Plants with Ocular Effects
Rwanda (1969 SG311)
Erythroxylum coca is a South American native from which cocaine is extracted from its leaves. The use of cocaine in ophthalmology was popularized by Carl Koller who was introduced to the substance by Sigmond Fraud, the father of psychoanalysis. Koller demonstrated that it was a local anaesthetic suitable for rendering the eye temporarily insensible to pain. It was used extensively during cataract extraction. Nowadays, its ophthalmic uses are confined to vasoconstriction of the nasal mucosa during dacrycystorhinostomy and as a diagnostic test for Horner's pupil when the clinical picture is not obvious.
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