When taken internally it is both a secretory and an excretory cholagogue, but so irritant and powerful that its use in cases of jaundice is generally undesirable.
In hepatogenous pigmentation (icterus or jaundice) we have the iron-free pigment modified and transformed by the action of the liver cells into bile pigment (bilirubin).
Of such are the better understanding of the functions of the liver in normal catabolism, in the neutralization of poisons absorbed from the intestines or elsewhere, in the causation of jaundice, and in diabetes [Bernhardt Naunyn (b.
Peltigera canin g, which formed the basis of the celebrated " pulvis antilyssus " of Dr Mead, long regarded as a sovereign cure for hydrophobia; Platysma juniperinum, lauded as a specific in jaundice, no doubt on the similia similibus principle from a resemblance between its yellow colour and that of the jaundiced skin; Peltidea aphthosa, which on the same principle was regarded by the Swedes, when boiled in milk, as an effectual remedy for the aphthae or rash on their children.
Amongst other places having a similar action are Marienbad, Franzensbad and Tarasp. The waters just mentioned contain free alkali as well as sulphates, and are employed more especially in cases of hepatic disorder, such as congestion of the liver, jaundice, gall-stone and diabetes.
Thus it came about not only that classifications of disease based on superficial likeness - such as jaundice, dropsy, inflammation - were broken up, and their parts redistributed, but also that even more set diseases began to lose their settlements, and were recognized as terms of series, as transitory or culminating phases of perturbations which might be traced to their origins, and in their earlier stages perhaps withstood.