Indian podophyllum rhizome is obtained from Podophyllum Emodi, Wallich (N.O. Berberideae), a plant indigenous to Northern India. The rhizome is collected and dried with the roots attached. It occurs in brown, horizontal, more or less contorted pieces 6 to 8 millimetres or more in thickness. The upper surface bears numerous tuberosities, and exhibits circular or oval scars; the lower surface bears numerous stout cylindrical roots. The fracture is white, short, and starchy, or yellow and horny, the fractured surface exhibiting a thin, brown, cortical layer and a circle of fibrovascular bundles. The odour is faint; the taste, bitter and acrid.
Constituents.—The chief constituents of Indian podophyllum are podophyllotoxin (2 to 5 per cent.) and podophylloresin (compare Podophylli Rhizoma). The drug yields from 6 to 12 per cent. of podophyllin when treated in the same way as the American rhizome, but the podophyllin so obtained is not identical with, nor should it be substituted for, that from the American drug, since it contains approximately twice as much podophyllotoxin, and in other respects exhibits differences (compare Podophylli Rhizoma).
Action and Uses.—Indian podophyllum rhizome is official in India and the Eastern Colonies, where it is used in place of ordinary podophyllum; it is stated to be twice as active as the latter.
Dose.—2 to 6 decigrams (3 to 10 grains).
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.