The root, root-bark, and leaves of Ceanothus americanus, Marshall (Nat. Ord. Rhamnaceae.) A small shrub indigenous to the United States, particularly in its western section, growing in barrens and dry woodlands. Dose, 5 to 20 grains.
Common Names: Red Root, New Jersey Tea.
Principal Constituents.—Tannin, a volatile oil, resin, ceanothus-red, and a white alkaloid ceanothine.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Ceanothus. Dose, 1 to 20 drops.
Specific Indications.—Sufficiently given below.
Action and Therapy.—Astringent and sedative. This drug is reputed efficient in gastric and hepatic disorders dependent upon splenic enlargement, especially when caused by malarial influence. It has given good results in splenic hypertrophy, with expressionless countenance and sallow, doughy skin; also in splenic congestion and subacute splenitis, the pain of which is not much aggravated by pressure. Other indications for ceanothus are deep-seated splenic pain, with or without splenic enlargement, and sympathetic painful states depending upon spleen pathology; also non-inflammatory catarrhal conditions with abundant secretions. During the American Civil War the decoction was used by the soldiers for "ague cake" or malarial splenitis.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.