One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A drug prepared from the dried leaves of foxgloves and containing substances (notably digoxin and digitoxin) that stimulate the heart muscle.
- ‘The effects of the medication can be inhibited by tricyclic antidepressants and digitalis.’
- ‘In reality, more than 30% of conventional medications come from common plant sources (eg, digitalis from foxglove, vincristine from periwinkle).’
- ‘One-year mortality was reduced regardless of gender, presence of diabetes mellitus or heart failure, or treatment with diuretics, digitalis, beta blockers or anticoagulants.’
- ‘According to the authors, the concomitant intake of those two drugs induced a drop in potassium following a diuretic induced decrease in water retention, which led to an increase in sensitivity of heart muscle to digitalis.’
- ‘Specific classes of medications used to control and slow the heart rate include digitalis, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers.’
Late 18th century: from the modern Latin genus name of the foxglove, from digitalis (herba) ‘(plant) relating to the finger’, from digitus ‘finger, toe’; suggested by German Fingerhut ‘thimble or foxglove’.
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