Upland sumach was first used by the Native Americans to stimulate healing in wounds, later the Eclectic Physicians studied it and used it to stimulate healing in the skin and body in general. Like all members of the poison ivy family, upland sumach is a body stimulator.
Notes from the Eclectic Physicians
Notes from the Eclectic Physicians
1854; King J
Properties and Uses -Sumach bark is tonic, astringent and antiseptic; the berries are refrigerant and diuretic. In decoction or syrup, the bark of the root has been found valuable in gonorrhoea, leucorrhoea, diarrhoea, dysentery, hectic fever and scrofula. Combined with the barks of Slippery Elm and White Pine, in decoction, and taken freely, it is said to have proved highly beneficial in syphilis. Externally, the bark of the root in powder, applied as a poultice to old ulcers, forms an excellent antiseptic; a decoction may also be used in injection for prolapsus uteri and ani, and leucorrhoea, and as a wash in many cutaneous diseases; simmered in lard it is valuable in scald-head. A decoction of the inner bark of the root is serviceable in the sore-mouth resulting from mercurial salivation, and is much used internally in mercurial diseases. The berries may be used in infusion in diabetes, strangury, bowel-complaints, febrile diseases, etc., as a gargle
in quinsy, and ulcerations of the mouth and throat; and as a wash for ringworms, tetters, offensive ulcers, etc. The excrescences which form upon the leaves of the sumach, are nearly equal in astringency to galls, and if pulverized and made into an ointment with lard, they afford a soothing application for piles.
The gum which exudes from the bark on being punctured, during the summer, is beneficial in gonorrhoea, gleet, obstruction of the urine, and leucorrhoea; the following is a good preparation, which increases the secretion of urine, and lessens its burning or scalding: Take of gum sumach, and Canada balsam, of each, equal parts, form into four-grain pills with a sufficient quantity of powdered pokeroot; dose, one or two pills, three times a day. Dose of the decoction of sumach, from one to four fluidounces.
Prepare a tincture from the fresh root bark, 35viij.to alcohol 76%Oj.Dose from gtts.v to gtts.xx.
The sumach as thus prepared exerts a direct influence upon the processes of waste and repair, alterative. It has not been much used, and we can not tell whether it will prove better than others of this class; still it deserves a thorough trial. It is claimed to be antidotal to the action of mercury, especially in chronic mercurial disease, and has been employed in the treatment of secondary syphilis, after mercurialization, with advantage.
1898: Felter and Lloyd – RHUS GLABRA (U.S.P.) – RHUS GLABRA
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage – Sumach bark is tonic, astringent, antiseptic, and decidedly alterative; the berries are refrigerant and diuretic. In decoction or syrup, the bark of the root has been found valuable in gonorrhoea, leucorrhoea, diarrhoea, dysentery, hectic fever, scrofula, and in profuse perspiration from debility. Combined with the barks of slippery elm and white pine, in decoction, and taken freely, it is said to have proved highly beneficial in syphilitic ulcerations. Externally, the bark of the root in powder, applied as a poultice to old ulcers, forms an excellent antiseptic. A decoction may also be used in injection for prolapsus uteri and ani, and leucorrhoea, and as a wash in many cutaneous diseases; simmered in lard it is valuable in scald head. A decoction of the inner bark of the root is serviceable in the sore mouth resulting from mercurial salivation, and was formerly much used internally in mercurial diseases. A saturated tincture is useful in ulcerative stomatitis, and for spongy gums attending purpura hemorrhagica and scorbutus. Diarrhoea and dysentery, with intestinal ulceration, seem to be well controlled by it. Dose of the tincture, from 5 to 20 drops. The berries may be used in infusion in diabetes, strangury, bowel complaints, febrile diseases (as a pleasant acidulous drink where acids are indicated), etc., as a gargle in quinsy and ulcerations of the mouth and throat; and as a wash for ringworm, tetter, offensive ulcers, etc. Excrescences are frequently formed on the leaves of this plant, and which are very astringent; when powdered and mixed with lard or linseed oil, they are said to prove useful in haemorrhoids. In hot weather, if the bark be punctured, a gummy substance flows out, which has been used with advantage in gonorrhoea and gleet, and several urinary affections. Dose of the decoction of sumach bark, or infusion of the berries, from 1 to 4 fluid ounces. A free use of the bark will produce catharsis.
