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CHARACTERS. A transparent or translucent, more or less viscid liquid, of
a pale yellow to brownish-yellow color, having a peculiar, aromatic odor, and
a bitter acrid taste. Sp. gr., 0.940 to 0.990. Solubility. Insoluble in
water ; readily soluble in absolute Alcohol, Ether, Chloroform, Carbon Disul-
phide, Benzin, and fixed and volatile oils.]

COMPOSITION. The chief constituents are (I) The volatile oil, 48 to 85
percent, (see below). (2) The Resin, 15 to 52 per cent, (see below), which
exists dissolved in the oil. It consists of two Resins: (a) Copaivic Acid,
[CjoH^O^,] the chief constituent, a crystalline Resin, with a faint odor, a
bitter taste, insoluble in water, easily soluble in absolute Alcohol and Am-
monia ; (b) a non-crystallizable, viscid Resin, I ^ per cent.

IMPURITIES. Turpentine, detected by the smell on heating. Fixed oils ;
these leave a greasy ring round the resinous stain when heated on paper.
Gurjun Balsam, which coagulates at 270 F. ; [132 C. ;] Copaiba does not.

Dose, ^ to i fl. dr. ; [i. to 4. c.c.]


[Massa Copaibae. Mass of Copaiba. Synonym. Solidified
Copaiba. Copaiba, 94 ; Magnesia, 6. By trituration with water, and

Dose, ^ to i dr. ; i. to 4. gm.]

OLEUM COPAIBA. [Oil of Copaiba.] A volatile oil distilled from


CHARACTERS. [A colorless or pale yellowish liquid, having the charac-
teristic odor of Copaiba, and an aromatic, bitterish and pungent taste. It is
isomeric with Turpentine, C 10 H 16 . Sp. gr., 0.890100.910. Solubility. In
about lo times its volume of Alcohol.]

COMPOSITION. It consists chiefly of the hydrocarbon, Caryophyllene {see

P- 534)-

Dose, 5 to 15 m. ; [.30 to i.oo c.c.] suspended in Mucilage of Acacia
(l}4 fl. oz. [45. c.c.] for every fl. oz. [30. c.c.] of Oil of Copaiba) or yolk of
egg. Cinnamon or Peppermint Water, with Tincture of Orange or Ginger,
covers the taste. It may be dissolved in water with the aid of Liquor Potassae,
with which it forms a soap, or it may be given in capsules.

[RESINA COPAIBA. Resin of Copaiba. The residue left after
distilling off the volatile oil from Copaiba.

CHARACTERS. A yellowish or brownish-yellow, brittle resin, having a
slight odor and taste of Copaiba. Solubility. In Alcohol, Ether, Chloro-
form, Carbon Disulphide, Benzol, or Amylic Alcohol.

Dose, 5 to 15 gr. ; .30 to i.oo gm.]


External. Copaiba is a stimulant to the skin.

Internal. Gastro-intestinal tract. It acts like other volatile
oils. Small doses produce a feeling of warmth in the epigas-
trium ; but with large doses its irritant effect leads to vomiting
and diarrhoea. Its taste is [unpleasant] , and the eructations it
may cause are very disagreeable.

Mucous membrane. Here also it acts like other volatile oils.
It is quickly absorbed, and then is excreted by all the mucous
membranes, which it stimulates in its passage through them, in-
creasing their vascularity and the amount of their secretion,
which, if foul, is disinfected. Because of these actions it is a
disinfectant expectorant, and a stimulating disinfectant to
the whole of the genito-urinary tract. It imparts a powerful
odor to the breath and mucous secretions. It is also excreted by
the skin, and its irritant effect here is seen in the erythematous
rash it often produces. Some, too, passes out by the milk.

Kidneys. Copaiba has a more marked action on the kidneys
than most substances containing volatile oils, and this is in great
part due to the resin, which is particularly stimulating to the


renal organs, and copaiba is therefore a useful diuretic. Large
doses of it greatly irritate the kidney, as is shown by pain in the
loins and blood and albumin in the urine. The oil and the resin
are excreted in the urine, and the resin can be [precipitated]
from it by nitric acid ; but this precipitate is known not to be
albumin by the fact that it is evenly distributed through the fluid
and is dissolved by heat. [It also leads to confusion when
Trommer's test is employed to detect glucose.] If the renal
congestion is severe, the urine may be very scanty.


