According to Milne it is “diaphoretic, tonic, alterative. . . . It is given in scrofula and secondary syphilis; and the concomitants of these diseases, such as ulcers, cutaneous eruptions, nodes, indurated glands, caries, necroses, articular swellings, and rheumatism, often improve under a protracted course of it.” Some, he adds, “think it a kind of restorative after an exhausting course of Mercury.” This well summarises the ancient reputation of Sars. as a “blood purifier,” which Hahnemann’s proving has amplified and put on a fixed scientific basis.
Sarsaparilla meets the sycotic as well as the psoric (scrofulous) and syphilitic constitution; and it is “restorative” after over-dosing with Merc. because it is a homœopathic antidote to Merc.
The chief localities of the action of Sars. are: The urinary organs; genitals; rectum; skin and bones; right lower extremity; right lower side; inner semilateral head.
In the urinary sphere there are symptoms which are very severe and also peculiar: There is great pain at end of micturition, just as the urine ceases to flow; inability to pass water freely except in the standing position, when sitting it only dribbles; excessive pain in urethra which may run back into abdomen; passage of gravel which looks like grey sand. Many cases of renal colic and dysuria in infants with passage of sand have been cured with Sars. Gonorrhœa and the effect of suppressed gonorrhœa have also been cured with it; herpes preputialis; spermatorrhœa, with swollen cords. In the female generative sphere it has many symptoms of painful and disordered menstruation. A peculiar symptom is “moist eruption in right groin before menses.” There are moist eruptions also on scrotum and thighs of the male, and offensive odours about genitals in both sexes. The semen may be bloody. In all cases if the other symptoms are associated with the peculiar urinary symptoms of Sars., this will be a strong corroborative indication.
The skin is severely affected by Scars. One of its popular uses is for “clearing the complexion.” When it succeeds it is by virtue of its homœopathicity, for I have seen a very extensive crop of blotches produced by it in a young lady. Sars. produces herpetic eruptions in all parts, and tettery eruptions, moist and dry. Rhagades. Itch-like eruptions prone to appear in spring. Itching eruption on forehead during menses. It causes great emaciation, causing the skin to be shrivelled and lie in folds. It is suited to children with faces like old people and enlarged abdomens; to dark-haired persons of lithic or sycotic diathesis.
Farrington gives these indications:
(1) Sycotic eruption, little spots scarcely raised above the skin, often scaling a little, but looking like the roseola of syphilis and itching intolerably,