Preparation: Compound Pills of Oleoresin of Queen of the Meadow
Related entry: Eupatorium (U. S. P.)—Eupatorium
The root of Eupatorium purpureum, Linné.
COMMON NAMES: Queen of the meadow, Joe Pye weed, Trumpet-weed, Gravel-weed, Gravel-root, Joe-pie, Purple boneset.
Botanical Source.—This plant is herbaceous, with a perennial, horizontal, woody caudex, with many long, dark-brown fibers, which send up one or more solid, glabrous, green, sometimes purplish stems, 5 or 6 feet in height, with a purple band at the joints, about an inch broad. The leaves are from 3 to 6 in a whorl about 6 inches apart, oblong-ovate, or lanceolate, pointed, rugosely or feather-veined, coarsely serrate, slightly scabrous, with a soft pubescence beneath along the mid-vein and veinlets, thin, soft, borne on petioles an inch long, and from 8 to 12 inches long, by 3 or 4 inches wide. The flowers are all tubular, purple or pinkish-purple, varying to whitish, and consist of numerous florets included in an 8-leaved calyx. The heads are in lax, very dense and compound corymbs of a cylindrical form, and from 5 to 10-flowered (W.—G.).
History and Description.—Queen of the meadow grows in low places, dry woods or meadows, in the northern, western, and middle states, flowering in August and September. Its trivial name, Joe Pye weed, is said to have become attached to it through an Indian of that name, who lived in New England and employed it as a diaphoretic in low fevers. The root is the medicinal part. As found in commerce, it consists of a blackish, woody caudex, from which proceed numerous long fibers, from 1 to 3 lines in diameter; externally they are covered with a dark-brown, longitudinally -furrowed cortex, beneath which the internal portion is white, or whitish-yellow, according to its age, the last color being the oldest. It has an odor somewhat resembling old bay, and a slightly bitter, aromatic, and faintly astringent, but not unpleasant taste, and yields its properties to water by decoction, or to spirits.
Chemical Composition.—Mr. J. B. Robinson, formerly of Cincinnati, obtained what he thought to be the active principle of the root, in the form of a dark-brown, solid resin, to which he gave the name eupatorine. It possessed a peculiar, slightly bitterish taste, but its therapeutical virtues were not established. In 1876, Prof. J. U. Lloyd donated to Prof. Maisch a specimen of a yellow, neutral, crystallized principle from the root of Eupatorium purpureum. The substance was quite soluble in hot, slightly so in cold alcohol, and insoluble in water; did not unite with dilute acids and was decomposable by strong sulphuric acid. As far as known to Prof. Lloyd, it was new to science and had no medicinal value. Mr. Lloyd's method of making this principle (euparin) is quoted by Prof. Trimble in the Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1890, p. 76. These crystals were found to be identical with a crystalline deposit afterward observed by Mr. E. G. Eberhardt in a fluid extract of the drug, and having the composition C12H11O3. It was not identical with quercitrin or quercetin. This formula was confirmed by C. C. Manger (Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1894). A complete analysis of the drug was made by Mr. F. M. Siggins (Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1888, p. 121), and by Mr. G. H. Ray (ib., 1890, p. 73). The latter found volatile oil, fat, wax, yellow resin, soluble in ether, albuminoids, glucose, calcium oxalate, etc.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Queen of the meadow has diuretic, subastringent, stimulant, tonic, and antilithic properties. It has a specific action upon the renal tract, increasing both the fluid and solid constituents of the urine. As its influence upon the stomach is good, it may be used for a great length of time without ill results. While a fairly good remedy in some forms of dyspepsia, and chronic mucous diseases of the gastro-intestinal tract, its chief value lies in its efficiency in many disorders of the urino-genital passages. That it is a very valuable remedy in urinary calculi and gravel is admitted by many who can not believe that it has the power to dissolve the concretions. That it is serviceable is probably due to its control over vesical irritation, while, by its diuretic action, it may prevent the formation of these bodies. For this purpose the following preparations and doses may be used: The infusion, 1 to 2 fluid ounces; the tincture, 5 to 15 drops; specific gravel-root, 5 to 10 drops. Gravel-root has been used with excellent effect in dropsical affections, due to renal inaction, being especially valuable in anasarca. After the removal of the effusion by catharsis, this agent may be administered to restore tone to the kidneys and to stimulate the absorbents, thus preventing the reaccumulation of the effusion. From 5 to 10 drops of specific gravel-root, in a teaspoonful of water, may be given every 3 hours, provided the patient is not greatly debilitated. Post-scarlatinal dropsy is benefited by it.