Internal. Genito-urinary tract. Copaiba, or more usually
its oil, is largely used to stimulate and disinfect this part of the
body in cases of pyelitis, vaginitis, and gonorrhoea. It is often
prescribed for this last disease, and is best given when the acute
symptoms have subsided, otherwise it may increase them.

Kidneys, The resin is an admirable diuretic for hepatic and
cardiac dropsy, but because of its liability to irritate the kidneys
should not be given in Bright' s disease. After a time patients
seem to become accustomed to it, for the diuresis is not so
marked as at first. It is [disagreeable] and difficult to make
palatable. Fifteen grains [i. gm.] of the resin with 20 minims
[1.20 c.c.] of alcohol, 15 grains [i. gm.] of tragacanth to sus-
pend it, and a fluid drachm [4. c.c.] of syrup of ginger in an
ounce [30. c.c.] of water may be given for a dose.

Bronchial mucous membrane. Copaiba is occasionally used
as a disinfectant expectorant when the secretion is very foul as,
for example, when the bronchial tubes are dilated.

Skin. Copaiba has been given in chronic skin diseases, as
psoriasis, for the cutaneous stimulation caused by it, but it is now
quite discarded.

The reasons why it is rarely used except in gonorrhoea, for
which it would not be employed if it had not such a strongly
marked beneficial action, are that the smell of the breath of
those taking it is very disagreeable, it is very [unpleasant] to the
taste, and often causes indigestion.



OIL OF THYME. A volatile oil distilled from the leaves and flower-
ing tops of Thymus vulgaris Linne (nat. ord. Labiata). Habitat. Southern

CHARACTERS. A yellowish or yellowish-red liquid, having a strong odor
of Thyme, and an aromatic, pungent, afterwards cooling taste. It becomes
darker and thicker by age and exposure to the air. Sp. gr. , 0.900 to 0.930.

Solubility. In half its volume of Alcohol, forming a clear solution, which
is neutral or only very slightly acrid to litmus paper. Also soluble in all pro-
portions, in Carbon Disulphide, and in Glacial Acetic Acid.

COMPOSITION. Its chief constituents are the hydrocarbons (i) Cymene,
C 10 H M . (2) Thymcne, C, H 16 .

Dose, i to 5 m. ; .06 to .30 c.c.


Its action is similar to that of copaiba. The chief use of oil
of thyme is as a source of thymol. It has been employed in
the treatment of bronchitis, gonorrhoea, gleet, leucorrhosa, and

vesical catarrh.]


CUBEB. The unripe fruit of Piper Cubeba [Linne films (nat. ord.
Piperacea). Habitat. Java ; cultivated.

CHARACTERS. Globular, about 4 or 5 mm. in diameter, contracted at the
base into a rounded stipe about 6 or 8 mm. long, reticulately wrinkled,
blackish-gray, internally whitish and hollow ; odor strong, spicy ; taste aro-
matic and pungent.] Resembling Cubeb. Pepper and Pimenta ; neither has
a stalk.

COMPOSITION. The chief constituents are (i) The volatile oil [5 to]
15 per cent, (see below). (2) The Oleoresin, 6 per cent, (see below), which
contains Cubebin, a white, crystalline, odorless substance, and Cubebic Acid.
(5) A little Piperine.

Dose, 30 to 60 gr. ; [2. to 4. gm.]


1. [Extractum Cubebae Fluidum. Fluid Extract of Cubeb.
By maceration and percolation with Alcohol, and evaporation.

Dose, y z to i fl. dr. ; 2. to 4. c.c.

2. Oleoresina Cubebae. Oleoresin of Cubeb.

SOURCE. By percolation with Ether; distil off, and evaporate the

Oleoresin of Cubeb is used to make Trochisci Cubebae.
Dose, 5 to 30 m. ; .30 to 2.00 c.c.


3. Tinctura Cubebae. Tincture of Cubeb. Cubeb, 200. By
maceration and percolation with Alcohol to looo.

Dose, y? to 3 fl. dr. ; 2. to 12. c.c.

