5

My Asian parents think that this "musk bone-building analgesic plaster" thing works for treating pain.

Musk Bone-Building Analgesics Plaster

Ingredients: Musk ambrette, Radix Aconiti Kusnezoffii, Radix Aconiti, Olibanum, Myrrha, Borneolum Syntheticum,Camphora, Mentholum, Extractum Cymbopogonis, Extractum Belladonnae Liquidum, Methyl Salicylate, etc.

[...]

Action and indication: To relieve rheumatic conditions, promote blood circulation and alleviate pain. For rheumatic arthralgia and myalgia,painful swelling of joints.

Do any of those ingredients work as an analgesic?

  • 2
    Camphor and methyl salicylate (the chemical that gives wintergreen its characteristic aroma) are both ingredients in actual working over-the-counter topical analgesics like Rub A535. The camphor is an irritant, acting in a way similar to capsaicin. Methyl salicylate is an analgesic similar to aspirin, but it's usually used in relatively higher concentrations (10-20% of the preparation by weight). But the questions are: "what is the 'Rheumatic arthritis analgesic paste'?" and "what sort of ingredients list is that?" – Stan Rogers Dec 27 '11 at 1:58
  • 2
    I think "Atropine belladonnae liquid"="Extractum Belladonnae Liquidum" and "Methyl Salicylate" is also known as "Oil of Wintergreen". – Oddthinking Dec 27 '11 at 8:59
4

To convert comments from Stan Rogers and Oddthinking into an Answer:

Camphor and methyl salicylate (the chemical that gives wintergreen its characteristic aroma) are both ingredients in actual working over-the-counter topical analgesics like Rub A535. The camphor is an irritant, acting in a way similar to capsaicin. Methyl salicylate is an analgesic similar to aspirin, but it's usually used in relatively higher concentrations (10-20% of the preparation by weight).

Stan Rogers

Contributor Oddthinking has drawn attention to Extractum Belladonnae Liquidum, which is known in Western medicine as simply Belladonna. Belladonna is a plant; its leaf and root are used to make medicine that interacts with people's nervous system. The U.S. Library of Medicine says that belladonna can be poisonous; for this reason:

Since 2010, the FDA has been cracking down on homeopathic infant teething tablets and gels. These products may contain inaccurate doses of belladonna. Serious side effects including seizures, breathing problems, tiredness, constipation, difficulty urinating, and agitation have been reported in infants taking these products.

Though widely regarded as unsafe, belladonna is taken by mouth as a sedative, to stop bronchial spasms in asthma and whooping cough, and as a cold and hay fever remedy. It is also used for Parkinson's disease, colic, inflammatory bowel disease, motion sickness, and as a painkiller.

Belladonna is used in ointments that are applied to the skin for joint pain, pain along the sciatic nerve, and general nerve pain. Belladonna is also used in plasters (medicine-filled gauze applied to the skin) for mental disorders, a behavior disorder that involves hyperactivity and inability to concentrate, excessive sweating, and asthma.

...

Belladonna is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in adults and children. It contains chemicals that can be toxic.

Side effects of belladonna result from its effects on the body's nervous system. Symptoms include dry mouth, enlarged pupils, blurred vision, red dry skin, fever, fast heartbeat, inability to urinate or sweat, hallucinations, spasms, mental problems, convulsions, coma, and others.

...

MedlinePlus.gov

That article has warnings against using belladonna if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, suffer congestive heart failure, have constipation, have Down syndrome, have esophageal reflux, fever, stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal tract infections, gastrointestinal tract blockage, hiatal hernia, high blood pressure, narrow-angle glaucoma, psychiatric disorders, rapid heartbeat, ulcerative colitis, have difficulty urinating, or are using other drugs.

Do not use Belladonna after reading this Answer without consulting your doctor and/or reading reliable up-to-date health information that you trust, such as from your health organization or the government.

  • Can we get a reference to the bit about camphor and methyl salicylate? – Ben Barden Oct 8 '18 at 16:55
  • Added some links... is this what you asked for? – elliot svensson Oct 8 '18 at 17:18
  • That'll do just fine. – Ben Barden Oct 8 '18 at 18:09
  • I will note that Belladonna is only described as "unsafe" when taken orally... unless you have other reason to think it unsafe when applied topically? – Ben Barden Oct 8 '18 at 18:10
  • 1
    @BenBarden, the list of side effects applies to topical and to oral use, and the sensitivities are not limited to oral use. Also, with regards to safety, somebody who is highly sensitive for an oral drug really needs to be careful to use that drug topically---- if it's not necessary for some reason, their doctor might believe that the risks outweigh the benefits. – elliot svensson Oct 8 '18 at 18:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .