Robinia. Robinia Pseudo-Acacia L. Locust Tree. False Acacia. Robinier, Fr. Falsche Akasie, G. (Fam. Leguminosae.)—This well-known indigenous tree has a place in the materia medica of the eclectics. The bark of the root is the most active part, and is said to be tonic, and in large doses purgative and emetic. The root and inner bark are poisonous to cattle. The leaves, on the other hand, are said to offer a wholesome food for foraging animals. This would seem confirmed by the experiment of Paven, who failed to find in them any poisonous principles. (For an elaborate investigation of its histology, see P. J., 67, 153.) F. B. Power and J. Cambier (Ph. Rund., Feb., 1890) found an alkaloid identical with choline; also globulin and a phytalbumose, which produces purging and vomiting. It is precipitated by alkaloidal reagents. The bark also contains a poisonous albuminoid or enzyme, robinalbin, which, according to Kobert (M. Bull., April, 1891), is similar to, but not identical with, ricin. Power (P. J., Aug. 17, 1901) summarizes the results of a more detailed investigation of this bark. He names the poisonous proteid robin and states that it belongs to the class of nucleo-proteids. He finds evidences of one or more alkaloids; by hydrolysis he obtained syringic acid, C9H10O5. and a red amorphous substance, syringenin. These products indicate the glucoside syringin, C17H24O8. He also considers that gluco-syringic acid, C15H20O10, may pre-exist in the bark. Power subsequently reaffirmed the presence of the protein, robin, in robinia bark, and confirms its toxic properties and enzymic action. (A. J. P., 1913, 339.) Robin has emetic and purgative properties. Three cases of the poisoning of children by- the root have been recorded. (Ann. Ther., I860, 64.) Z. T. Emery (N. Y. M. J., Jan. 22, 1887) reports the poisoning of thirty-two boys from chewing the inner bark of the tree. The symptoms in the mildest cases were vomiting and flushed face, dryness of the throat and mouth, and dilated pupils. In the severest cases, to these were added epigastric pain, extremely feeble, intermittent heart action, and stupor.
Robinia Nicou Aubl., now known as Lonchocarpus Rufescens Benth.—According to the researches of Geoffrey (Annal. de l'Inst. botanico-geologique colon, de Marseille, 1895), this leguminous plant, which is used in Guiana for the purpose of stupefying fish, contains an active principle, nicoline (C3H4O), which crystallizes in oblique, rhomboidal tables. It has been found by E. Boinet (C. R. S. B., 1896, 10 s., iii) to produce in the lower animals a short primary stage of excitation, followed by one of stupor, great muscular relaxation, enfeeblement of sensibility, mydriasis, fall of temperature, cyanosis, and death through centric paralysis of the respiration, though there is also fall of arterial pressure. In the dog there was salivation and vomiting.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.