4. Trochisci Cubebae. Troches of Cubeb. Oleoresin of Cubeb,
4; Oil of Sassafras, I ; Extract of Glycyrrhiza, 25 ; Acacia, 12 gm. ;
Syrup of Tolu, sufficient quantity to make loo troches. Each troche
contains ^ m. ; .04 c.c., of the Oleoresin.]

Dose, i to 6 troches.

OLEUM CUBEB^E. Oil of Cubeb. A volatile oil distilled from

CHARACTERS. A colorless, [pale greenish, or yellowish liquid, having
the characteristic odor of Cubeb, and a warm, camphoraceous, aromatic taste.
Sp. gr., about 0.920. Solubility. Soluble in an equal volume of Alcohol.]

COMPOSITION. The chief constituents are (l) Cubeb Camphor, [C 15
H M O, a Stearopten. (2) Two oils, C 15 H.j 4 . (3) A small amount of a
Terpene. ]

Dose, 5 to 20 m. ; [.30 to 1.20 c.c.] suspended in Mucilage.


External. Like other substances containing a volatile oil,
cubeb is rubefacient when rubbed into the skin.

Internal. Small doses are stomachic and carminative, and
improve digestion, but moderate doses are very liable to cause
dyspepsia. Cubeb enters the blood, and, like many volatile oils,
slightly stimulates the heart, and also excites the organs through
which it is excreted. Occasionally, therefore, it causes an ery-
thematous eruption on the skin ; it increases and disinfects the
bronchial secretion, and is consequently an expectorant ; but its
main action is on the genito-urinary passages, the mucous
membrane of which is powerfully stimulated, and the secretions
of which are disinfected. The kidneys are also irritated, hence
cubeb is a diuretic. It appears in the urine in a form (probably
as a salt of cubebic acid) which may be precipitated by nitric


It is sometimes employed as [troches], or as a powder, or as the
smoke of cubeb cigarettes, to stimulate the mucous membrane in
cases of slight bronchitis, chronic sore throat, or follicular pharyn-
gitis. Chronic nasal catarrh and hay-fever have been treated by


insufflations of the powder. [The symptom] asthma is sometimes
relieved by the cigarettes. Many popular bronchial troches con-
tain cubeb ; in them it exercises- its expectorant action. Cubeb
is rarely used as a stomachic or cardiac stimulant, because it is so
liable to upset digestion ; but as it is less likely to do so than
copaiba, is a little pleasanter to take, and is almost as powerful a
stimulant to the geni to-urinary mucous membrane ; it is largely
used in gleet, gonorrhoea, and chronic cystitis.


OIL OF SANTAL. Synonym. [Oil of Sandal Wood. A volatile oil
distilled from the wood of Santalum album Linn6 (nat. ord. Santalacece}.
Habitat. Southern India.

CHARACTERS. A pale yellowish or yellow, somewhat thickish liquid,
having a peculiar, strongly aromatic odor, and a pungent, spicy taste. _ Sp. gr.,
0.970 to 0.978. It deviates polarized light to the left: distinction from
Australian (Sp. gr. , 0.953) an d West Indian (Sp. gr., 0.965) Sandal
Wood Oil, which deviate polarized light to the right. Solubility. Readily in

COMPOSITION. Santalol, C, 5 H M O, an alcohol, 90 per cent.

Dose, 2 to 10 m. ; [.12 to .60 c.c. 1


The action of the oil of santal is the same as that of volatile
oils in general, but, like that of the oils of copaiba and cubeb,
it is especially manifested in the genito-urinary mucous
membranes, which are stimulated and disinfected. The
drug is used in gonorrhoea and gleet. [It is best administered in
capsules, or in an emulsion.] It is pleasanter than copaiba, but
more expensive. It appears in the urine half an hour after
administration. Some of it is excreted by the bronchial mucous
membrane ; it is, therefore, a stimulating disinfectant expecto-
rant. Two or three drops on sugar will frequently relieve the
hacking cough so often met with when but little sputum is



MATICO. The leaves of Piper angustifolium Ruiz et Pavon (nat. ord.
Piperacea). Habitat. Tropical America.

