LEPTANDRA VIRGINICA

[ Read by title before I.H.A., Bureau of Materia Medica, June 27, 1947].

HILARIO LUNA CASTRO, M.D.

H. R. August, 1947.

 

“Each drug stands as an independent unit whose characteristics have to be studied independently of those of any other drug.”–Hempel.

SYNONYMS: Veronica Virginica, Leptandra Virginica (Linnaeus, Nuttall), Callistachya Virginica, Paederota Virginica, Veronica Japonica, Veronica Sibirica, Culvers Root, Bowmans Root, Brintons Root, Black Root.

NATURAL ORDER: Herbaceous plant, from the scrophulariaceae family and abundantly found in Virginia, Vermont, Missouri, Alabama, Wisconsin and south of the hills of Georgia (U.S.A.) and also in Japan and the East Indies.

HISTORY: From the homoeopathic point of view, the first clinical observations about Leptandra virginica, proceed from Dr. Pulte, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1852.

Leptandra Virginica has been used empirically in the form of a decoction of fresh roots, for the purpose of producing purgative effects, originating copious transpirations, especially in pleurisies, having in the same way a popular reputation as a remedy for bilious fever and typhoid fever, notwithstanding its use as a cathartic it is considered very dangerous because it is capable of originating serious intestinal haemorrhages, vertigo, abortion and even death. Also Leptandra was empirically used in acute polyarticular rheumatism. (Smith and Howard).

Drs. King, Hill and Coe, considered Leptandra Virginica as an alterative, cathartic, cholagogue, tonic and aperitive.

The first provings upon the healthy man, following the rules pointed out by the immortal founder of homoeopathy, DR. SAMUEL CHRISTIAN FREDERICK HAHNEMANN SPIESS, were realized by Dr. William H. Burt, from Chicago (U.S.A); also Leptandra was provided in 1864, by the pupils of the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia, Penn. (U.S.A.) and later on by Dr. Gatchell.

Dr. Edwin M. Hale, introduced Leptandra into the homoeopathic materia medica, realizing reexperimentations, which furnished him 137 particular and general symptoms.

HOMOEOPATHIC PREPARATION: For homoeopathic uses is employed the tincture from the fresh root in the second year of its life, prepared according to the 3rd rule, pointed out in Volume II, page 265 of the Pure Materia Medica of Hahnemann.

MEDICINAL POWER: 1/6.

ACTIVE PRINCIPLE: Leptandrine, glucoside obtained by Wayne.

PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PHARMACODYNAMIC ACTION: Massive doses of tincture produce an increase in the activities of the gastrointestinal functions with hypersecretions of gastric, biliary, pancreatic and intestinal juices, manifested by frequent evacuations, yellowish at the beginning, very fetid and dark colored later and finally sanguinolent, painful at the level of the transverse colon and umbilical region, tenesmus after evacuations.

These intestinal troubles are preceded by mortal nauseas, frequent hiccough, belching and dizziness when getting up; yellowish and intensely bitter vomits with shooting pains at the level of the gall bladder; yellowish tongue. Burning and restlessness throughout the hepatic region, that is propagated to the dorsal spine, left shoulder and arm. Jaundice with clay colored stools.

Through its elective action upon the hepatic gland and gall bladder it produced syndromes of cholalaemia through retention of biliary salts in the blood or decrease in the production of taurocholate or glycolate of sodium. In the same way hypercholesteraemia results from the prolonged use of Leptandra in massive doses. Prolapsus of the rectum with haemorrhoids. Enterorrhagia.

In Leptandra 6x. and 30x. proving, were registered the following symptoms:.

MIND AND HEAD: Sadness and irritability during the day, vertigo with dizziness on walking, frontal headache with a sensation of heaviness. Insomnia.

EYES: Yellow sclerotica with pulsating pain in the eye balls.

MOUTH: Bitter taste, yellowish tongue or with a yellow coating at the base.

STOMACH AND ABDOMEN: Nausea with fainting on arising, with yellow vomits, acid belchings with a burning sensation in the stomach and esophagus, ardor which is propagated to the liver, voracious hunger with a sensation of pain, heaviness and fullness in the epigastrium. Pains in the gall bladder.

Pain in the umbilical region which are propagated to the hypogastrium with an intense desire for evacuating and made worse upon drinking cold water.

STOOLS: Painful, urgent, dark yellow-colored, fetid, mucous or bloody stools which produce sensations of relief and made worse upon drinking cold water.

URINE: Scanty with biliary pigments and retention of chlorides decrease of urea.

SKIN: Yellowish, xanthelasma, hepatic chloasma, generalized pruritus which becomes worse at night.

CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF LEPTANDRA VIRGINICA.

Because of its elective action upon the digestive apparatus and particularly upon the liver, Leptandra is indicated in small and great hepatic insufficiency, in the states of latent of frustrated dysfunction, also in serious forms of hepatic coma, familiar cholemia of Gilbert, in acute or chronic non-calculous cholecystitis. In jaundices with hyperbilirubinemia due to biliary retention phenomena of hepatic or canalicular origin.

Hyperchlorhydric and gastrointestinal dyspepsias of hepatobiliary origin with hemicrania, dizziness, vomits of hydrochloric acid or A. and B. bile, which becomes worse upon drinking cold water and accompanied by acholic, clay colored stools.

Oedema of lower extremities with alterations of hydric metabolism and a progressive loss of weight.

Allergic symptoms with intolerance to greases and decrease of resistance to infections.

Urine poor in urea and hypertoxic with albumen containing amino acids.

Insufficiencies of the liver which appear after infectious diseases such as typhoid fever, scarlet fever, pneumonia, malaria, etc., with gastrohepatic and intestinal troubles.

Hepatic oedema of hydropigenous form.

Colitis and enterocolitis of acute or mucomembranous chronic forms, characterized by a constant pain in the abdominal region with shooting pains in the umbilical region and great restlessness; massive pains in the right hypochondrium becoming worse at the gall bladder level and great thirst.

Profuse, dark and fetid stools from typhoid fever. Stools like tar accompanied by mucus or membranes. Chronic colitis.

Bleeding haemorrhoids, prolapsus of the rectum with or without haemorrhoids. Bright colored or acholic stools in jaundice cases. Rectal haemorrhages.

RELATIONSHIP: Podophyllum, Mercurius corr., Iris vers., Myrica cer., Chelidonium maj., Ptelea, Elemuy and Bryonia alb.

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