from Eclectic physicians, and the drug is, from start to finish, an Eclectic medicine.
Echinacea angustifolia is an indigenous plant of the composite , growing chiefly in the western states, from Illinois to Nebraska, an dsouthward through Missouri to Texas, thriving best in rich prairie soil. That which grows in marshy places is of inferior quality. It has also been stated that it grows in rocky and sandy soil. The plant, however, which is abundant in Kansas, Nebraska, and neighboring localities, is not mentioned by P. A. Rydberg, in his recently published Flora of the Sand Hills of Nebraska (Contributions to the U.S. Nat. Herbarium, Vol. III, No.3, 1895). The plant blooms from June to August. Echinacea is sometimes known in Kansas as nigger-head, a name derived from the shape and somber hue of its fruiting head. The scientific appellations are derived from physical features of the plant, and are therefore descriptive. The generic term Echinacea, is derived from the Greek echinos, meaning hedge-hog or sea-urchin, referring to the spiny, hedge-hog like fruiting head; while the specific name angustifolia, comes from the two Latin words, angustus (narrow) and folium (leaf), contrasting thereby this species with the other forms of Echinacea, this being the narrow-leaved species.
The introduction of echinacea into professional practice is due conjointly to Dr. H. F. C. Meyer, of Pawnee City, Neb., and the late Prof. John King. The former had, for many years (since 1870), been using the plant without knowing its botanical position. In a letter to Prof. King (see E.M.J., 1887), in 1886, he communicated to the latter his uses of the drug, as he had employed it for 16 years. His claims for the remedy were based upon the conclusion that it was “an antispasmodic and antidote for blood-poisoning.” The enthusiastic doctor had been using it in a secret mixture with wormwood and hops, which he had denominated “Meyer’s Blood Purifier.” Among his claims for it was its antidotal action upon the poison of various insects, and particularly that of the rattlesnake. Meyer stated that he even allowed a rattler to bite him, after which he bathed the parts with some of the tincture, took a drachm of it internally, an dlaid down and slept, and upon awakening all traces of swelling had disappeared! Prof. King wrote: “He (Dr. Meyer) kindly offered to send the writer a rattler 8 feet long, that the antidotal influence of the tincture upon dogs, rabbits, etc. bitten by said serpent, might be tested; but having no friendship for the reptile, and being unaccustomed to handling this poisonous ophidian, the generous offer was courteously declined.”
The following range of affections were those in which Dr. Meyer claimed success for this remedy: Malarial fever, cholera morbus, cholera infantum, boils, and internal abscesses, typhoid fever (internally and locally to abdomen); ulcerated sore throat, old ulcers, poisoning from rhus, erysipelas, carbuncles, bites and stings of bees, wasps, spiders, etc.; in nasal and pharyngeal catarrh, hemorrhoids, various fevers, including typhoid, congestive, and remittent; trichinosis, nervous headache, acne, scrofulous ophthalmia, milk crust, scald head, and eczema; also in colic in horses. Subsequent use of the drug has in a measure substantiated the seemingly incredulous claims of its introducer, for it will be observed that most of the conditions were such as might be due to blood depravation, or to noxious introductions from without the body – the very field in which echinacea is known to display its power.
In the autumn of 1885, Dr. Meyer sent to Prof. J. U. Lloyd a quantity of the root, desiring the latter to enlighten him as to its botanical name. At the same time he expressed Dr. King a quantity of the tincture. Prof. Lloyd, questioning the claims of Meyer, wrote to him that he could not bame the plant from the root alone, whereupon the latter shipped another quantity of the root, followed (September 28, 1886) by a specimen plant, which Mr Curtis G. Lloyd then identified as Echinacea angustifolia of De Candolle (see paper by Prof. Lloyd on Echinacea, in E. M. Jour., Augl, 1897).
Prof. King, appearing to have more faith than Prof. Lloyd in the possibilities of the new drug, took an active interest in it, and by experimenting extensively was soon convinced of its great value. His use of it led him to report success in obstinate naso-pharyngeal catarrh; in rheumatism (one case being of the articular variety); in cholera morbus and cholera infantum; in chronic ulcers of the leg (one case of which was complicated with an eczematous eruption of years standing); also in painful chronic hemorrhoids, vaginal leucorrhoea with ulceration of the os uteri, poisoning from poison ivy, and stings of wasps and bees, with very extensive swelling. Dyspepsia, with pain an dgreat distress, aggravated by partaking of food, and long resisting treatment, also yielded to it. Goss (Chicago Medical Times, 1888), who became interested in the drug, praised it as a remedy for mad dog bites, chronic catarrh, chronic ulcers, gonorrhoea, and syphilis. Dr. A. Parker, of Wilber, Neb., also reported success with it in an apparently hopeless case of septicaemia. Then followed the reports of Dr. Hayes (see below), whose statements did much to obtain general recognition for the drug.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage - As a therapeutic agent echinacea is often used both internally and locally at the same time; therefore in this article the internal and external uses will not be given separately, but collectively. And inasmuch as echafolta is a name given to distinguish a purified form of echinacea, the remarks concerning the one are equally applicable to the other, except in important surgical cases, where greater cleanliness is desired, when echafolta is to be preferred.