CHARACTERS. From loto 15 cm. long, short petiolate, oblong-lanceolate,
apex pointed, base unequally heart-shaped, margin very finely crenulate, tessei-


lated above, reticulate beneath, the meshes small, and the veins densely brown-
ish-hairy ; aromatic, spicy and- bitterish. Resembling Matico leaves. Digitalis
leaves, which are less deeply reticulated.

COMPOSITION. The chief constituents are (l) Volatile oil, [2^ per
cent. (2) A pungent resin. (3) A bitter principle. (4) Artanthic Acid.
(5) Tannic acid.

Dose, y 2 to 2 dr. ; 2. to 8. gm.


1. Extractum Matico Fluidum. Fluid Extract of Matico. By
maceration and percolation with Alcohol and Water, and evaporation.

Dose, YZ to 2 fl. dr. ; 2. to 8. c.c.

2. Tinctura Matico. Tincture of Matico. Matico, 100, by
maceration and percolation with Diluted Alcohol to looo.

Dose, Yz to i fl. oz. ; 15. to 30. c.c.

The volatile oil of matico probably has much the same action
as that of cubeb, influencing chiefly the gen i to-urinary passages.
It has been given for the same cases, but is now rarely used. The
leaves are sometimes placed upon a bleeding surface. Their
numerous hairs promote the clotting of the blood, and thus they

are hsemostatic.


DAMIANA. (Not official.) The leaves of several plants, principally
Bigelovia vcneta Gray and Turnera microphylla De Candolle, var. , aphro-
disiaca (nat. ord. Turneracea). Habitat. Western North America.

COMPOSITION. The chief constituents of the last as given by Rantzer are
(i) A volatile oil, I per cent., amber-colored, having an aromatic odor, and
a warm camphoraceous taste. (2) Tannic acid. (3) Two resins.

Dose, y z to i oz. ; 15. to 30. gm.


Damiana has enjoyed considerable reputation as a remedy for
sexual atony. Some observers believe it to be only tonic. It is
best administered as a fluid extract, in the dose of ^ fl. dr., 2. cc.



S A VINE. The tops of Juniper us Sabina Linne (nat. ord. Coniferee}.
Habitat. Siberia, Europe, Canada and Northern United States.



CHARACTERS. Short, thin, subquadrangular branchlets ; leaves rather
dark green, in four rows, opposite, scale-like, ovate-lanceolate, more or less
acute, appressed, imbricated on the back with a shallow groove containing an
oblong or roundish gland ; odor peculiar, terebinthinate ; taste nauseous, resin-
ous and bitter.

COMPOSITION. The chief constituent is the volatile oil (see below), about
2 per cent.

Dose, 5 to 15 gr. ; .30 to i.oo gm.


Extractum Sabinae Fluidum. Fluid Extract of Savine. By
maceration and percolation with Alcohol, and evaporation.
Dose, 5 to 15 m. ; .30 to i.oo c.c.

OLEUM SABINAE. Oil of Savine. A volatile oil distilled from

CHARACTERS. A colorless or yellowish liquid, having a peculiar terebin-
thinate odor, and a pungent, bitterish and camphoraceous taste. It becomes
darker and thicker by age and exposure to the air. Sp. gr., 0.910 to 0.940.
Solubility. Soluble in equal volume of Alcohol.

COMPOSITION. It contains several terpenes.

Dose, i to 5 m. ; .06 to .30 c.c.


Oil of savine has the same action as oil of turpentine, but it
is more marked. Thus externally it causes great redness, pain,
vesication, and even pustulation. Internally it may produce
severe gastro-intestinal irritation, with vomiting, abdominal pain
and purging. In its excretion through the kidney and the mu-
cous membranes of the geni to-urinary tract it severely irritates
them ; thus hsematuria, scanty urine, and pain on micturition may
follow its use. The point in which the action of oil of savine
differs from that of the oil of turpentine is that it powerfully
irritates the ovaries and uterus, causing hyperaemia of them
and accelerating menstruation. It also induces contractions of
the pregnant uterus, and therefore it is an ecbolic.


The cerate made from the fluid extract, i; in resin cerate,
4, has been used as a powerful irritant and counter-irritant, and
internally savine may be given as an emmenagogue ; but, on the
whole, its use is to be discouraged, as it is so liable to cause


serious gastro-enteritis. It has often been administered as an
ecbolic with criminal intent, but it is rarely used in medicine.


