Others (in addition to some already mentioned) are medicinal; as the palms, calabash, manchineel, pepper, fustic and a long list of cathartics, caustics, emetics, astringents, febrifuges, vermifuges, diuretics and tonics.
On the latter they act as diuretics, but less powerfully than potassium, increasing the flow of water and the output of urea and rendering the urine less acid.
The acetate and the citrate are valuable mild diuretics in Bright's disease and in feverish conditions, and by increasing the amount of urine diminish the pathological fluids in pleuritic effusion, ascites, &c. In tubal nephritis they aid the excretion of fatty casts.
The prescriptions are for a great variety of ailments and afflictionsdiseases of the eye and the stomach, sores and broken bones, to make the hair grow, to keep away snakes, fleas, &c. Purgatives and diuretics are particularly numerous, and the medicines take the form of pillules, draughts, liniments, fumigations, &c. The prescriptions are often fanciful and may thus bear some absurd relation to the disease to be cured, but generally they would be to some extent effective.
Much safer and more powerful diuretics are now in use.
Some of them by stimulating the kidney cells act as diuretics, but others apparently lack this action.