Specific Indications and Uses – Relaxation of mucous tissues, with unhealthy discharges; mercurial ulcerations; aphthous stomatitis; spongy gums; ulcerative sore throat, with fetid discharges; flabbiness and ulceration of tissues.
Putrescence of excretions, with tendency to ulceration, as in typhus and typhoid fevers, diarrhoea, dysentery, leucorrhoea. Locally: as a gargle or local application to soft, spongy gums, apthae and pharyngitis. Rhus glabrum is diuretic, antiseptic, refrigerant, tonic, and astringent.
Sumach, Rhus glabra, i s found in most of the temperate parts of the United States , to which it is indigenous. The North American Indians used the powdered seeds to treat piles and as an application to wounds, the juice of the fresh fruit being used as an application to warts and in skin diseases like tetter. In domestic medication, following the Indians, the roots were used by the settlers for rheumatism in alcoholic tincture, as well as in infusion. In domestic medicine the berries were also employed in a decoction, as a gargle in quinsy, ulceration of the mouth and throat, and, following the Indian use of the drug, as a wash for ringworm, tetter, and offensive ulcers. These well-known uses of the American plant, so ornamental after the frost strikes its leaves in the fall, led to its introduction into professional medicine. In Turkey the berries of sumach are used (so this writer was informed) in starting their popular curd food.
Synonym – Smooth Sumach.
Constituents – Volatile oil, resin, tannic and Gallic acid, albumen, gum, starch. The berries contain malic acid in combination with lime.
Preparations – Extractum Rhus Fluidum (A. D.), Fluid Extract of Sumach Bark. Dose, from a half to one dram.
Extractum Rhus Glabrae Fluidum (U.S.P.), Fluid Extract of Sumach Berries. Dose, one dram.
Specific Symptomatology – Its influence is upon mucous surfaces in a relaxed, ulcerated and phlegmonous, but irritable and intractable condition.
Therapy – It is used in aphthous stomatitis, both internally and externally, in gangrenous stomatitis in conjunction with more active agents, and in stomatitis materni it is a good remedy. It will serve a good purpose in atonic ulcerations of the stomach and intestinal canal, in some cases of prolonged diarrhoea and dysentery with greatly debilitated mucous surfaces. Its field is well covered, however, with more active remedies.
As Rhus glabrum, this appears in the Pharmacopoeia, from 1820 to 1870, inclusive, but in the Secondary List only. It was official in the editions of 1880 and 1890, but was dropped from the edition of 1910.
Sumach, Rhus glabra, is found in most of the temperate parts of the United States , to which country it is indigenous. It was extensively used by the Indians, who used the powdered seeds to treat piles and as application to wounds, and the juice of the fresh fruit for warts, and in treatment of skin diseases like tetter. In domestic medicine the berries were also employed, in a decoction, as a gargle in quinsy, ulceration of the mouth and throat, and as a wash for ringworm, tetter and offensive ulcers. These well-known uses of the American plant, which is so ornamental after the frost strikes its leaves in the fall, led to its introduction into professional medicine. In Turkey , as this writer was informed while in that country, the berries of sumach are used in instituting the ferment of their popular curd food.
*1 – Rhus Toxicodendron (Poison Ivy, Poison Oak), was recognized by all the Pharmacopoeias (even the Pharmacopoeia of the Massachusetts Medical Society, 1808), until the edition of 1900, from which it was dropped. Previous to the year 1880 it was known under the name of Toxicodendron, but appeared in the Secondary List only.
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