Gravel-root is a superior remedy for many painful and irritable states of the urinary tract. Difficult and painful micturition, with frequent desire to urinate, the passage seemingly being obstructed, is an indication for this drug. It is indicated also by pain and weight in the loins, extending to the bladder, with the scanty voiding of high-colored urine, or when mixed with blood or solids. The special sedatives may be associated with it when there is vascular excitation. Chronic vesical irritation, a sense of heat being experienced in the bladder, and the urine milky and loaded with mucus, the deposit adhering to the vessel, are further indications for its selection. It is a remedy for strangury, especially that resulting from fly-blister or irritating diuretics, with shooting, darting urethral pains, vesical tenesmus, and frequent micturition. In strangury, Prof. Locke recommends a rectal injection of 30 drops of tincture of opium in Starch water, followed by the free administration of infusion of queen of the meadow. Keep the patient warm, and if this treatment is not fully effective, associate with it the hot hip-bath. Hematuria has been well treated with it, as have, also those disagreeable sensations due to recent prostatic trouble, the active stage having passed.
In that form of urinal incontinence of children, in which the vesical irritation is so great that the presence of a few drops of urine in the bladder causes a contraction and expulsion of the contents of the organ, give 5 drops of specific gravelroot 3 times a day, the last dose upon retiring. The same dose or the infusion will allay the irritable bladder of pregnancy, and the agent is not without value in diabetes insipidus. With the vomiting of pregnancy there is sometimes associated a cough, and at each effort at coughing a little urine is expelled. In these cases give 1 or 2-drop doses of specific gravel-root every 2 or 3 hours; if marked nervousness is a complication give pulsatilla also. It is regarded more efficient than most diuretics in albuminuria. As a remedy for chronic urinary disorders it is a very useful agent, and fulfils many important indications.
Queen of the meadow is asserted to be of value in gout and rheumatism. In those subject to chronic cough, associated with a weak circulation, and in individuals suffering from asthma, chronic catarrh, and unduly prolonged whooping cough, it has rendered very good service.
Impotence is somewhat improved by the use of gravel-root, and in female disorders it is quite an important remedy. It controls chronic irritability of the womb and is beneficial in atonic states of that organ. When habitual abortion is due to prolapsus, retroversion, debility resulting from chronic inflammation, or other atonic states of the uterus, the tendency may be corrected by administering 5-drop doses of specific gravel-root 3 times a day. Used as an injection alone, or with some other astringent, it is of service in chronic amenorrhoea, with great debility and a continuous leucorrhoeal flow. Dose of the decoction of queen of the meadow is from 2 to 4 fluid ounces, 3 or 4 times a day; of the tincture (℥viij to alcohol, 98 per cent, Oj), 1 to 30 drops; of specific gravel-root, 1 to 30 drops, every 1 to 4 hours.
Specific Indications and Uses.—Vesical irritation; incontinence of urine; painful and frequent urination; urine scanty and milky, with mucoid or bloody admixture; uric acid diathesis; pain and weight in the loins extending to the bladder; skin hot, dry, and constricted,
Derivatives and Related Species.—EUPURPURIN. This is a member of the list of remedies once known as resinoids or concentrations. Being of an oleaginous nature it was included with the oleoresins. The late Mr. William S. Merrell first prepared this oleoresin, and named it. It may be obtained by adding the alcoholic tincture of the root to twice its volume of water, and distilling off the alcohol, similar to the process for obtaining resin of podophyllum, oleoresin of blue flag, etc., or better, by concentrating the alcoholic percolate of the drug by distillation and then pouring the thick residue into cold water. It is of a thick, pilular consistence and a dark greenish-brown color, having a faint peculiar smell, and a slightly nauseous taste. It is soluble in alcohol, more speedily when hot. Eupurpurin, or the oleoresin of queen of the meadow, as thus prepared by Mr. Merrell, was formerly regarded a valuable agent in many renal and genito-urinary affections; in doses of 3 grains, repeated every 3 or 4 hours, it is a most powerful diuretic. It may be given in pill form, either alone or combined with an equal quantity of castile soap. An excellent pill for many renal affections is composed of eupurpurin, 30 grains; extract of geranium, 20 grains; and extract of nux vomica, I grain. Divide into 10 pills. One of these pills may be given every 4 hours daily. Eupurpurin is scarcely ever employed at the present day, having given place to the more representative liquid preparations of the plant.
Eupatorium teucrifolium, Willdenow (Eupatorium verbenaefolium, Elliott); Wild horehound, Rough boneset.—This is an indigenous, perennial plant, with an herbaceous, paniculate, pubescent stem, growing from 2 to 3 feet high, with fastigiate, corymbose branches above. eaves opposite, sessile, distinct, ovate-oblong, ovate-lanceolate, rough, veiny, lower ones coarsely serrate toward the base, upper ones alternate, subserrate, often entire. Branches of the corymb, few, unequal. Flowers small, white, consist of 5 florets within each calyx; scales of the involucre oblong-lanceolate, rather obtuse, at length shorter than the flowers (W.—G.). This plant grows in moist places from Canada to Florida, flowering in September find October. The whole plant is medicinal, possessing properties analogous to boneset, but not so unpleasantly bitter. Its active properties are taken up by alcohol or hot water. Tonic, diaphoretic, diuretic, and laxative. Recommended by Dr. Jones, of Georgia, in intermittent and remittent fevers. It stimulates the sympathetic functions, and improves digestion and blood-making. Usually administered in infusion; 1 ounce of the dried leaves infused in a quart of water, of which half a teacupful may be given every hour or two, as warm as can be comfortably drank. It will prove diaphoretic or diuretic, according to the temperature in which the patient is kept, and likewise laxative. The cold infusion, or tincture, is tonic. The dose of a strong tincture ranges from 1 to 20 drops.
