Description: Natural Order, Rosaceae. A tree native to the table-lands of Abyssinia, twenty or more feet in height. Leaves alternate, interruptedly pinnate; flowers dioecious, small, greenish, turning purple, on hairy peduncles.
Uses: The flowers of this tree are the medicinal portion; and appear in commerce in compressed and broken bunches, a foot or more long. They contain a peculiar volatile oil, some bitter resin, and some tannin. It is held in marvelous estimation in Abyssinia, as a remedy for the tapeworm and as a drastic purge; but European and American experience scarcely bears out its reputation. The following is condensed from Pereira:
The physiological effects are not in general very great. The flavor, though not strong, is not agreeable, and may create disgust. It sometimes excites heat, nausea, even vomiting, and thirst; and acts on the bowels only occasionally. Its anthelmintic properties depend entirely on its poisoning the worm; and it often has to be followed by a cathartic. In the case of a French woman, it brought away the worms, only one of which retained any life. The conflicting results following its use are doubtless due to the fact that it sensibly loses its properties by age. It seems most effective against the Tenia solium; but has been known to expel the tapeworm of Switzerland–Bothriocephalus latus. No ill effects have resulted from its use in this country. It is administered by infusion, which may be prepared as follows: Kousso, in fine powder, one ounce; boiling water, four ounces. Infuse in a covered vessel for fifteen minutes. Take it in the morning, fasting, by stirring up this infusion and drinking powder and all, at three or four doses ten minutes apart. If the bowels do not move in four hours, take a prompt purge.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com