Under the older classification of remedies, echinaca would probably be classed as an antiseptic an dalterative. Strictly speaking, it is practically impossible to classify an agent like echinacea by applying to it one or two words to indicate its virtues. The day is rapidly approaching when these qualifying claims will have no place in medicine, for they but inadequately convey to our minds the therapeutic possibilites of our drugs. Especially is this so with regard to such terms as alterative, stimulant, tonic, etc. If any single statement were to be made concerning the virtues of echinacea, it would read something like this: “A corrector of the depravation of the body fluids,” and even this does not sufficiently cover the ground. Its extraordinary powers – combining essentially that formerly included under the terms antiseptic, antifermentative, and antizymotic – are well shown in its power over changes produced in the fluids of the body, whether from internal causes or from external introductions. The changes may be manifested in a disturbed balance of the fluids resulting in such tissue alterations as are exhibited in boils, carbuncles, abscesses, or cellular glandular inflammations. They may be from the introduction of serpent or insect venon, or they may be due to such fearful poisons as give rise to malignant diphtheria, cerebro-spinal meningitis, or puerperal and other forms of septicaemia. Such changes, whether they be septic or of devitalized morbid accumulations, or alterations in the fluids themselves, appear to have met their antagonist in echinacea. “Bad blood,” so called, asthenia, and adynamia, and particularly a tendency to malignancy in acute and subacute disorders, seem to be special indicators for the use of echinacea.
Outside of the claims made for this remedy by its introducer, which included many of the conditions for which it is now valued, it first attracted general notice as a remedy for septicaemia, in which malady it appeared to promise more than any remedy previously in use. The reports of Dr. Hayes (E.M.J., 1888, pp.68, 142) gave an impetus to the use of the drug in this direction; since which time physicians, whose statements are valued, have lauded it as a remedy in various forms of blood-poisoning. Thus it has been successfully employed in injuries complicated with septic infection. A crushed hand, thought to be beyond aid, with the intolerable stench of putrid flesh, was saved by the application of echinacea. It has given equally satisfactory results in alarming cases of venom infection, with great depression, from the bites of the rattlesnake, tarantula and other spiders, and from the stings of scorpions, bees, wasps, etc. Prof. Webster, among others, speaks highly of its action in slow forms of cerebro-spinal meningitis, using it as the basic remedy (in connection with other indicated drugs), because of its sedative virtues, controlling, as he believes, the vascular area concerned in the nutrition of the cerebro-spinal meninges, and for its effects upon the general circulation. The cases benefited were those characterized by a slow, feeble pulse, or at least a pulse not appreciably quickened, with the temperature scarcely elevated, and cold extremities. The evidences of cerebral disturbances were erratic. Headache, with a peculiar periodical flushing of the face, even to the neck, was present, and associated with these symptoms, dizziness and profound prostration. Prof. Webster was the first, we believe, to employ the remedy in this affection. He asserts that as a stimulant to the capillary circulation, no remedy is comparable with it, and that it endows the vessels with a recuperative power or formative force, so as to enable them to successfully resist local inflammatory processes due to debility and blood depravation.
While clinical evidence is strong in support of the curative action of echinacea in diphtheria, the writer can not but feel that in some instances, at least, the reports have been based upon mistaken diagnoses, and upon non-malignant cases. He is forced to this view from a liberal use of the drug in several cases of a malignant type, in which it utterly failed to accomplish the results desired. Non-malignant forms of diphtheria tend to recovery, and we should be careful about endorsing remedies as curatives in such cases, lest we bring discredit upon a good remedy by making sweeping claims for it which can not be substantiated when the drug is put to a test in the severer forms of the disease. Nevertheless, in these non-malignant cases it appears to expedite convalescence.
In the various forms of tonsilitis it has given better results, particularly in the necrotic form, with dirty-looking ulcerative surfaces. It comes well endorsed as a remedy for that malignant form of quinsy known in some of the western states as “black tongue.” Echinacea will contribute much to the cure of various catarrhal affections of the nose, naso-pharynx, and other portions of the respiratory tract.
It is specially indicated by ulcerated and fetid mucous surfaces, with dusky or dark coloration, and a general debilitated habit. Many patients who have taken echinacea for other purposes have remarked its beneficial effects upon catarrh, from which they were suffering at the same time. Chronic catarrhal bronchitis and fetid bronchitis have been signally benefited by echinacea, and it has done that which few remedies can accomplish, i.e., it has overcome the stench of pulmonary gangrene, and, if given early, it is asserted to avert a gangrenous termination in pulmonic affections. A case of typhoid pneumonia reported by Shelley (Med. Gleaner, 1894) with a “jet-black coating of the tongue,” evidencing sepsis, improved rapidly under echinacea, in about 2-drop doses every 3 hours.
Echinacea is a good appetizer, and improves digestion. The writer has used it with good results in fermantative dyspepsia, with offensive breath and gastric pain as prominent symptoms, which was also aggravated upon taking food. It is also efficient in duodenal catarrh, and other forms of intestinal indigestion, with pain and debility. Few remedies are as efficient in ulcerative stomatitis, and in nursing sore-mouth it is asserted to be promptly curative. It has been praised in diarrhoea, cholera morbus, cholera infantum, and dysentery, all of the semi-inflammatory type, with a tendency to malignancy. Applied externally and given internally, it has been of service in aborting typhlitis and perityphlitis.
Echinacea has been prominently mentioned as a remedy for fevers. In the eruptive fevers, as measles, chicken-pox, an dscarlet fever, it has received some praise, especially for its control over the catarrhal phases of the former, and its influence in masking the odor and controlling the pain of the scarlatinal angina. The fevers, however, in which it has accomplished the best results are of the typhoid and typho-malarial types, as well as in sympathetic fevers from septic infection and rheumatic attacks. Notwithstanding that it has been recommended as one of the best antimalarial remedies, it appears to exert but little influence over periodicity. Prof. King reported signal failure in every case of ague in which he gave it a trial. Others, however, speak of it as a remedy for malaria when of an asthenic character. Possibly in such conditions it might prove of value, as the fevers in which it has proved so successful have been chiefly characterized by adynamia. Very likely its usefulness here depends more upon its influence over the asthenia than upon the miasmatic poison. However, Dr. Snyder, of Cameron, Mo., a good authority, contends that it is an excellent remedy for chronic malaria, a personal use of it having first convinced him of its value. The doctor has not, however, given us the special cases to which it is adapted. Epidemic influenza (la grippe) is occasionally ameliorated by echinacea, and in all such cases, with great debility, it assists materially in securing a good convalescence.
