The bark of Rhamnus catharticus, R. frangula, R. carolinianus, R. purshiana.—U.S.
Preparation.—A tincture of the recent hark.
Dose.—The dose of Rhamnus will vary from gtt. x, to ℨj., according to the action desired.
Therapeutic Action.—All the species of Rhamnus are cathartic, differing only in their activity. In the olden time, only the berries of the Rhamnus Catharticus were employed; but from their activity and the danger of gastro-intestinal irritation, they were but little used. Still, I am satisfied that in proper dilution and in small dose, the tincture of the seed would prove quite as good as the so much advertised Cascara Sagrada. The bark is much milder, and may be employed fur the ordinary purposes of a cathartic.
The Rhamnus Purshiana, the species obtained on our western coast, has recently been quite extensively employed, and is a fairly good remedy if used with care. It is extremely nasty, and few persons will care to take it in preference to more pleasant drugs. Still it has this virtue, that there is less danger of constipation following its action, and in some cases it may break up habitual constipation.
The Rhamnus Carolinensis, our southern species, is now being used in place of the Purshiana, and it is said with equally good results.
The American Eclectic Materia Medica and Therapeutics, 1898, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.