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December 24, 1904


Author Affiliations

Demonstrator of Pharmacodynamics at the University of Pennsylvania. PHILADELPHIA.; (Done Under a Grant from the National Academy of Sciences.)

JAMA. 1904;XLIII(26):1953-1957. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.92500260002f

Apocynum cannabinum, commonly known as Canadian hemp, has long been used by certain Indian tribes in the treatment of dropsies and as an antidote to snake-bite. The credit of being the first to call the attention of the medical profession to the value of this remedy appears to be due to M. L. Knapp who, in 1826, ascribed to it great value as a diuretic. In 1833 Griscom published the records of a number of cases of anasarca in which the drug had been used with marked benefit. Despite, however, several clinical reports confirming its utility, the remedy appears to have passed into comparative desuetude for a number of years, until in 1898 Dabney contributed a paper reviewing what was known of its physiologic action and describing a number of cases of various conditions of circulatory weakness from valvular lesions of the heart and of edema