Puerperal fever, due to septicaemia, yields somewhat to echinacea with potassium chlorate and other indicated remedies; yet, in some cases it is inadequate to check the disease unless a thorough curetting of the womb, to insure against the absorption of imprisoned fragments of placenta or unhealthy discharges, be first resorted to. Frequently this procedure along, with a free use of hydrogen dioxide solution as a douche, is sufficient to cure, but a marked debility often persists. It is this debility that is so pronouncedly benefited by echinacea, and in two instances the writer has though that the high temperature was averted, and the weakened system greatly sustained, by the liberal use of echinacea, until curetting had been accomplished. Others have been more fortunate in the use of the drug, giving it the credit of being the main agent in accomplishing cures. Its internal and local use is recommended. Hayes commends it in “mountain fever,” an affection often mistaken for typhoid fever.
Echinacea is in some respects a remedy for pain. It relieves the pain of erysipelas, and contributes largely to a resolution of the swelling when extensive, tense, and of a pruplish-red hue. It is reported to have relieved the pain of cancerous growths, particularly when involving the mucous membranes, as cancer of the fauces. Prof. Farnum calls attention to the wonderful rapidity with which the odor of carcinoma is overcome by echafolta. He strongly recommends it as an application for cancer, and relates a case of mammary cancer long held in check by it. He also advises its internal administration in cancerous cachexia. So great is the confidence placed in this agent by our foremost surgeons that they have been content to use it with sterilized water to cleanse and dress, after operations, discharging tubercular abscesses, gangrene, empyema with gangrene of the lung, appendicitis, and carcinoma of the breast and testicle (Farnum). Prof L. E. ……. advises echafolta as a preventative of sepsis, giving it internally previously to operations, to act as an intestinal antiseptic, and locally, as a corrective, to dress any traumatism showing signs of sepsis, and as a wash in abdominal and pelvic operations into which any organ has discharged septic contents. Phlegmonous swellings, old sores, erysipelas with sloughing phagedena, dissecting or surgical wounds, phlegmasia dolens, dermatitis venenata, and pus cavities should be treated with echinacea or echafolta, both locally and internally. A most remarkable case came under the writer’s care in which a high fever with marked adynamia, associated with the development of cellular abscesses and a hemorrhagic diarrhoea, yielded to echinacea and Rhus aromatica. Other medicines did but little good until these remedies were brought into use. The abscesses were of a non-active variety, somewhat painful, but not excessively so; they numbered about 10 or 12 at any given time in various parts of the body. The alvine discharges were passed involuntarily, except when kept under control by the fragrant sumach. The boy, whose age was but 4 years, lingered in this condition for over 2 months. Echinacea surely kept the child alive, for whenever the dose, which was 10 drops every 3 hours, was lessened, the symptoms were greatly exaggerated. In spite of his low condition and the very unsanitary surroundings, recovery took place rapidly, as soon as the active symptoms subsided.
Echinacea is highly endorsed as a topical dressing for malignant carbuncle. Painful mammitis has been very successfully treated with it, and, used as an injection, it relieves the pain and inflammation in gonorrhoea. Several physicians have used it in syphilis, and declare it a good remedy for that disease, but this seems like claiming too much. It is, however, like thuja, efficient in allaying the pain and healing the ulcers, particularly of the mouth, throat, and tongue, affecting syphilitics. Dr. Snyder extols echinacea as an efficient remedy for impotence. It acts admirably in purulent salpingitis, contributing toward a cure and allaying the distressing pain. Evidence is abundant, concerning its value in leucorrhoea, with offensive discharges; and Webster reports it as valuable in erythematous or erysipelatous vulvitis, being especially effective in that form affecting strumous children. Echinacea is a remedy for eczema. It is adapted to chronic cases with sticky or glutinous exudations associated with asthenia and general depravity. Liberal doses should be administered for a prolonged period. A striking malady, which had been diagnosed as psoriasis, resulting from vaccination, came under the care of Prof. Ellingwood, of Chicago. A shedding of the hair and a diffuse skin disease, with loss of the nails and thick skin frm the palms an dsoles ensued, followed by a destructive iritis of the left eye and corneal ulcer of the right eye. Prospects were fair for a fatal termination. Perfect recovery, with the exception of the loss of the left eye, followed the use of liberal doses of echinacea, together withsyrup of iodide of iron and phospho-albumen.
Dropsy after scarlatina is said to have been cured by echafolta. As this condition usually tends to a spontaneous cure it is difficult to determine how much any remedy contributes to such a result. Likewise echinacea has been recommended to prevent (!) hydrophobia. How one can prevent a result of this kind from a dog bite, and especially as the very existence of that so-called disease is denied by many is not clear. Like many other new remedies echinacea has been reported curative in smallpox. It appears to have mitigated many of the severer symptoms of tubercular phthisis, and renders expectoration easier in “stone-cutter’” or “grinder’s” consumption. It would be no great surprise if this remedy should prove effective inimpressing a tubercular diathesis, thereby preventing a termination in consumption.
