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Amygdalus Persica

NAT. ORD., Rosaceae. Amygdaleae.

SYNONYM, Persica vulgaris.


PREPARATION.--The tincture is made by pounding to a pulp the fresh bark

of the twigs and macerating in two parts by weight of alcohol. The

infusion is made by taking of the bark one part and of boiling Distilled

Water ten parts. Infuse in a covered vessel for one hour and strain.

(Outside the old herbalists the virtues of the bark and

leaves of the peach tree have received little attention.

The following contributed by Dr. C. C. Edson in the

Chicago Medical Times, 1890, however, aroused some


Some ten years ago I had a little patient whose principle difficulty

seemed to be an inability to retain anything whatever upon its stomach.

It would vomit up promptly everything I gave it, and I had given it

everything I had ever heard of and also had eminent council, but it was

no go; I was literally at my rope's end. At this juncture an elderly

lady neighbor, one of "the good old mothers," timidly suggested an

infusion of peach bark. Well, as it was any port in storm, I started to

find the coveted bark, which I was fortunate enough to procure after a

long tramp through the country and two feet of snow. I prepared an

infusion, gave the little patient a few swallows, and presto! the deed

was done, the child cured. * * It fills all the indications of the

leaves and many more. It fills the indications of hydrocyanic acid,

ingluvin, ipecac or any other anti-emetic. It will more frequently allay

the vomiting of pregnancy than any remedy I have ever tried. And nearly

every case of retching or vomiting (except it be reflex) will promptly

yield under its use. * * * For an adult the dose is five drops, and in

urgent cases repeat every five to ten minutes until the symptoms

subside, after which give it at intervals of one to four hours as

indicated. After ten years' use I am thoroughly convinced that any

physician once giving it a thorough trial will never again be without

it. Of course it is not a specific for all "upheavals of the inner man,"

but will I think meet more indications than any other known remedy of

its class.

(This brought out the following from Dr. Kirkpatrick in

the same journal):

I must say that I feel a little plagued after reading what Dr. Edson

says about Amygdalus; he has taken the wind out of my sails, but I

must give my experience. Quite a number of years since a good friend in

the profession called on me, and asked me to visit one of his patients,

honestly stating that he thought she would die. I went a few miles in

the country to see her. She had been vomiting blood for two or three

days, and, notwithstanding she had had oxalate of cerium, bismuth,

pepsin, ingluvin and other good remedies, everything she swallowed would

come up, so that she looked more like a corpse than a living being. I

ordered them to go out and get me some of the young switches of the last

year's growth from the peach tree; I had them pound them to loosen the

bark; I then nearly filled a tumbler with this bark, then covered it

with water. I ordered her a teaspoonful to be taken after each time she

vomited, one dose being given then, and one every hour after the

vomiting stopped. The result was, she vomited no more and made a good


* * * In recent cases I have very rarely had to give the second

prescription to relieve morning sickness. I was visiting a doctor in

Quincy; while there he told me he was afraid he would have either to

make a lady abort or let her die, from the fact that he had failed to

stop her vomiting. I happened to have a sample of the medicine with me;

I gave it to him, he took it to the lady and in a few days he reported

her well. I may say, like Dr. Edson, it is a standard remedy with me. I

have found it very useful in haemorrhage from the bladder. Some of my

lady patients find it very good in nervous headache. I have used the

tincture prepared from the leaves, but it is far inferior to that

prepared from the bark of the young shoots. A medical friend was going

to see a lady who had morning sickness; he told me he had thought of

advising her to use popcorn; I handed him a small bottle of my

Amygdalus and told him to take a couple of ears of corn in his pocket

and try both. The next time I met him he said my medicine had done the


(Dr. Oliver S. Haines, of Philadelphia, also contributed

the following experience):

Apropos of the remarks made by Dr. C. C. Edson upon the efficacy of

infusion of peach bark in the gastric irritability of children, we

might mention the following authentic case:

An infant, during its second summer, had been much reduced by acute

dyspeptic diarrhoea. A marked feature of this case was the persistent

vomiting of all food. The stomach would tolerate no form of baby food

with or without milk. The child's parents had consulted some eminent

physicians of our city. The child had been treated homoeopathically.

None of the remedies chosen seemed to produce the desired effect. After

a consultation it was deemed best to send the infant to the mountains.

The change aggravated its condition. While the parents hourly expected

their baby would die, it was suggested that they send for an old

practitioner living in the mountains near at hand. This man had a local

reputation as a saver of dying babies. His prescription was as follows:

Two or three fresh peach leaves were to be put in a cup of boiling

water, the infant to receive a "drink" of this infusion at frequent

intervals. The effects of this remedy were as remarkable in this case as

in the case narrated by Dr. Edson. Our child soon retained food and

eventually recovered.

It seems this ancient disciple of Esculapius had long used peach leaves

and regarded them as possessing specific virtues.