Related entry: Xanthoxylum (U. S. P.)—Xanthoxylum
SYNONYMS: Oleoresin of prickly ash, Xanthoxylin.
Preparation.—By percolation exhaust finely powdered prickly ash bark, any quantity, with alcohol, a sufficient quantity. Distill off 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.
History and Description.—The profession is indebted to Mr. Wm. S. Merrell for the preparation of this valuable agent, which appears to possess all the medicinal properties of the bark in a concentrated form. When in mass it is blackish, but of a reddish-brown color in thin layers; it has a peculiar odor, somewhat similar to that of most oleoresins, and a peculiar bitterish taste, quickly succeeded by a persistent pungency in the mouth and fauces. It is insoluble in water, partially soluble in aqua ammoniae and liquor potassae, forming a solution with a soapy feeling; soluble in ether, from which aqua ammoniae removes a portion without much change of color; soluble in oil of turpentine, and to a greater or less extent in oil of savin, and some other essential oils; soluble in alcohol, from which water precipitates it, forming a dirty-white solution. Acetic, nitric, sulphuric, and hydrochloric acids, when added to the alcoholic solution, occasion no precipitate.
"Xanthoxylin" in powder is prepared somewhat similar to the process named for "irisin" in powder; as a rule all these so-called dry oleoresins (?) are nearly inert, and not as active as the powdered crude article from which they are made.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Oleoresin of prickly ash bark is stimulant, tonic, alterative, and sialagogue, and may be used in all cases where it is desired to stimulate and strengthen mucous tissues. It forms an excellent remedy for rheumatism unaccompanied with inflammation, or where there is an asthenic condition of the system, and I have often used it for this purpose with resin of black cohosh, in doses of 1 grain of each, every 1, 2, or 3 hours, with much advantage. Combined with quinine, it will be found very beneficial in cases where quinine alone appears to exert no influence, and will prove a valuable agent in dyspepsia, accompanied with loss of appetite, flatulence, and distress after eating, given in conjunction with oleoresin of ptelea. In low typhoid fever, oleoresin of prickly ash bark will be found a valuable and permanent stimulating tonic, and may, when necessary, be added to laxatives in that disease, to prevent too much prostration—it must, however, be employed only during the stage of prostration. It may be used alone as a stimulating tonic and alterative. When a stimulating tonic is required for children after diarrhoea, dysentery, or other debilitating diseases, a combination of hydrochlorate of berberine with oleoresin of prickly ash bark will admirably fulfil the indication. In chronic rheumatism I have found the following preparation highly beneficial: Take of resin of cimicifuga, oleoresin of prickly ash bark, and extract of apocynum, each, 1 drachm; proof-spirits or whiskey, 1 pint. Mix. Of this, the dose is a tablespoonful 3 times a day, or sufficient to slightly affect the head, at the same time attending to the surface and the excretory functions. Sometimes I add 2 drachms of guaiacum to the above. The dose of the oleoresin of prickly ash bark is from 1 to 3 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.