The dose of either specific echinacea or echafolta ranges from 1 to 5 drops; larger doses (even 60 drops) may be employed, but small doses are generally most efficient if frequently repeated. They may be given in water or syrup, or water and glycerin, as: R Echafolta, fl3j to fl3ij; water, q.s. fl3iv. Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every 1/2 or 1 hour in acute cases; every 3 or 4 hours in chronic affections. If these preparations are to be dispensed in hot weather, or are to be used in fermentative gastro-intestinal disorders, the substitution of 1 ounce of flycerin for 1 fluid ounce of the water is advisable. For external use both preparations may be employed, th…… in point of cleanliness echafolta is to be preferred. Solutions of from 1 to 60 per cent strength may be applied by means of a saturated compress every 2 hours, or oftener, if necessity demands.
Specific Indications and Uses - To correct fluid depravation, “bad blood,” tendency to sepsis and malignancy, as in gangrene, sloughing and phagedenic ulcerations, carbuncles, boils, and various forms of septicaemia; foul discharges, with weakness and emaciation; deepened, bluish or purplish coloration of skin or mucous membranes, with a low form of inflammation; dirty-brownish tongue; jet-black tongue; tendency to the formation of multiple cellular abscesses of semi-active character, with marked asthenia. Of especial importance in typhoid, septicaemic and other adynamic fevers, an din malignant carbuncle, pulmonary gangrene, cerebro-spinal meningitis and pyosalpinx. Echafolta is advised as a cleansing wash in surgical operations, and to annul the pain of and to deodorize carcinomata.
Tongue coated black, putresecent odor from excess of broken down material being eliminated from the system, as in scarlet fever, diptheria, spinal meningitis and typhoid fever, strumous diathesis, old sores and wounds, snake bites and bits of rabid dogs, tendency to boils and carbuncles.
In poisonous stings of insects and bites of snakes and animals this agent should be used locally and internally. cerevrospinal meningitis, diptheria, remittent and intermittent fevers, typhoid fever, scarlet fever, cholera infantum, erysipelas, syphilis, typhoid pneumonia are among the prominent diseases likely to present indications for this medicament.
Echinacea augustifolia is alterative, stimulant, tonic, sedative, and antiseptic.
Synonym – Black Sampson, cone flower, purple cone flower.
Part Employed - The root.
This plant grows throughout the central and western portions of the United States, especially on the elevated tableands, and in the northern portions, where it was known to the Indians as a cure for snake poison.
There is considerable confusion concerning the identity of the active medicinal species of echinacea. The echinacea purpurea of the Eastern States has been thought to be identical with the echinacea angustifolia of the Western States. It is often used for the same purposes, but is universally disappointing. King introduced it into his dispensatory as rudebeekia purpurea.
Preparations - Fluid Extract of the root, miscible with water without material precipitation. Dose, one-fourthe to one-half fluid dram.
Specific Medicine Echinacea. Dose, five to forty or even sixty drops.
Echafolta is a purified, assayed form of Echinacea. The dosage of both is the same. Externally or for surgical purposes it is advised as superior to the other preparations of Echinacea. It is prescribed for the same conditions.
For from twenty to twenty-five years, Echinacea has been passing through the stages of critical experimentation under the observation of several thousand physicians, and its remarkable properties are receiving positive confirmation. As yet, but few disparaging statements have been made. All who use it correctly fall quickly into line as enthusiasts in its praise; the experience of the write is similar to that of the rest, the results in nearly all cases having been satisfactory. The laboratory observations have been extensive but are not yet complete.
Physiological Action -The following laboratory observations of its action upon the blood were made by Victor von Unruh, M. D., of New York City:
More than one hundred blood counts were made in cases of infectious diseases, mainly in tuberculosis. The results showed that echinacea increases the phagocytic power of the leukocytes; it normalizes the percentage count of the neutrophiles (Arneth count). Hyperleukocytosis and leukopenia are directly improved by echinacea; the proportion of white to red cells is rendered normal; and the elimination of waste products is stimulated to a degree which puts this drug in the first rank among all alteratives. The stimulation toward phagocytosis become very evident in cases where it was impossible to find any evidence of phagocytosis before echinacea was administered, and where after the use of this drug for a period of only a few days the phagocytes were seen to contain as many as eight bacilli within the cell. In all cases where the percentage count among the neutrophiles (polymorphonuclears) has been such as give an unfavourable prognosis inasmuch as those neutrophiles containing one and two nuclei predominated over those containing three, relatively and absolutely, the administration of echinacea for only two weeks has normalized the percentage so as to give to the class containing three nuclei. Echinacea thus gives to the class normally strongest in phagocytosis the power where it obtains in the normal condition of the leukocytes. “Subculoid Echinacea” was used for these experiments.
I have long been assured from the observation of this remedy that it directly influences the opsonic index. I wrote von Unruh directly, asking him for his opinion from his long experience and from his laboratory observations of the action of this remedy. He replied as follows: “Quoting from McFarland’s Pathogenic Bacteria, the opsonic theory teaches that the leukocytes are disinclined to take up bacteria unless they are prepared for phagocytosis by contact with certain substances in the serum, that in some manner modify them. This modifying substance is the opsonin. I have definitely demonstrated and am continuing to observe, that the action of echinacea on the leukocytes is such that it will raise phagocytosis to its possible maximum.” The logical deduction, therefore, is that the opsonic index is correspondingly raised by this agent.
When a half teaspoonful dose of the tincture is taken into the mouth, a pungent warmth is at once experienced which increases to a tingling, and remains for half an hour after the agent is ejected. it is similar to that of aconite, but not so much solely of the nerve end organs. The sensation is partly of nerve tingling, and more from an apparent mild nerve irritant effect. it much more resembles the action of xanthoxylum. If a small quantity be swallowed undiluted, it produces an apparent constriction of the throat, sensation of irritation, and strangulation, much greater in some patients than in others, and always disagreeable. The sensation persists for some minutes, notwithstanding the throat is gargled, water is drunk, and the agent entirely removed.
