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Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.
Polymnia was introduced to the medical profession, in 1870, by Dr. J. W. Pruitt, although it had several years previously been highly lauded, under the name of Bear's foot, as a remedy in rheumatism. Dr. Pruitt recommended it in the form of ointment, as a local application in mammary and other glandular tumors or abscesses, in splenic enlargement, and, indeed, in all painful swellings and local inflammations. Subsequently, he employed a tincture of it internally, in connection with its external use, and found its efficacy to be thereby augmented. The tincture alone, was likewise found efficient in the treatment of chronic intermittent fever, ozoena, scrofulous ophthalmia, and similar affections. According to Dr. Pruitt, it may be considered a specific in splenic enlargement from malarial influence. Prof. J. M. Scudder, M. D., has used it with good effect in chronic gastritis, chronic hepatic enlargement, hypertrophy of the cervix uteri, chronic metritis with hypertrophy, uterine subinvolution, and engorgement of the lower lobes of the lungs; according to him the indications for its use are full, flabby, sallow tissues, impaired circulation, atonic impairment of function, and glandular enlargement. The efficacy of this drug in the affections named has been corroborated by many other practitioners who have tested it. It stands to-day at the head of spleen remedies, influencing not only the splenic circulation and reducing hypertrophies of that organ, but has more or less control over the other distributive branches of the coeliac axis. It is a remedy for congestive or engorged states of the spleen and other ductless glands. When dyspepsia depends upon a sluggish circulation in the gastric and hepatic arteries, and is attended with full, heavy, and burning sensations in the parts supplied by those branches, we have in uvedalia an efficient remedy. It even exerts a beneficial action in some cases of that intractable malady, leucocythemia, though it more often fails. The remedy to be of benefit in all glandular difficulties should be used for several weeks. For its influence in splenic engorgement (ague cake) the ointment should be applied warm over the spleen, while specific polymnia uvedalia should be given in from 5 to 10-drop doses every 3 or 4 hours. It is a remedy for imperfect blood-elaboration with tumid, sodden abdomen, and for the removal of low inflammatory deposits. With Prof. Scudder the following was a favorite hair tonic: Rx Specific uvedalia ii, bay rum, vi. Mix. Rub thoroughly into the scalp once or twice a day. White swelling is stated to have been cured by the use of polymnia, both internally and as a local application, but we know of no authentic cases. The ointment appears to be a stimulating discutient. The dose of the tincture is from 10 to 60 minims, 2 or 3 times a day; of specific polymnia uvedalia from 2 to 20 drops.