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Cuphea Viscosissima

NAT. ORD., Lythraceae.

COMMON NAMES, Clammy cuphea. Tar-weed.

PREPARATION.--The fresh plant is pounded to a pulp and macerated in two

parts by weight of alcohol.

(In 1888 Dr. A. A. Roth contributed the following

concerning Cuphea vis. to the Homoeopathic


Two years ago, whilst battling manfully for the life of a child ill to
death from cholera infantum, I was persuaded by a lady friend to use red

pennyroyal tea, and to my delight I had the pleasure of seeing a

marvellous change in less than twenty-four hours. The vomiting ceased

promptly and the bowels gradually became normal. Impressed by this fact,

and also the fact that it was used very extensively in home treatment by

country people, I procured the fresh plant, and prepared a tincture as

directed in the American Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia under article

"Hedeoma." This made a beautiful dark-green tincture, having an aromatic

odor and slightly astringent taste. Of this I gave from five to ten

drops, according to age, every hour until relieved, and then as often as

needed, and found it act promptly and effectively. Feeling loath to add

another remedy to our already over-burdened Materia Medica, I deferred

any mention of the fact; but now after a fair trial for two seasons I

feel justified in believing that the Cuphea viscosissima will prove a

treasure in the treatment of cholera infantum. Out of a large number of

cases treated I had but three square failures, and they were

complicated with marasmus to an alarming extent before I began the

Cuphea; one died and two finally recovered. Cuphea does not act with

equal promptness in all forms of cholera infantum. Two classes of cases

stand out prominently; and first, those arising from acidity of milk or

food; vomiting of undigested food or curdled milk, with frequent green,

watery, acid stools, varying in number from five to thirty per day;

child fretful and feverish; can retain nothing on the stomach; food

seems to pass right through the child. I have frequently had the mother

say after twenty-four hours' use of Cuphea: "Doctor, the baby is all

right," and a very pleasant greeting it is, as we all know. A second

class is composed of cases in which the stools are decidedly dysenteric,

small, frequent, bloody, with tenesmus and great pain; high fever,

restlessness and sleeplessness. In these two classes Cuphea acts

promptly and generally permanently. It contains a large percentage of

tannic acid, and seems to possess decidedly tonic properties, as

children rally rapidly under its use. It utterly failed me in ordinary

forms of diarrhoea, especially in diarrhoeas from colds, etc.; but

in the classes mentioned I have frequently had it produce obstinate

constipation after several days' use.