Related entry: Serpentaria
Aristolochia consists of the dried stem and root of Aristolochia indica, Linn. (N.O. Aristolochiaceae), a shrubby, twining plant indigenous to India. The stem, which forms the bulk of the drug, occurs in yellowish-brown more or less cylindrical pieces, usually varying from 5 to 10 millimetres in diameter, and bearing occasional scars of leaves and branches. The bark of the younger pieces is marked with conspicuous longitudinal furrows, but the older ones have a somewhat warty appearance. The transverse section exhibits a large porous wood traversed by a few medullary rays; the wood bundles are characterised by a disposition to divide dichotomously, owing to the production of secondary medullary rays. The root is tortuous, reddish-brown in colour, and exhibits occasional transverse constrictions. The bark, like that of the stem, is easily separated, disclosing a conspicuously furrowed wood, which has a structure resembling that of the stem. The drug has a camphoraceous odour, and a bitter, camphoraceous taste. Aristolochia is official in India and the Eastern Colonies, where it is used as an equivalent of serpentary rhizome.
Constituents.—The chief constituents of the drug are a bitter alkaloidal substance named aristolochine, and a volatile oil which probably contains borneol; the drug is also said to contain aristin, aristinic acid, resin, tannin, and starch.
Action and Uses.—Aristolochia is used entirely for its bitter properties, its action resembling that of gentian and serpentary. The alkaloid aristolochine has an action like that of aloin, but is more toxic. In rabbits it causes necrotic nephritis with albuminuria and uraemic symptoms. It is administered in the form of the tincture and the concentrated solution.
- Liquor Aristolochiae Concentratus, I.C.A.—CONCENTRATED SOLUTION OF ARISTOLOCHIA.
- Aristolochia, in No. 40 powder, 50; alcohol (20 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. Concentrated solution of aristolochia is official in India and the Eastern Colonies, where it is used as an aromatic bitter. Dose.—2 to 8 mils (1/2 to 2 fluid drachms).
- Tinctura Aristolochiae, I.C.A.—TINCTURE OF ARISTOLOCHIA.
- Aristolochia, in No. 40 powder, 20; alcohol (70 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. Tincture of aristolochia is official for use in India and the Eastern Colonies as an aromatic bitter. Dose.—2 to 4 mils (1/2 to 1 fluid drachm).
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.