The toxic effect of this agent is manifested by reduction of temperature, the frequency of the pulse is diminished, the mucous membrane becomes dry and parched, accompainied with a prickly sensation; there is headache of a bursting character, and a tendency to fainting is observed if the patient assumes an erect posture. After poisonous doses, these symptoms are more intensified. The face and upper portion of the trunk are flushed, there is pain throughout the body, which is more marked in the large articulations. There is dimness of vision, intense thirst, gastric pains followed by vomiting and watery diarrhoea. No fatal case of poisoning is recorded, to our knowledge, and only when given in extreme doses are any of the above undesirable influences observed.
The physiological effects are manifested by its action upon the blood, and upon the mucous surfaces. The natural secretions are at first augmented, the temperature is then lowered, the pulse is slowed, and the capillary circulation restored. It exerts a peculiar affinity over local debilitated inflammatory conditions, attended with blood dyscrasis. It has its greatest field in adynamic fevers, reducing the pulse and temperature and subduing delirium.
It promotes the flow of saliva in an active manner. The warmth and tingling extend down the esophagus to the stomach, but no further unpleasant influence is observed. In a short time diaphoresis is observed, and the continuation of the remedy stimulates the kidneys to increased action. All of the glandular organs seem to feel the stimulating influence, and their functional activity is increased. The stomach is improved in its function, the bowels operate better, an dabsorption, assimilation, and general nutrition are materially improved. It encourages secretion and excretion, preventing further auto-intoxication, and quickly correcting the influence in the system of any that has occurred. It stimulates retrograde metabolism, or tissue waste, more markedly than any other single remedy known. It influences the entire lymphatic system, and the condition of the blood suggests that the patient has been taking stimulants. Its influence upon the capillary circulation is not comparable with that of any other known remedy, for while it is a stimulant to the circulation in these vessels, it also seems to endow them with a certain amount of recuperative power or formative force by which it is constituted, not only a general stimulant and tonic to the circulation, but also peculiarly so, to local inflammations of a debilitating character, as when administering liver and iron remedies in abundance. Sallow, pallid and dingy conditions of the skin of the face quickly disappear, and the rosy hue of health is apparent. Anaemic conditions improve with increased nerve tone. There are but few subjective symptoms from large doses of this agent. It is apparently non-toxic, and to any unpleasant extent non-irritant. The agent certainly has a marked effect upon the nervous system, but its specific influence upon the central organs has not yet been determined.
This agent is markedly anesthetic in its local influence. Applied to open wounds and to painful swellings, while the alcohol may at first induce a burning sensation, this is quickly followed by entire relief from pain in many cases. So marked is this influence that it could well be used for an antiseptic local anesthetic.
I am convinced that success in certain cases depends upon the fact that the patient must have at times, a sufficiently large quantity of this remedy in order to produce full antitoxic effects on the virulent infections. I would therefore emphasize the statement which I have previously made that it is perfectly safe to give echinacea is massive doses – from two drams to half an ounce every two or three hours – for a time at least, when the system is overwhelmed with the toxins. This applies to tetanus, anthrax, actinomycosis, pyemia, diphtheria, hydrophobia, and meningitis.
Specific Symptomatology - It is the remedy for blood poisoning, if there is one in the Materia Medica. Its field covers acute auto-infection, slow progressive blood taint, faults of the blood from imperfect elimination of all possible character, and from the development of disease germs within the blood. It acts equally well, whether the profoun dinfluence be exerted upon the nervous system, as in puerperal sepsis, and uraemia, or whether there be prostration and exhaustion, as in pernicious malarial and septic fevers or whether its influence is shown by anaemia, glandular ulceration or skin disease.
It is especially indicated where there is a tendency to gangrenous states and sloughing of the soft tissues, throat dark and full, tongue full, with dirty dark-brown or black coat, in all cases where there are sepsis and zymosis.
It undoubtedly exercises a direct sedative influence over all of the fever processes in typhoid, cerebro-spinal meningitis, malarial fevers, asthenic diphtheria, etc., for while it equalizes the circulation, it also acts as a sedative to abnormal vascular excitement and lowers the temperature, if this be elevated while if this be subnormal, the singular effect upon the vital forces conspires toward a restoration of the normal condition. As a sedative it is comparable in some respect with baptisia, rhus and bryonia.
I think this sedative influence is largely exercised through its power to destroy the germs of the infection, thus removing the cause.
Therapy - Echinacea is par excellence a corrector of any deprivation of the body fluids. It influences those conditions included under the terms septic, fermentative and zymotic. Those which manifest themselves in a disturbed balance of the fluids, resulting in alterations of the tissues such as are exhibited in boils, carbuncles, abscesses and cellular and glandular inflammations. These same conditions result from the introduction of the venoma of serpents and poisonous insects of every character, also frm the introduction of disease germs from pus and other putrid and infectious sources.
As an intestinal antiseptic the agent is bound to take first rank with all physicians when once known. Experiments with it to determine its immediate influence upon the fevers caused by continued absorption of septic material, such as typhoid fever, puerperal fever, and the fever of the afterstages of diphtheria, show that its influence upon the pernicious germs begins at once.
In several cases reported, where special sedatives were not given, the temperature has declined from one-half to two degrees within a few hours after its use was begun, and has not increased until the agent was discontinued.
It has then slowly increased toward the previous high point until the remedy was again taken, when a decline was soon apparent.
