BUTEAE GUMMI, I.C.A.
Butea gum is a dried astringent juice obtained from incisions in the stem of Butea frondosa, Roxb. (N.O. Leguminosae), a tree which grows in India. Butea gum is sanctioned for use in India and the Eastern Colonies as a substitute for East Indian, Malabar, or Madras kino, in making official preparations for which kino is directed to be used. The gum occurs in commerce in small, irregular, angular fragments, to one side of which dull, buff-coloured portions of the cork and cortex of the stem sometimes adhere. When fresh the gum is brittle, vitreous, ruby-red in colour, and transparent in small fragments; but on keeping it becomes tougher, dull, opaque, and nearly black. It is partially soluble in water, and yields about 40 per cent. to alcohol. It is readily reduced to a reddish powder, and has an astringent taste. For use in medicine the drug should be free from adhering portions of the stem.
Constituents.—The chief constituents of butea gum are from 15 to 62 per cent. of kinotannic acid, and 3.5 to 11 per cent. of other soluble matters, while the insoluble matter may vary from 10 to 46 per cent.
Action and Uses.—Butea gum possesses astringent properties, and may be used for similar purposes to kino.
BUTEAE SEMINA, I.C.A.
Butea seeds are the product of Butea frondosa, Roxb. (N.O. Leguminosae), a tree indigenous to India. The seeds are flat and reniform in shape, from 25 to 38 millimetres long, 16 to 25 millimetres wide, and 1.5 to 2 millimetres thick. The seed-coat is reddish-brown in colour, glossy, and wrinkled, and encloses two large, leafy, yellowish cotyledons. The hilum is conspicuous, and situated near the middle of the concave edge of the seed. The odour is faint, and the taste slightly acrid and bitter.
Constituents.—The chief constituents of butea seeds are about 18 per cent. of fat, 19 per cent. of albuminoid substances, and 6 per cent. of glucose. The seeds yield, on incineration, about 5 per cent. of ash.
Action and Uses.—Butea seeds possess aperient and anthelmintic properties, and are said to act as a rubefacient when pounded with lemon-juice and applied to the skin. They are used, in India and the Eastern Colonies as an equivalent of santonin.
Dose.—6 to 12 decigrams (10 to 20 grains).
- Pulvis Buteae Seminum, I.C.A.—POWDER OF BUTEA SEEDS.
- Soak butea seeds in water, carefully remove the integuments; then dry the kernels and reduce them to powder. Dose.—6 to 12 decigrams (10 to 20 grains).
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.