Sumbul root (Sumbul, U.S.P.) is obtained from Ferula Sumbul, Hook. f. (N.O. Umbelliferae), a native of Turkestan. The plant produces a large, fleshy root and a bristly rootstock, both of which are cut into transverse slices and dried, The drug as imported consists chiefly of more or less cylindrical, sometimes tapering pieces, varying from 2.5 to 7.5 centimetres in diameter and 1.5 to 2.5 centimetres or more in thickness. They are provided with a thin, brown, papery cork, and are whitish, fibrous and spongy internally. The transverse section often shows spots of resin, but does not exhibit any well-defined structure. Many of the pieces are beset with coarse fibres derived from the remains of the leaf-bases, which sufficiently indicate that they are pieces of the rhizome, of which indeed the drug chiefly consists. The odour is strong and musky, the taste bitter and somewhat aromatic.
Constituents.—The chief constituent of sumbul root is from 0.2 to 0.4 per cent. of volatile oil (specific gravity, 0.954 to 0.964), but it also yields to petroleum spirit 17 per cent. of a yellow, viscid, fixed oil. In addition it contains umbelliferone in the free state, and yields about 6 per cent. of ash.
Action and Uses.—Sumbul is employed as a stimulant and antispasmodic in hysterical conditions, usually with preparations of valerian. It is used principally as tincture in mixture form.
- Tinctura Sumbul, B.P.—TINCTURE OF SUMBUL.
- Sumbul root, bruised, 10; alcohol (70 per cent.), 100. Macerate for seven days, and complete the maceration process. Tincture of sumbul is used as an antispasmodic in hysteria and nervous complaints. 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.