Eupatorium aromaticum, Linné; White snake-root, Aromatic eupatorium, Hemp-weed.—This is a perennial plant, with a rough, slightly pubescent stem, about 2 feet in height, corymbose at the summit. Leaves from 2 to 4 inches long, about 1/2 as wide, on petioles not quite all inch long, opposite, subcordate, lance-ovate, acute, 3-veined, obtusely serrate, smoothish, or very slightly pubescent. Involucre simple, pubescent; scales of the involucre nearly equal, in one row; flowers white, aromatic, in small corymbs; heads large, 10 to 15-flowered (W.). This is an indigenous plant, growing from Massachusetts to Louisiana, but especially throughout the middle states, and flowering in August and September. The root is the medicinal part, and should be collected in September and October. It has a pleasant aromatic odor, and a bitterish taste. Its virtues are extracted by boiling water. An aromatic body, very much resembling coumarin, if not that principle itself, has been obtained from this plant, and also from Eupatorium incarnatum, Walter. Twenty-five grains of volatile oil were obtained by Chas. H. Blouch from 5 1/2 pounds of the rhizome of Eupatorium aromaticum (White snake-root) by distillation with water (see Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1890, p. 124). Diaphoretic, antispasmodic, expectorant, and aromatic. Its influence upon the brain is pronounced, relieving irritation and producing normal functional activity. Used in the form of infusion or decoction in fevers of a typhoid character, connected with wakefulness; also in pleurisy and pneumonia, as a diaphoretic and expectorant. In hysteria, hypochondria, nervous irritability, and flatulence, it is very beneficial; also reputed to have effected cures in aphthae, nursing sore mouth, chronic bronchitis, and chronic irritation of the bladder. Dose of the infusion or decoction, from 1/2 fluid ounce to 4 fluid ounces; of specific white snakeroot, 1 to 30 drops, well diluted, every 2 to 6 hours. It is sometimes combined with sanguinaria and asclepias, in pulmonary diseases. Said to be valuable in gravel.
Eupatorium sessilifolium, Linné; Upland boneset.—New England, western and southern states. Open woods in dry and mountainous situations. Said to possess properties similar to, though weaker than boneset. Tonic.
Eupatorium rotundifolium, Willdenow; Round-leaved hemp-weed; Wild horehound.—From Canada to Texas. Infusion has been employed in phthisis.
Eupatorium hyssopifolium, Linné, and Eupatorium leucolepsis, Torrey and Gray, both called "Justice's weed," have been used with success for curing the bites of snakes and poisonous animals. They were employed for this purpose by John Justice, of South Carolina, in 1800, who received a premium for disclosing his remedy. The former grows in dry situations from Massachusetts west and south; the second in the sands from Long Island south.
Eupatorium aya-pana.—Brazil. Leaves once much used as an aromatic, bitter tonic; resembling in properties the Eupatorium perfoliatum, though weaker in action.
Eupatorium villosum, Bitter-bush.—Jamaica. Stimulant, bitter, and tonic. Employed in low stages in zymotic disorders as a general tonic. It is also used in the making of beer in Jamaica.
Mikania Guaco, Willdenow. Nat.Ord.—Compositae. This is a South American climbing vine, closely allied to the Eupatoriums. The leaves are supposed, by the natives, to be a remedy for the bites of poisonous serpents, a property which they also attribute to Eupatorium aya-pana. The leaves of Mikania scandens, an herbaceous twiner, common to the eastern United States, probably possess similar properties. This plant has been employed in scrofula, in certain cutaneous maladies, in chronic rheumatism, in diarrhoea, and in cholera infantum. It has been administered in decoction, in syrup, and in fluid extract; the dose of the latter being from 15 to 60 minims, 3 or 4 times a day. Age impairs the virtues of the plant. Dr. Hancock denies that this is the correct counter-poison, guaco, which he states is an Aristolochia.
MATA.—A Texan herb, probably the Eupatorium incarnatum, Walter. In New Mexico it is smoked with tobacco, and, having in itself a tonka odor, is said to modify the disagreeable odor of stale tobacco smoke, as taken up by garments and apartments (see Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1868). An aromatic principle, resembling, if not identical with coumarin, has been obtained from Eupatorium incarnatum, Walter.
King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.