Synonym.—Actaeae Racemosae Radix.
Cimicifuga (black snakeroot or black cohosh) consists of the dried rhizome and roots of Cimicifuga racemosa, Nutt. (N.O. Ranunculaceae), a native of Canada and the United States. It is also official in the U.S.P. The rhizome is collected in the autumn, cut into pieces, and dried. The drug varies in length from 5 to 15 centimetres, and in diameter from 12 to 25 millimetres, and consists of a thick, hard, knotty, nearly cylindrical rhizome, bearing on its upper surface stout branches, which curve upwards, and are marked with encircling leaf scars. The roots, which are straight, short, and brittle, are often broken off near the rhizome. In transverse section the rhizome and branches show a thin, dark, horny bark, surrounding a ring of numerous paler wedges of wood separated by wide dark medullary rays, the centre being occupied by a large dark pith. The roots show four, five, or six distinct wedges of wood, separated by broad, darker medullary rays, arranged in the form of a Maltese cross. The odour of the drug is not marked, the taste is bitter and acrid. Cimicifuga should not yield more than 10 per cent. of ash on incineration.
Constituents.—The chief constituents of cimicifuga are a large amount of resin, isoferulic acid, a trace of salicylic acid, a phytosterol, palmitic acid, and three crystalline bodies which are apparently alcohols. By exhausting with alcohol, concentrating the tincture and pouring it into twenty times its volume of water, about 18 per cent. of cimicifugin, a mixture of resinous and other bodies, is precipitated.
Action and Uses.—Cimicifuga is used as a bitter, and as a mild expectorant in bronchial catarrh. It has been given in chorea and rheumatic affections, in various forms of neuralgia, and for its supposed action on the uterus in cases of amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, and neuralgic pain of the uterus and ovaries. It is administered principally in the form of liquid extract and tincture, dispensed in mixtures. Cimicifugin is given in doses of 6 to 30 centigrams, (1 to 5 grains), and is usually dispensed in pills massed with glucose..
Dose.—1/2 to 1 gramme (8 to 15 grains).
- Extractum Cimicifugae, U.S.P.—EXTRACT OF CIMICIFUGA.
- Fluidextract of cimicifuga, 400; liquorice root, in No. 80 powder, a sufficient quantity. Evaporate the fluidextract to dryness, powder the residue and add sufficient of the powdered liquorice to produce 100. Average dose.—2 1/2 decigrams (4 grains).
- Extractum Cimicifugae Liquidum, B.P.—LIQUID EXTRACT OF CIMICIFUGA. Syn.—Liquid Extract of Actaea Racemosa.
- Cimicifuga, in No. 60 powder, 100; alcohol, sufficient to produce 100. Macerate the drug with 200 of alcohol for forty-eight hours, then transfer to a percolator, and percolate with sufficient alcohol to exhaust the drug. Reserve the first 75 of percolate; evaporate the remainder to a soft extract, dissolve this in the reserved portion, and add sufficient alcohol to make up to the required volume. Liquid extract of cimicifuga is used in place of the tincture in rheumatism, lumbago, and for its supposed action on the uterus, in dysmenorrhoea. Dose.—1/4 to 2 mils (5 to 30 minims).
- Fluidextractum Cimicifugae, U.S.P.—Same as Extractum Cimicifugae Liquidum, but made with alcohol (95 per cent.).
- Tinctura Cimicifugae, B.P.—TINCTURE OF CIMICIFUGA. Syn.—Tincture of Actaea Racemosa.
- Cimicifuga, in No. 40 powder, 10; alcohol (60 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. Prepared by the percolation process. Tincture of cimicifuga is used as a bitter, and for the same purposes as the liquid extract. Dose.—2 to 4 mils (1/2 to 1 fluid drachm).
- Tinctura Cimicifugae, U.S.P.—TINCTURE OF CIMICIFUGA, U.S.P.
- Cimicifuga, in No. 40 powder, 20; alcohol (95 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. Prepared by the percolation process. Average dose.—4 mils (1 fluid drachm).
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.