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Sayre's Materia Medica-2

Sayre's Materia Medica-2

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SAYRE’S MATERIA MEDICA - Part II
ARISTOLOCHIACEÆ.—Birthwort Family
Climbing shrubs, or low herbs, with perfect
 flowers
, the lurid
calyx
coherent, with theovary, which forms a 6-celled capsule or berry in fruit.
 Leaves
petiolate. Principalconstituents are volatile oil and resinous principles.
118. SERPENTARIA.—
SERPENTARIAVIRGINIA SNAKE-ROOTThe dried rhizome and roots of 
Aristolo'chia serpenta'ria
Linné (Virginia), and of 
Aristolochia reticula'ta
Nuttall (Texas).
Sayre’s Materia Medica part II - Page 1
 
BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS.—
Stem
8 to 15 inches high, pubescent.
 Leaves
 alternate, ovate, or oblong, with a heart-shaped or halberd-shaped base.
Flowers
allnext the root, short-peduncled;
calyx-tube
bent like the letter
S
;
stamens
6, the sessileanthers adnate to the fleshy style.
HABITAT.—United States (
Virginia and Texas
).DESCRIPTION OF DRUG.—A rhizome about 25 mm. (1 in.) long, andabout the thickness of a quill, contorted, bent up and down, externallylight grayish-brown, with short stem-bases on the upper side andnumerous long, fibrous, branching rootlets below, interlaced; internallygrayish, closely matted. The bark is thin, overlaying quite a large woodyzone, and separated into wood-wedges by broad medullary rays;
thepith is not in the center
but is nearer the upper side, making thelower wood-wedges the longest.
Odor family terebinthinate,characteristic
; taste warm, bitter, and camphoraceous.
Virginia andTexas Serpentaria
are both recognized by the U.S.P. The latter isabout twice as large as the former, with fewer and thicker rootlets.ADULTERATIONS.—As found in commerce, Serpentaria is frequentlyadulterated with portions of the stem.
 Hydrastis canadensis
has beenused as an intentional adulteration; also spigelia. All of these may easilybe distinguished from the genuine by their general characteristics.
Powder 
.—Characteristic elements: See Part iv, Chap. 1, B.
Sayre’s Materia Medica part II - Page 2
 
CONSTITUENTS.—Volatile oil (
1
 / 
2
per cent.), containing borneol,aristolochine, C
32
H
22
N
2
O
13
(very bitter), tannin, resin, starch, etc.
Preparation of Aristolochine
.—Precipitate decoction with lead acetate; ex. haustprecipitate with hot alcohol; evaporate; dissolve out alkaloid with water. It is bitter,yellow, amorphous, or in needles; soluble in alcohol, water, precipitated by tannin.
ACTION AND USES.—Aromatic stimulant and tonic. Its only possibletherapeutic virtue is as a stimulant to the gastric mucosa—Wood.Dose: 5 to 30 gr. (0.3 to 2 Gm.).
Tinctura Cinchonæ Composita
(2 percent. of serpentaria) 1 to 4 fl. dr. (4 to 15mils).119.
ASARUM CANADENSE
Linné.—CANADA SNAKE-ROOT. Asarum, N.F.WILD GINGER. A long, creeping rhizome, more or less contorted. In commercebroken into pieces from 100 to 150 mm. (4 to 6 in.) long, from the thickness of a strawto that of a goose-quill; somewhat quadrangular or twoedged; externally grayish-biown, longitudinally wrinkled, beset with small fibers, easily broken off; internallynearly white, the small wood-bundles surrounding a large pith; odor peculiar,aromatic; taste aromatic and pungent. it contains a large percentage of volatile oilwhich is often used in perfumery. This contains asarol, probably identical withlinalool, its acetic and valerianic esters, methyl eugenol. Aromatic stimulant andtonic. Dose: 30 gr. (2 Gm.).
POLYGONEÆ.-Buckwheat Family
Herbs or woody plants with alternate, entire
leaves
, and with the stipules in the formof sheaths above the smaller joints of the stem.
Fruit 
an akene. The leaves and stemare very rich in crystals of calcium oxalate.
120. RHEUM.—
RHUBARBRHUBARBThe dried rhizome and roots of 
Rhe'um officinale
Baillon,
Rheum palmatum
 Linné, and the var.
Tanguticum
Maximowicz, and probably other species of Rheum,deprived of most of the cortex and carefully dried.
Sayre’s Materia Medica part II - Page 3

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