The Physiomedical Dispensatory by William Cook, M.D., 1869    



The article that has long passed under this name as a drug, is a hard substance found under the prepuce of the penis on the beaver–castor fiber. There are two of these on each animal, and they resemble two testicles. They have a strong and unpleasant animal odor, which is impaired by age; and yield their properties to rectified spirits.

Properties and Uses:  These glandular bodies have long been used in medicine as antispasmodic and emmenagogue. They seem to possess rather diffusive stimulating and relaxing properties; and have been much commended in painful menstruation, suddenly suppressed menstruation, hysteria, and various nervous affections. Some place great dependence upon their virtues, but at present they are little used. Personally I know nothing of their action; as I have always found efficient articles of a less disgusting origin. The dose in substance is from ten to twenty grains three times a day. A tincture is prepared by macerating two ounces of the bruised castor for seven days in a quart of diluted alcohol. The dose of this is from a half to two fluid drachms.

 Medical Herbalism journal and