The root of Polygala Senega, Linné (Nat. Ord. Polygalaceae). Indigenous to the United States. Dose, 5 to 20 grains.
Common Names: Senega, Senega Snakeroot, Seneka Root, Seneca Snakeroot.
Principal Constituent.—Saponin (Senegin).
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Senega. Dose, 1 to 20 drops.
Specific Indications.—Relaxed respiratory mucosa and skin, with deep, hoarse cough, excessive secretion; mucous rales, nausea and vomiting; cough of chronic bronchitis; bronchorrhea.
Action and Therapy.—Senega has an acrid taste and leaves a disagreeable sensation when swallowed. In ordinary doses it is sialagogue, stimulant, diuretic, expectorant, and is reputed emmenagogue. It may be used in subacute forms of cough as is found in chronic bronchitis with profuse secretion. It is contraindicated in active febrile conditions. Dropsy of renal origin has been benefited by it, but it is of no value when due to cardiac lesions. It is little used, and then chiefly in syrups containing other medicaments. It is an ingredient of the once celebrated Coxe's Hive Syrup, a vicious preparation now represented by compound syrup of squill, and containing also squill and tartar emetic.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.