It does not produce abrupt drops in the temperature, as often follows the curetting of a septic womb, or as the removal of a quantity of septic material often causes, but if effects an almost immediate stop in germ development, and a steady restoration from its pernicious influence. In the treatment of typhoid fever in the Cook County Hospital, Chicago, it was used in the Eclectic wards for about two years, or more, and twenty-one days was the extreme extent of the fever, and the mortality was the lowest known. In many cases taken early, the fever was limited to fourteen days without delirium.
In private practice the reports of many physicians are much more enthusiastic, claiming that when given in the initial stage the fever has disappeared in seven days, and that fourteen days is the extreme limit.
The blood does not become impaired, the assimilation and nutrition are remarkably increased, the nerve force is retained, elimination from all organs is improved, ulceration of Peyer’s glands ceases, the enteric symptoms abate, there is but little, if any, tympanites, and there has as yet been no case of hemorrhage or perforation reported as having occurred after the agent was begun. It certainly is avaluable acquisition to typhoid therapeutics. All recent reports confirm these stagements.
Its influence in septic fevers is the same as in typhoid. It seems to act as a nerve stimulant upon the vital forces depressed by the poison. This fact was especially true in a case where extreme septic absorption after a badly conducted abortion caused acute nephritis and suppression of the urine. Uremia supervened, with delirium and mild convulsions. Twenty drops of the fluid extract of echinacea were given every two hours continuously. Extreme heat was applied over the kidneys, and a single dose of an antispasmodic was given, the echinacea along being continued. The fever dropped in two days, the mind cleared, the urinary secretion was restored, and the patient made a rapid and uninterrupted recovery.
It is a most important remedy in uraemic poisoning, and will supersede all other single remedies.
It has been in constant use in diphtheria for three years. It is used locally as well as internally. the exudates contract and disappear, the local evidences of septic absorption are gone, the fever declines, the vital forces increase, depression, mental and physical disappears, and the improvement is continual. In ulcerated sore throat of any character, in ulcerated sore mouth, in stomatitis materni, in post-nasal or catarrhal ulcerations it is prompt and effectual. It is preferred in these cases by those who use it.
In local inflammation of any portion of the intestinal tract, it has given excellent satisfaction. It quickly overcomes local blood stasis, prevents or cures ulceration, and retards pus formation by determining resolution. Reports of its use in appendicitis have been satisfactory, indeed. One writer treated several cass of unmistakable diagnosis, and satisfactory cure resulted. The writer treated one marked case of appendicitis where pus formation and future operation seemed inevitable. The improvement was apparent after the agent had been taken in a few hours, and recovery was complete in twelve days from attack.
Its use in cholera infantum has been satisfactory, especially if nervous phenomena are present. The frequent discharges gradually cease, the patient is soothed and the nerve force increases as the fever abates. Extreme nervous phenomena do not appear.
Webster, of San Francisco, in 1892, suggested the use of echinacea in spinal meningitis. It should be especially valuable if any blood dyserasia lies at the bottom of the difficulty Following Webster’s suggestions, other physicians, from their personal observations, have been able to ascribe undoubted curative virtues to this agent in this and other convulsive and inflammatory disorders of the brain and cord. it directly antidotes the infection.
As a sedative in cerebro-spinal meningitis, Webster is disposed to believe that it specifically influences the vaxcular area concerned in the nutrition of the cerebro-spinal meninges.
Since the above was first written the use of echinacea for cerebro-spinal meningitis has been established among those who have been experimenting with the remedy in this disease. There is no doubt whatever that its influence is destroying the virus is specific, an deffectual if given in sufficient doses. Five drops is about the ordinary dose for a child, but even this can be increased to twenty in extreme cases. It may be used in conjunction with hexymethylenamine.
At the same time, it must not be forgotten that in all spasmodic diseases, depending upon the infection both conditions must be treated together, and gelsemium in full physiologic doses must be given with echinacea.
In the treatment of erysipelas it has given more than ordinary satisfaction, and has established itself permanently in that disorder. It is especially needed when sloughing and tissue disintegration occur, its external influence being most reliable.
In the pain of mammary cancer and in the chronic inflammation of the mammary gland, the result of badly treated puerperal mastitis, where the part has become reddened and congested, the remedy has worked satisfactorily.
In bed sores, fever sores, and in chronic ulcerations it is exceedingly useful. It is diluted and applied directly, while it is given internally. It is of much value in old tibial ulcers, in chronic glandular indurations and in scrofulous and syphilitic nodules and other specific skin disorders. The extract or the fluid extract can be combined with an ointment base such as lanolin in the proportion of one part to one, two or three parts of the base and freely applied. It can be injected into the sinuses of carbuncles, or into the structure of the diseased parts with only good results.
Logan treated ten cases of stubborn skin disease of undoubted syphilitic origin with this remedy along. It was applied externally and given in full doses internally, with a satisfactory cure in every case.
In the treatment of syphilis very many observations have been reported. It has been used entirely alone and also in conjunction with alterative syrups, but in no case yet reported has mercury been used with it. The longest time of all cases yet reported, needed to perfect the cure, was nine months.
The writer’s observations, in all cases he has treated, are that the patient begins to feel a general improved condition after taking the remedy a few days. Some of them are enthusiastic concerning the sense of well-being they experience. It begins by removing all the sensations of discomfort, and the patient’s mind becomes hopeful and encouraged. The specific fever in the first stages soon declines, and there is a permanent abatement of the evidences of the disease. There are absolutely no undesirable influences observed, and no after effects,a nd no undesirable side influences to overcome. I have not, however, depended upon this agent alone, in all cases. There are too many definite conditions present to be met with one remedy. I think results ae hastened by correct adjustments of three or four other vegetable alteratives with this.
