Asarabacca.—Asarum europaeum L., is an acrid, herbaceous perennial plant, of the Fam. Aristolochiaceae, growing in woods and shady places in Europe, Siberia and the Caucasus. The rhizome is from 2 to 3 inches in thickness, of a grayish color, quadrangular, knotted and twisted, and sometimes furnished with rootlets at each joint. It has an odor similar to that of pepper, and acrid taste, and affords a grayish powder. The leaves, which have long petioles, are kidney-shaped, entire, somewhat hairy, of a shining deep green color when fresh, nearly inodorous, with a taste slightly aromatic, bitter, acrid, and nauseous. According to Feneulle and Lassaigne, the root contains a concrete volatile oil (see Asarum), a very acrid fixed oil, a yellow substance analogous to cystin, starch, albumen, mucilage, citric acid, and saline matters. The root and leaves of asarabacca are powerfully emetic and cathartic, in doses of from thirty grains to a drachm (2.0-3.9 Gm.), but are used almost exclusively as an errhine in headache, and rheumatic affections of the face, mouth, and throat. One or two grains (0.065-0.13 Gm.), snuffed up the nostrils, produce much irritation, and a copious, persistent flow of mucus. For further information concerning this drug, see U. S. D., 19th ed., p. 1400.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.