Simaba cedron. Rattlesnake beans. N.O. Simarubaceae. Tincture from the dried, powdered seeds.
NO physiological experiments have been made with cedron and our knowledge of its action on the body is derived entirely from provings on the healthy human subject. From these it is apparent that its influence is principally on the cerebro-spinal and sympathetic nervous system, giving rise to great cerebral congestion. It acts rapidly, symptoms coming on within a short time of taking the drug.
Head.-It causes a bursting headache, felt most in the parietal and occipital regions and made worse by bending the head backwards. The forehead feels cold as if empty, or there may be a pressive, band-like pain over the eyes. The temporal arteries are enlarged.
Eyes.-The eyes are prominent and red, with pressive pain extending to the forehead, they feel moist and the lids are injected, bright red, and painful to pressure. The meibomian glands are swollen. The pupils are dilated. A peculiarity exists with regard to vision: objects appear red at night and yellow during the day.
Ears.-Buzzing in the ears and hardness of hearing occur with the congestion in the head.
Mind.-With these congestive states, too, the mind is gloomy, the spirits depressed, the senses dull and the mental faculties torpid. There are inquietude, anguish, a disposition to weep, and a dread of seeing friends, especially in women.
The face is red and burning at night and pale and cold in the morning. In the evening, during fever, it has a bloated appearance and flying heats alternate with chills. Pressive or tearing pains are felt in one or both cheeks, with occasional shoots under the orbits. Spasmodic twitchings occur in the upper lids.
Digestion.-Prickling or intolerable itching takes place in the tongue, and salivation occurs, with perhaps a taste of iron in the mouth. A constricting sensation comes in the throat which scarcely allows the patient to swallow the saliva. There is thirst for cold water at noon and for warm water in the evening and at night. A sensation of heat and distention is felt in the stomach and abdomen, also nausea, which is worse at rest and relieved by walking and eating. Flatulent colic, with stitches in the hypochondria and constant unsuccessful urging to stool, or the passage of copious, yellowish or white stools, associated with excessive tenesmus, complete the symptoms of the alimentary tract.
The urine is scanty and dark-coloured; there may be unsuccessful efforts to urinate.
Sexual.-Great excitement occurs in the genital organs, with priapism and a discharge from the urethra resembling gonorrhoea. In women leucorrhoea is present and the breasts are swollen and painful.
Respiratory.-The larynx is tender and feels constricted, there is partial loss of voice and breathing is difficult.
Limbs.-Sharp rheumatic pains occur in the joints of all the limbs, and there are pressive pains in the elbows and forearms, with a cold sensation that extends to the hands, as well as contracting pains, as if bruised, in the legs.
The sleep is restless, with confused dreams, or else is profound, from which, however, the patient wakes more fatigued the longer has been its duration.
Circulation.-But the chief symptoms of cedron occur in the circulatory sphere in the form of febrile paroxysms which is the provers recur daily, mostly in the evening; they are preceded by depressed spirits, dulness of the senses and pressive headache which comes on about noon. Cramps and contracting, tearing pains come on in the extremities, with coldness of the hands and feet. The mouth becomes dry, there is thirst for cold water, and chills and shudderings take place over the whole body. Hurried respiration and palpitation come on with weak, depressed pulse. The chill lasts about two hours and is followed by heat, with full and quick pulse and a turgid and red face, but the tip of the nose and the hands remain cold. This stage in time gives place to profuse perspiration. During the apyrexia the patient is cold and pale and has thirst for warm drinks.
The remarkable fact about cedron is that the paroxysms of fever and also other symptoms, such as the neuralgias and joint pains, recur at the same hour of the day. They recur daily or on alternate days, or if recurring daily are weaker on alternate days, but always precisely at the same time.
Cedron cures intermittents when the paroxysms come on with the clock-like regularity mentioned above. It is most suited to intermittents of an obstinate character, occurring in the tropics in damp, marshy districts, and that are associated with cerebral disturbances, enlarged liver and spleen, anaemia and dropsy.
It is curative of intermittent neuralgias that have the same accurate periodicity.
In Central and South America it is used as a remedy for snake-bite: the seeds must be chewed and eaten immediately after the bite. The inhabitants of these countries often carry bags of the beans about with them in order to be prepared.
Cedron has been used for chorea and hysterical spasms occurring in women after coition, and for neuralgia, with the same modality, in men.
(1) Periodic complaints which recur at exactly the same hour.
(2) Intermittent fevers and neuralgias with this characteristic.
(3) Numbness, sensation of enlargement, or as if paralysed.
(4) People of voluptuous disposition and excitable, nervous temperament, especially women.
From prolonged step, lying down, night, evening open air, before a storm.
From standing erect, motion.