The influences of echinacea are not always enhanced by the use of the iodides. On the other hand, I have had satisfactory results, where the iodides, having previously been given in conjunction with it, were withdrawn, and the echinacea continued alone. The rapid amelioration of the disorders of the skin, after the withdrawal of the iodides, was especially remarked if berberis was substituted for them.
The following most remarkable case occurred in my practice:
A gentleman, aged about forty-five years, in apparently good health, was vaccinated, and as the result of supposed impure virus a most unusual train of the symptoms supervened. His vitality began to wane, and the became so weak that he could not sit up. His hair came out, and a skin disease pronounced by experts to be psoriasis, appeared upon his extremities first, and afterward upon his body. In the writer’s opinion, the condition had but little resemblance to psoriasis. It seemed more like an acute development of leprosy than any other known condition.
This advanced rapidly, his nails began to fall off, he lost flesh, and a violent iritis of the left eye developed and ulceration of the cornea in the right set in, and for this difficulty he was referred to Prof. H. M. Martin, President of the Chicago Ophthalmic College.
Dr. Martin gave him ten grains of the iodide of potassium three times daily, and fed him freely upon phospho-albumin. The loss of hair was stopped, but no other favorable results were obtained. The condition progressed rapidly towards an apparently fatal termination. At this juncture, Dr. Martin asked the writer to see the case with him. It looked as if there was no possible salvation for the patient, but as a dernier ressort, the writer suggested Echinacea twenty drops every two hours, and the phospho-albusain to be continued. With this treatment, in from four to six weeks, the patient regained his normal weight of more than one hundred and fifty pounds and enjoyed afterward as good health as ever in his life.
Echinacca has been used with great success in aggravated and prolonged cases of rhus poisoning, both locally and internally.
The agent has been long in use among the Indians in the West as a sure cure for snake bite. It has created a furor among the practitioners, who have used it in the bites of poisonous animals, that has made the reports, apparently, too exaggerated to establish credulity on the part of the inexperienced. Cases that seemed hopeless have rapidly improved after the agent was applied and administered. There is at present no abatement in the enthusiasm. One physician controlled the violent symptoms from the bite of a tarantula, and quickly eliminated all trace of the poison with its use.
Dr. Banta of California treated a min bitten by a scorpion, reported in the Eclectic Medical Journal, with echinacea with rapid cure.
In a paper read at the Ohio State Eclectic Medical Society in 1895, Dr. Gregory Smith stated that in 1871 Dr. H. C. F. Meyer commenced the use of this remedy.
He says: “In malarial troubles it has no superior.” He also recommends it as a remedy for hemorrhoids; twenty-five drops of the pure tincture injected into the rectum three times a day promptly effect a cure. “It is also prompt in stings from insects and in poisoning by contact with certain plants.” As an antidote to the venom of the crotalus horridus it stands without a peer. He gives the history of 613 cases of rattlesnake bit in men and animals, all successfully treated. With the courage of his convictions upon him he injected the venom of the crotalus into the first finger of his left hand; the swelling was rapid and in six hours was up to the elbow. At this time he took a dose of the remedy, bathed the part thoroughly, and laid down to pleasant dreams. On awakening in four hours the pain and swelling were gone.
The fresh root scraped and given freely is the treatment used by the Sioux Indians for snake bite. Recoveries from crotalus poisoning are effected in from two to twelve hours.
By far the most difficult reports to credit are those of the individuals bitten by rabid animals; there are between twenty and thirty reports at the present time. In no case has hydrophobia yet occurred, and this was the only remedy used in many of the cases. In five or six cases, animals bitten at the same time as the patient had developed rabies, and had even conveyed it to other animals, and yet the patient showed no evidence of poisoning, if the remedy was used at once. One case exhibited the developing symptoms of hydrophobia before the agent was begun. They disappeared shortly after treatment. In no case has an opportunity offered to try the remedy after the symptoms were actually developed. One poorly nourished anilals and jaundiced child was badly bitten and the treatment improved the general condition in a marked manner. In the treatment of hydrophobia, a case is reported, which was bitten by a rabid animal out of a litter of six half grown pups, all of which showed signs of hydrophobia and were killed. A number of parties were bitten by these pups. Two who were bitten died of hydrophobia, three were treated at the Pasteur institute and cured, one was treated with echinacea and cured.
The doctor prescribed teaspoonful doses of echafolta, every three hours. The remedy was introduced on saturated gauze into the wounds, and covered all the injured surfaces. This was secured by a roller bandage. Prior to the administration of the remedy the symptoms of nervous irritation and incipient hydrophobia were strongly marked. These symptoms abated rapidly, and the patient recovered in a satisfactory manner.
A large amount of satisfactory evidence has accumulated confirmatory of our statements concerning the curative action of the remedy in tetanus. Dr. John Herring reported one marked cure. Dr. Lewis reports three cases, where the remedy was injected into the wound after tetanic symptoms had shown themselves. All the tissues surrounding the wound were filled with the remedy by hypodermic injection and gauze saturated with a full strength preparation was kept constantly applied. The agent was also administered in half-dram doses internally, every two or three hours.
Another physician has reported the observation of quite a number of cases, where tetanus had either markedly developed, or was anticipated.
The use of the remedy satisfactorily overcame all apparent symptoms where present,a nd where not present, no tetanic phenomena developed. In the diagnosis of this disease the physician may confuse septic phenomena sometimes with those of developing tetanus, and the cure of the septic conditions may have been taken for a cure of tetanus.
