Description: Natural Order, Euphorbiaceae. A small tree, from ten to fifteen feet high, native to India, China, Southern Arabia, and Northern Australia. Leaves alternate, oblong, pointed, entire, three-nerved, five to seven inches long. Flowers dioecious, without corollas, in terminal panicles. Sterile flowers, calyx two-cleft, stamens thirty to forty. Fertile flowers, calyx three to five-cleft, ovary ovate, style three-feathered. Capsule roundish, three-valved, the size of a small cherry; covered with minute, sessile, roundish glands of a bright red color. (Roxberry.)
The powder that adheres to the capsules, is the part used in medicine. It is granular, mostly resinous, of an orange-red or brick-red color, with very little taste or smell. With water it mixes only indifferently, and is scarcely affected by it; but ether and alcohol act on it well, and so do solutions of the caustic alkalies and their carbonates.
Properties and Uses: This powder enjoys a high repute in Eastern Asia, as infallibly removing tapeworm. As yet, it is scarcely known in America; but the accounts of several English physicians of eminence go far toward confirming its Asiatic reputation. Dr. Mackinnon gave it to fifty patients, and it failed but twice; and Dr. Addison reports but two failures out of ninety-five cases. It acts freely on the bowels, sometimes inducing six or seven thin stools in a few hours; and the entire worm usually comes away, dead. The powder is given in doses ranging from fifty to one hundred and fifty grains; or the ethereal extract is used in ten-grain doses.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com