TANSY. The leaves and tops of Tanacetum vulgare Linn6 (nat. ord.
Composite). Habitat. Asia and Europe ; naturalized in North America ;

CHARACTERS. Leaves about 15 cm. long; bipinnatifid, the segments
oblong, obtuse, serrate, or incised, smooth, dark green and glandular ; flower-
heads corymbose, with an imbricated involucre, a convex, naked receptacle,
and numerous yellow, tubular florets ; odor strongly aromatic ; taste pungent
and bitter.

COMPOSITION. (I Tanacetin, C U H 16 O 4 , a bitter principle. (2) Volatile
oil, ^ per cent. (3) Tannic acid.

Dose, ^ to i dr. ; i. to 4. gm.


Tansy possesses the properties of an aromatic bitter, and is an
irritant narcotic. It has been used as an abortifacient, but is
dangerous in large doses, several fatal cases having been recorded.


OIL OF RUE. (Not official.) The volatile oil distilled from the fresh
herb of Ruta graveolens (nat. ord. Rutacea). Habitat. Britain.

CHARACTERS. A light yellow oil, becoming brown on keeping. Taste
bitter. Odor aromatic, disagreeable. Soluble in an equal weight of Alcohol.
Sp. gr., about 0.880.

COMPOSITION. It consists mainly of MethyUnonyl Ketone, CH 3 ,CO.
C 9 H 19 .

Dose, i to 4 m. ; .06 to .25 c.c.


External. Oil of rue is irritant and vesicant.

Internal. In large doses it is a powerful gastro-intestinal
irritant. It is eliminated in, and may be recognized by its odor
in the urine, breath and perspiration. It is irritant to the kid-
neys, ovaries and uterus, and excites the menstrual flow ;
consequently it is given in amenorrhoea. From its stimulating
action on the uterus rue has been used as an abortifacient, and
fatal cases of poisoning from gastro-intestinal irritation have
been recorded. It is very rarely given as a medicine. In all
points its action resembles that of savine.]


Vegetable Bitters.

All these substances contain a bitter principle which stimulates .the functions
of the stomach.

Calumba, [Canella, Calamus,] Gentian, Quassia, Cascarilla, Chirata,
Cusparia, Serpentaria, Cimicifuga, Dandelion, Orange Peel.

[Caluraba, Canella, Calamus, Gentian, Quassia, Chirata, Cusparia and Dan-
delion, do not contain Tannic Acid.]


CALUMBA. [Synonym. Columbo. The root of Jateorrhiza palmata
(Lamarck) Miers (nat. ord. Menispermacece). Habitat. Eastern Africa;
cultivated in some East Indian Islands.

CHARACTERS. In nearly circular disks, 3 to 6 cm. in diameter, externally
greenish-brown and wrinkled, internally yellowish or grayish-yellow, depressed
in the centre, with a few interrupted circles of projecting wood-bundles, dis-
tinctly radiate in the outer portion ; fracture short, mealy ; odor, slight ; taste
mucilaginous, slightly aromatic, very bitter.]

COMPOSITION. The chief constituents are (i) Calumbin, C n H H O 7 , a
neutral, bitter principle crystallizing in white needles. (2) Berberine \_C W
II 17 NO 4 ], an alkaloid (q. v.) t giving the yellow color. (3) Calumbic acid,
CjjHjjOg]. (4) Starch, 33 per cent. No Tannic Acid is present, so Calumba
can be prescribed with iron salts.

Dose, 5 to 30 gr. ; [.30 to 2.00 gm.]


1. [Extractum Calumbae Fluidum. Fluid Extract of Calumba.
By maceration and percolation in Alcohol and Water and evaporation.

Dose, 5 to 30 m. ; .30 to 2.00 c.c.

2. Tinctura Calumbae. Tincture of Calumba. Calumba, 100,
by maceration and percolation in Alcohol and Water to 1000.

Dose, i to 4 fl. dr. ; 4. to 15. c.c.]


External. Calumba is a mild antiseptic and disinfectant.
Internal. Mouth. Calumba is a typical bitter; the appe-
tite is sharpened because the gustatory nerves are stimulated ;


this reflexly leads to dilatation of the gastric vessels and to an
increase in the gastric and salivary secretions.

