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Homeopathic Materia Medica by Farrington


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Today we begin our study of the CUCURBITACEAE. This order gives us some six or eight drugs and also some edible substances. Among the latter, are the water-melon, canteloupe, and cucumber. The seeds of some of these, have diuretic properties, and those of the water-melon, have been used as a cure for worms.

Of the medicinal substances obtained from this order we may say that they all act prominently on the alimentary tract. They seem to have in common, a cathartic action. They probably act paralyzingly on the vaso-motor nerves of the abdomen. They produce griping pains, gushing watery diarrhoea. This last symptom is most prominent under ELATERIUM.

Let us now enumerate these medicines. Fifth on the list is the MOMORDICA BALSAMUM, of this we have but one characteristic symptom and that is accumulation of flatus in the splenic flexure of the colon. It is a very convenient thing to know this. For instance, if during the course of a more or less chronic disease, this one symptom becomes very annoying and you do not want to destroy the action of the drug you are giving, you simply interpolate a dose of MOMORDICA, which removes the symptom and enables you to go on with the treatment as before.

ELATERIUM, another member of the order, has been used principally in our school of medicine, in a peculiar form of diarrhoea. Like all the Cucurbitacese, it acts powerfully on the alimentary tract, producing a sudden and enormous effusion of serum into the bowels. Thus it causes a watery diarrhoea, the stools flowing out very profusely. The characteristic symptom of the drug and the one which will lead you to its selection in cholera infantum, is watery stools of an olive green color coming out with a gush. Thus you see it is comparable with CROTON TIGLIUM, PODOPHYLLUM and VERATRUM, ALBUM and. remedies of that type.

It is readily distinguished from CROTON TIGLIUM, which is adapted to a profuse yellow watery stool, which is provoked every time the patient eats or drinks.

PODOPHYLLUM has as you all know, the morning aggravation to distinguish it.

The remaining medicines belonging to the Cucurbitaceae are the CITRULLUS or water-melon; the CUCURBITA or squash, the seeds of which as well as those of the pumpkin have been used for taenia; the COLOCYNTH and the BRYONIA ALBA ; the last two named being drugs of great importance; we will therefore proceed to their consideration, IN EXTENSO.