In the treatment of tetanus, I am confident that no antiseptic alone will cover the entire pathology of this disease. There must be a powerful antispasmodic given in conjunction with the germ destroying agent, and vice versa. Echinacea or phenol hypodermically, or both, with gelsemium, lobelia, or veratrum carefully selected and adjusted should meet the indications of all early cases.
These same facts should apply to cases bitten by dogs and wherever convulsions result from infection.
The agent has had a most marvelous influence in overcoming pyemia. We have had some extreme cases reported. where it would seem that the patient was psoitively beyond all help, where amelioration of the symptoms was pronounced, and the restoration satisfactory.
In the treatment of small-pox conclusive proofs are now furnished us which declare the remedy to be of great efficacy, not only in ameliorating all the phenomena of the disease, but in preventing sequela. When applied to the skin in a form of a lotion, the pustules are benign in their character, and terminate with a minimum of sear.
In the treatment of erysipelas the remedy has proven itself all we anticipated for it.Dr. Wilkenloh reports the treatment of at least five cases of goitre, three of which had exophthalmic complications, and all were cured, with this remedy alone. The doctor gave the remedy internally in full doses, and injected from five to fifteen minims directly into the thyroid gland, and kept gauze, saturated and applied externally. As no other remedy than this was used, there could be no doubt about its positive influence.
Applied to painful surfaces, to local acute and painful inflammations of the integument, or to painful wounds, its anaesthetic influence is soon pronounced, and is of great benefit, in preserving freedom from pain during the active healing processes, which are stimulated and encouraged by this remedy. Prof. Farnum is enthusiastic over the action of the remedy in overcoming the odor of cancer, whether in the early stages, or in the latter stage of the development of this serious disease. He advises it spersistent administration in all cases where there is a cancerous cachexia, believing that it retards the development of cancer and greatly prolongs the patient’s life.
We have already referred to its specific use in the treatment of phlegnemous swelling, old sores, dissecting and surgical wounds, and where there are pus cavities of long standing. Also as a very positive remedy, applied to all cases where gangrene is anticipated, or has appeared.
Its influence in gangrene of the extremities has been very pronounced. In gangrene of the fingers the curative benefits are observable from the first application. It is useful in dermatitis venenata, in erysipelas with sloughing phagedena, and in phlegmasia alba dolens, or phlebitis. In this latter condition its external use will greatly assist the internal medication.
In the treatment of Anthrax, echinacea has proven in a number of cases to be an exceedingly reliable remedy. Dr. Lewis of Canton, Pa., first reported on it in 1907 in Ellingwood’s Therapeutist, and Dr. Aylesworth of Collingwood, Canada, confirmed all of his statements, the observations of the two doctors having been made about the same time, each without knowledge of the other. In these cases, very large doses from one to two drams, frequently repeated, are required.
Twenty to forty minims of echinacea every two hours with proper local treatment, such as iodine locally, will cure actinomycosis.
In the treatment of catarrh, it is used internally, and applied locally in the form of a spray, if necessary. It is not only an important remedy in nasal catarrh, but it is important in intestinal catarrh. I used it with excellent advantage in a so-called incurable case of ulcerative colitis with heavy discharge of mucus and pus.
Dr. Fair is emphatic in his statements that patients exposed to diphtheria should take echinacea in from ten to twenty drop doses every two hours with the positive expectation of preventing the disease. If the first symptoms appear as the usual premonitory evidences, the dose should be increased and other indicated remedies will ward off the disease. I have much confidence in this statement and would suggest that it be carried out fully.
The use of echinacea in the treatment of impetigo contagiosa is confirmed. One doctor treated several very severe cases and the rational action of the remedy suggests that its use externally and internally in this disease will prove highly satisfactory.
Another physician whose name is not given treated infection and a purulent discharge from the urethra where there was urinary retention for two days, with this remedy. He passed a catheter as far down as possible, and then combined one part echinacea with six parts of sterilized water. He forced this slowly against the constriction. Relaxation took place probably from the local anesthetic influence of the remedy in a few minutes. The catheter was withdrawn, and the water passed freely. He repeated the treatment once or twice a day to a complete cure.
Dr. Rounseville reported to the Wisconsin State Medical Society that he had used echinacea with excellent results in both diabetes mellitus, and diabetes insipidus, and also in some forms of albuminuria, and in each of the cases he obtained results that confirmed his opinion that the agent was one that would be material assistance combined with other measures.
Dr. Hewitt used echinacea in alopecia. He made a strong solution and combined with it agents that would assist in stimulating the nutritive functions of the hair follicles. He was well satisfied with the result.
A directly curative influence from thsi agent alone has beensecured, where from vaccination a general infection has been induced. I am confident that no other single medicine will accomplish as much in these cases, immediately, and as satisfactorily as this remedy.
Dr. Hall of Clearwater, Neb., obtained the same results from injecting the full strength remedy where there was renal hemorrhage with very painful piles. The curative effect was pronounced. Others agree with him in the treatment of piles with echinacea. I am convinced that it would be good practice to use collinsonia, hamamelis or aesculus in conjunction with this remedy.
Dr. Yates treated an eruptive disease with purulent discharge which we call nettle rash with echinacea internally, and permanganate of potassium solution externally. The results were exceedingly prompt.
Many cases of tibial ulcer treated with echinacea with curative results, are reported. The agent is used both internally and externally, associated often with other successful measures.
One doctor had an opportunity to observe the action of echinacea in some fowl that had taken strychnine which was used to poison animals. Those that received the medicine, lived. All those that did not get it, died. This is simply a suggestion in favor of trying echinacea as an antidote for strychnine poisoning.
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