Stomach. The effects on the gastric mucous membrane which
were brought about reflexly by the stimulation of the gustatory
nerves are further exaggerated by the arrival of the saliva in the
stomach, and by the direct action of the calumba on it, for
although the immediate effect of a bitter in the stomach is to
diminish the flow of gastric juice, it is [rapidly] absorbed, and
after absorption it has the power to quickly increase the flow of
gastric juice. The result of these actions is to cause a feeling of
hunger, an extra secretion of gastric juice and greater vascular
dilatation, and all this helps the digestion of the food.
Peristalsis in the stomach and intestine is made slightly more ac-
tive, and thus calumba is carminative. Large doses have a
paralytic effect on the secretion, and are very powerful. The
long continued use of bitters leads to gastric catarrh and conse-
quent indigestion.

Most of these substances, like volatile oils, cause an increased
migration of leucocytes from the intestinal glands into the

Injected [into] the rectum bitters are anthelmintic, destroy-
ing the threadworm.


Calumba i? only employed to stimulate the gastric functions
and improve the appetite in cases of chronic indigestion due to
a general weakness of action on the part of the stomach. It is
thus a type of the large class of stomachics. It is especially
valuable in that form of dyspepsia in which the stomach par-
ticipates in a general feebleness of all the organs of the body,
such as we see in anaemia, starvation, convalescence from acute
diseases, tuberculosis and general exhaustion. Bitters should
never be used when there is acute or subacute gastritis, a gastric
ulcer or pain. They will obviously make all these conditions
worse. They must not be too concentrated, nor given for too
long a time, lest they should over-irritate the stomach. They
should always, as far as possible, be combined with modes of


treatment designed to relieve the cause of the dyspepsia. Often
they are called tonics ; all that is meant by this is that, as they
render the digestion of food more easy, the general health will
improve. Most bitters, when given as rectal injections [ad-
ministered when the patient is in the knee-chest position], are
anthelmintics for the Oxyuris vermicularis. Half a pint [250.
c.c.] of the infusion [B. P., Calumba, i; cold water (to avoid
extracting the starch), 20;] maybe thrown [into] the rectum

of an adult.


CANELL^E CORTEX. (Not official.) Canella Bark. The bark
of Canella alba (nat. ord. Canellaced) deprived of its corky layer and dried.
Habitat. South Florida and the Bahamas.

CHARACTERS. Quills, 8 to 20 cm. long, or flattish pieces. Externally,
orange-brown or buff, with sometimes remains of corky layer as silver-gray
patches ; whitish internally. Agreeable odor, like Cloves and Cinnamon ;
bitter taste.

COMPOSITION. The chief constituents are: (i) A volatile oil (i per
cent. ), consisting of several oils, one of which is identical with Eugenic Acid,
obtained from Oil of Cloves. (2) A bitter principle, Canellin. No Tannic
Acid is present.

Dose, 15 to 60 gr. ; i. to 4. gm.

Canella is an aromatic bitter stomachic, not often prescribed.


CALAMUS. Synonym. Sweet Flag. The rhizome of Acorus Cal-
amus Linne (nat. ord. Aroidea}. Habitat. Europe and North America, on
the banks of streams and ponds.

CHARACTERS. In sections of various lengths, unpeeled, about 2 cm.
broad, subcylindrical, longitudinally wrinkled ; on the upper surface marked
with leaf-scars forming triangles, and on the lower surface with the circular
scars of the rootlets in wavy lines; externally reddish-brown, somewhat annu-
late from remnants of leaf-sheaths ; internally whitish, of a spongy texture,
breaking with a short, corky fracture, showing numerous oil-cells and scattered
wood-bundles, the latter crowded within the subcircular endoderm. It has
an aromatic odor, and a strongly bitter taste. As found in the shops it is gen-
erally peeled.

COMPOSITION. The chief constituents are (I) Acorin CjjHjpO,, a bitter
glucoside, as a syrupy, yellow liquid. (2) Volatile oil, I to 2 per cent. (3)
Calamine, an alkaloid. (4) Choline.

Online LibraryWilliam Hale-WhiteMateria medica, pharmacy, pharmacology and therapeutics → online text (page 51 of 67)