Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Rhus toxicodendron

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This plant was first described by Cornutus (Plant. Canad. Hist.), in 1635, but not brought into practical use until 1798, when Dufrenoy, a physician at Valenciennes, had brought under his notice a young man who had been cured of an herpetic eruption (dartre) on his wrist, of six years standing, by being accidentally poisoned by this plant. He reports seven cases of obstinate herpetic eruptions cured by this plant. He also gave it in palsy, and cured some of them. Dr. Alderson of Hull, in his essay on Rhus toxicodendron, gives several cases of recovery from paralysis from the use of the dried leaves, in doses from half a grain to a grain three times a day, and he says that the first feeling of amendment was a sensation of tingling and twitching in the affected limb. Dr. Givesius (Bulletin des Sciences Medicales, 1825) reports cures of paralysis by this drug.

It has also been employed in rheumatism, obstinate eruptive disease, in some cases of amaurosis, and in other nervous affections of the eyes; but it is now almost entirely abandoned in allopathic medicine.