Ecbalium officinarum. Squirting cucumber. N.O. Cucurbitaceae. Tincture of unripe fruit. Trituration of the dried sediment of the juice.
ELATERIUM is known as a drastic purge. It excites an excessive secretion of watery mucus from all mucous membranes that absorb it. It is therefore a powerful errhine, and causes also enormous secretion from the oesophagus and stomach of a watery fluid that is vomited, mixed with food and bile. Profuse, watery, frothy evacuations or discharges of dark olive-green masses of bilious mucus from the bowels are induced. With these discharges are associated salivation, a feeling of enlargement in the naso-pharynx, nausea, eructations of wind and an empty sensation or griping pains in the abdomen. The diarrhoea is painless. In extreme cases a gastro-enteritis is set up with shedding of the epithelium of the intestinal tract.
Other symptoms occurring in the provers are “sticking, as of a splinter in the inner canthus of the left eye,” a shooting and dull pain in the left thigh in the course of the sciatic nerve, extending to the instep and the extremities of the toes, and sharp, fugitive, or dull, aching pains in various parts, most on the left side. The head is confused and the spirits are depressed with fear of approaching disaster. Yawning is well marked, in association with chilliness. Slight aching pains are felt in the region of the left kidneys, and there is increased flow of limpid urine.
In accordance with its action depicted above elaterium has found its chief homoeopathic use in the treatment of choleraic diarrhoea and cholerine and should be thought of in true cholera when the evacuations are very excessive in quantity. It has been used pronounced, and also in jaundice accompanied by high fever of an intermittent type and the characteristic stools. One case of rheumatic sciatica cured by it has been recorded. It has been employed in the orthodox school as a hydragogue to drain away dropsies, such as ascites, hydro-pericardium, and the oedema of kidney diseases.
(1) Profuse, watery, painless discharges and evacuations.
(2) Choleraic diarrhoea; cholera.
(3) Chilliness, with constant yawning.
(4) Rheumatico-neuralgic pains, mainly left-sided; sciatica (left).