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 Post subject: Thuja Occidentalis.
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 1:46 pm 
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The Eclectic medical journal, Volume 68, Ohio State Eclectic Medical Association, Worthington College (Ohio) Reformed Medical Dept, 1908:

Thuja Occidentalis.

In these busy days, when every general practitioner feels the need of therapeutic agents from which he may expect definite results, when, if he holds his patients, he must satisfy them that they are receiving at least a return for their money, the mention of a remedy, be it old or new, that has proven successful in the hands of those who have had occasion to use it, in a large per cent, of cases should be of interest to us all.

There seems to be a diversity of opinion among the profession as to which is the more desirable practice to cultivate, the office or bedside. Then again there is a doubt in the minds of many regarding the problem of using and dispensing one's own remedies, in the office or in general practice. To those who favor office procedure, and lean towards minor operative measures, there is probably no remedy that has a wider range of usefulness than thuja, or, as it is more often called, arbor vita?. There certainly is none that can produce such satisfactory results, attended with Jo little danger to the patient, as this one.

This agent is no new arrival, and the fact that it has contributed to the alleviation of over two centuries of suffering humanity is not at all to its discredit. Introduced into England in 1600. and into America a hundred years later, it has merited the esteem of all "pathies." Although it is now considered an Eclectic remedy, it was not adopted by that branch of the profession until both homeopathic and allopathic practitioners had tested its virtues and included it in their list of approved remedies.

This evergreen coniferous American tree, from twenty to fifty feet high, grows on rocky banks of rivers and in low swamps, from Pennsylvania northward, and is used in many places as a hedge plant.

Like most remedies of this kind that have come into use through their own intrinsic value, its use was at first empirical. It remained so, practically, until 1862, when through an editorial by Dr. Scudder, Dr. Dickey took it up and made some investigations along scientific lines. It was not until twenty years later, however, that this valuable remedy received the recognition that was its due. It was then that Professor Howe became interested in it, and through his thorough investigations and warm commendations the drug was firmly established in the class to which it belongs.

Through this investigator the active principles were definitely established and placed in the hands of the general practitioner in the form of a specific tincture, in which form it is best exhbited to-day. There is an aqueous form manufacured that is for use in cases that do not tolerate alcohol, but this form does not seem to fully represent the true activity of the drug and is not in as much demand as the former.

Regarding the properties of this drug no words can be found more expressive than those of Professor Felter. He says that "Thuja has become one of the most important remedies employed in practice, both for its internal and local effects. Specifically it acts upon the vascular, cutaneous and mucous tissues, stimulating them to normal activity, and in cases of flabby vessels, exciting them to contraction, and in cases of cutaneous over-activity, restraining hypertrophies and excrescences. Furthermore it is a decided antiseptic. It will deaden and repress fungous granulations, and may be applied to 'proud flesh' and ingrown nails with considerable success. It has a marked influence upon such chronic granulations as those of trachoma and epithelioma, and is a very useful remedy in bed sores, sloughing wounds, fistulous openings, and to overcome the stench of senile and other forms of gangrene. Few mild agents have a greater reputation for the destruction of the various kinds of papillomata and for condylomata about the nates. It does not cure all cases, but is best adapted where there is softness and foul exudations. It cures many, though not all, cases of genital and venereal warts. It may be applied full strength to the surface or hypodermically. It is a valuable remedy in fissure of the anus. It is valuable in checking hemorrhage from malignant growths, hemorrhoids and bleeding moles, and has been of inestirnable value in cases of 'bleeders.' In this case it has been applied after the extraction of teeth. It is of great service in nasal hemorrhage and for incised wounds. By the use of a compress, the full strength thuja has been the means of saving the lives of many children suffering from umbilical hemorrhage occurring ten to fifteen days after birth. Professor Howe and many others testify to its efficiency in the treatment of bulging nevi, or 'mother's mark.' Ballington reports the cure of a child in three weeks' treatment from birth, with compresses of specific thuja."

It is in cases of hydrocele and hernia that this agent seems to fill a long-felt want. No single remedy seems to have given the universal success with so little discomfort in the cure of these very distressing conditions.

The use of the drug in these conditions is not absolutely painless, but tl.i; discomfort to the patient is ;o slight", a< compared with that attending the use of the mixtures generally advised, that it is practically so. Then it is absolutely non-toxic, and the method of its use is very simple.

The technique used most successfully by the writer in treating hydrocele is as follows: Dilute one part of specific thuja (Lloyd's) with five parts of water in a test-tube, and with an alcohol lamp bring the mixture to a boil. Now take a "pen filler" (a large dropper holding about two drachms), and, after boiling it, fill it with the solution and place in readiness for instillation.

Now tap the distended sac of the tunica vaginalis and, after all the liquid has escaped that it is possible to obtain, instill two drachms of thuja solution through the cannula, and carefully knead the tissues so as to bring the solution in contact with every part of the sac. Some pain may or may not ensue, and of course there will be some swelling, after the subsidence of which, in about a week's time, if the work has been carefully done, there will be a very perceptible evidence of the formation of tissue, showing the influence of thuja. It may be necessary to tap the sac again as a small amount of serous fluid will be in evidence in the sac even after the tissue formation has begun, and, as this will not at all be changed into tissue, it is a good idea to remove it, but it is not necessary to repeat the instillation, only in a small per cent, of the cases. The patient is not inconvenienced in his occupation at all, and it generally takes about a week for the swelling to subside, and after that it is but a question of time when the adhesions will contract down so as to very materially reduce the former size of the hydrocele. It will net return to normal size, but will be very much smaller than it was before treatment.

In hernia the solution may be the same, or full strength may be used, and the method will of course differ according to whether we are dealing with a direct or indirect case. The fluid should be delivered so as to cause a formation of tissue just across the hernia, and prevent it from advancing farther. These cases require a longer time, and more careful treatment than the hydrocele. In the case of hernia, after each instillation, which should be given about once a week, the truss should be well adjusted and this should be worn for six weeks and possibly more. The most satisfactory results are obtained when it is possible to have the patient off his feet for a week or ten clays after the first treatment. After this he may follow his usual occupation, unless it is of such a nature that it will aggravate his trouble, in which case give him the alternative of either resting or changing his occupation.

Many other cases might be mentioned in which this valuable agent has proven its versatile utility, both in external and internal t

administration. The scope of this article will hardly admit of it, however, and with a few suggestions for the relief of nasal conditions and incontience of urine in cases of senile prostate, the writer will leave the subject for the consideration of such of the readers as care to prove the efficiency of this valuable remedy by trial.

For nasal polypus put a few drops of specific tincture of thuja on a piece of surgeon's lint and lay this on a sixteen candle-power electric light. Adjust the light so that the vapor from the solution can be well inhaled, together with the heat and light, and the results will please any one who cares to try it.

In incontinence dilute three drachms of specific tincture with four ounces of water and administer a teaspoon ful every three or four hours and the results will be most satisfactory.

—C. E. Buck, in Journal of Therapeutics and Dietetics.

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