Related entry: Senecio.—Life Root
SYNONYMS: Oleoresin of life root, Senecin.
Preparation.—By percolation, exhaust moderately fine powder of the root and herb of life root, any quantity, with alcohol, a sufficient quantity. Distill off about two-thirds of the alcohol, and add the residue to two or three times its volume of water. By distilling off the remaining alcohol, or by allowing the mixture to stand, the oleoresin precipitates. Collect it, wash it in clear water, allow it to subside, and then separate it from the water by decantation and filtration. Any other of the Senecios referred to in this work may be used in the preparation of this oleoresin.
Description.—Oleoresin of senecio thus prepared, is of thick consistence, a very dark green color, appearing quite black in mass, having a peculiar, herbaceous odor, and a bitter, slightly pungent, persistent, and rather unpleasant taste. A portion of it, probably the oil, is soluble in alcohol, imparting a green color to the solution; on the addition of liquor potassae to the alcoholic solution, the oleoresin is rendered wholly soluble, and if hydrochloric acid be added in small quantity, it changes the green solution to greenish-white, without precipitation. It is entirely soluble in ether, forming a greenish solution, which is not precipitated by water nor acetic acid. It is insoluble in water, but becomes soluble on the addition of strong alkaline solutions.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Oleoresin of senecio possesses the virtues of the plant from which it is obtained in a high degree. It is, however, more especially employed in the treatment of female diseases, as amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, and other uterine derangements. Combined with alcoholic extract of aletris, resin of caulophyllum, or resin of cimicifuga, it will be found especially useful in these complaints. In menorrhagia it may be combined with extract of geranium advantageously; or its ethereal tincture may be administered in some astringent infusion. A pill of oleoresin of senecio, alcoholic extract of aletris, and sulphate of iron, will be found of benefit in chlorosis accompanied with amenorrhoea. In dysmenorrhoea it may be combined with extract of belladonna and sulphate of quinine. It is one of those agents which exert a tonic influence upon the uterus, thereby restoring its various functional derangements to a normal condition. Dose of the oleoresin, from 3 to 5 grains, 3 times a day (J. King).
Related Preparation.—SENECIONINE is the incorrect name given to a concentrated powdered preparation formerly made by our manufacturers. Dr. H. H. Hill prepared it as follows: Make a tincture of the coarsely powdered leaves and roots of Senecio, with alcohol of 76 per cent. Distill off the alcohol until the liquid is of the consistence of a fluid extract, add to it several times its weight of water, and precipitate with a solution of alum. Wash the precipitate to free it from the alum, and dry it in the open air without heat. It forms a dark-green powder, having a peculiar, herbaceous, strong, unpleasant, somewhat resinous and senna-like taste and odor, is soluble in water, partially soluble in alcohol, and more so in ether. It is said to possess the virtues of the plant, and may be given in doses of from 1 to 5 grains, 3 or 4 times a day (J. King).
King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.