back Ipecacuanha

Synonym. - Cephselis Ipecacuanha. Natural order. - Rubiaeeae. Common name.- Ipecac. Habitat. - A small shrub abounding in moist shady woods in Brazil. Preparation.- Tincture from the dried root.


Acts especially upon the ramifications of the pneumogastric nerve, producing spasmodic irritation, mostly in the chest and stomach, giving rise in the former to asthma, and in the latter to nausea and vomiting. It also irritates the mucous membrane of the respiratory and digestive tracts, causing catarrhal conditions of these parts, pulmonary congestion, and even hepatization; it also produces emphysema, and through the same sources of irritation has the power of producing haemorrhage from mucous surfaces. The principal feature of Ipecac is a persistent nausea and vomiting, which is its chief indication in all diseases.


Mind. - Peevish; irritable (Bry., Cham.); impatient, cries con- stantly. Morose, scornful mood. oAilments from anger, mortification or vexation, with indignation.

Head.- Headache, as if bruised, all through bones of head and down into root of tongue, with nausea. Semi-lateral headache, with nausea and vomiting. Sneezing; violent; in paroxysms; discharge of thin mucus.

Nose.- Coryza, with stoppage of the nose and nausea. Epistaxis of bright blood (Dulc.).

Eyes. - Dilated pupils. Hardened mucus in the external canthi.

Face. - Pale and puffed or sunken; with blue rings around the eyes (Cinch., Sec, Sulph.). oPeriodical infra and supraorbital neuralgia, with photophobia, lachrymation and smarting eyelids; malarial.

Mouth. - Profuse accumulation of saliva (Cinch., Merc). Constantly obliged to swallow saliva.

Stomach - Aversion to food (Ant. crud., Coccul.). Eructations with rumbling in the abdomen. Empty eructations (Phos., Merc.); with nausea. Distressing nausea and inclination to vomit, with almost all complaints. Nausea as from the stomach. Vomiting, thirst, sweat, and bad breath. Vomiting, with distended abdomen; after vomiting inclined to sleep. Vomiting, worse from stooping. oGastric catarrh from indigestible food or from ice cold things. Distressing feeling, as though the stomach were hanging down relaxed (Tabac).

Abdomen.- Pinching pain in both hypochondria, and in region of pit of stomach (Bell.). Griping as from a hand, each finger seemingly sharply pressing into the intestines; better during rest, much worse by motion (Bell.). oWith every movement a cutting pain almost constantly running from left to right.

Stool. - Diarrhoea; stools as if fermented, green as grass (Agar.), with nausea and colic. Frequent stools of greenish mucus (Apis, Arg. nit., Ars., Bell., Puls.). Bloody stools (Euc). oAutumnal diarrhoea; much griping about the navel.

Urinary Organs.- Ked, scanty urine.


Female Organs.- Haemorrhage from the uterus (Acon., Erig., Ham., Mille., Sec.)-, blood bright-red, profuse, clotted; nausea; breathing heavy, oppressed; stitches from navel to uterus. Dragging towards the uterus and anus. Menstruation too early and too profuse; blood bright-red, with colic and nausea.

Respiratory Organs. - Battling noises in the air passages during respiration (Ant. tart., Phos., Stan.). Dyspnoea; attended with wheezing and great weight and anxiety; about the prcecordia; with constriction across chest, violent and convulsive cough. Violent constriction of the throat and chest, with shortness of breath and wheezing respiration; gasps for air at the open window; face pale; worse from least motion; threatened suffocation; asthma (Ars.). Severe and convulsive paroxysms of asthma. Oppression of the chest in the forenoon, with shortness of breath, as from inhaling dust. Cough caused by tickling from upper portions of larynx to lowest extremity of bronchi. Cough causing inclination to vomit, without nausea. Suffocating cough, whereby the child becomes quite stiff, and blue in the face (Coral, rub.). o Whooping cough, with nosebleed, bleeding from the mouth, vomiting, loses breath, turns pale or blue, and becomes rigid. Cough with expectoration of blood. oHa3moptysis; from the slightest exertion.

Limbs.- oColdness of one hand while the other is hot. Pain as if bruised in all the bones. Pain in all joints, as if limbs were asleep.

Generalities.- Great weakness (Ars., Cam ph., Phos.). Body rigid, stretched out stiff (Hyos.); followed by spasmodic jerking of the arms. oH8emorrhages bright-red. Miliary rash on skin. Epileptiform spasms; opisthotonos. oDropsy of internal parts. oChlorosis, menses scanty; skin and mucous surfaces pale, anaemic.

Fever- oBackache, short chill, long fever; heat usually with thirst; raging headache, nausea and cough, sweat last. External coldness; internal heat; followed by sweat. Shivering at 4 p.m.; then chilliness without thirst, intermittent fever when gastric symptoms predominate; also after abuse of Quinine; in beginning of irregular cases, especially


if there is much nausea; also, like Natr. mur., chill, fever

and sweat, with frontal headache. Compare.- Ant. tart., Ars., Bell., Bry., Calc. c, Caet., Cham.,

Cinch., Cupr., Eupat., Ferr., Lob., Mag. c, Nux. v., Puls.,

Phos., Sulph., Tabac, Yerat. alb. Antidotes.- Arn., Ars., Cinch., Nux v., Tabac. Ipecac Antidotes.- Alum., Ant. erud., Arn., Ars., Cinch.,

Cupr. (vapors), Dulc, Ferr., Op., Tabac.


The chief indication for the use of Ipecac is nausea and vomiting, whether resulting from simple irritation of the stomach from deranged digestion, gastric catarrh or reflex disturbances, or associated with other diseases, especially of the respiratory tract, or haemorrhages from various parts. Nausea and vomiting are present in nearly all complaints where Ipecac is to be employed. There is also aversion to all food, and usually a perfectly clean tongue. In gastric catarrh the tongue may be coated white. Especially useful in gastric catarrh from indulgence in rich foods, pastry, pork, etc. (Puls.) or from candy or ice cream (Ars.). Haematemesis, pale face, feeble pulse, great sense of nausea. Often indicated in diarrhoea and dysentery, with symptoms already mentioned, especially with frothy, green stools, nausea and colic. Cholera infantum. Ipecac is especially valuable in respiratory diseases. Coryza with much sneezing. Epistaxis of bright-red blood. Spasms of the glottis. Asthma, with constriction of the chest. Wheezing respiration, worse from the least motion, rattling of mucus when breathing and coughing, but none is expectorated. Only second to Ant. tart, in the capillary bronchitis of children, the symptoms being quite similar as to rattling of mucus in chest, etc., but there is less prostration and collapse; the cough is usually spasmodic, recurring in paroxysms, and followed by vomiting. Also useful in bronchitis of adults with similar symptoms. Whooping cough, spasmodic, with haemorrhage from nose and mouth, vomiting, loss of breath, face pale or blue, body becomes rigid. Extremely valuable in haemoptysis, blood bright-red and frothy, worse from the least exertion. Ipecac is one of our most valuable remedies in uterine haemorrhage, blood bright-red; faintness; oppressed breathing and persistent nausea. Menorrhagia. Morning sickness of pregnancy. Hematuria, with nausea, oppressed breathing and cutting pains. Sometimes useful in neuralgia of the head, face, eyeballs, periodical, with photophobia and copious lachrymation; malarial; pustular conjunctivitis of scrofulous children. Olten valuable in intermittent fever with the symptoms already given (see Fever). Very similar to Eupat. perf., though it has more nausea and no bone pains. Allen says "the paroxysms of Eupat. are only partially developed, while those of Ipec. are, as a rule, perfectly developed.

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