"Chaulmoogra Oil is the fatty oil expressed from the seeds of Taraktogenos Kurzii, King." Br.
Oleum Gynocardia, Gynocardia oil, Chaulmugra oil.
Under the name of chaulmoogra oil there has long been used in Southeastern portions of Asia a semi-solid fat. This was at one time believed to be derived from the Gynocardia odorata and has therefore been erroneously called gynocardia oil, but the investigations of Power (A. J. P., 1915, p. 493) have shown that the oil from the gynocardia seed is very different both in chemical composition and physical properties. The true chaulmoogra oil is derived from the Taraktogenos Kurzii King (Fam. Bixaceae). It is possible that some of the commercial oil may also be derived from the species of the allied genus Hydnocarpus. The chaulmoogra seeds are from one to one and a quarter inches long, more or less angular or flattened, and yield upon expression, from 25 to 30 per cent., to ether, about 50 per cent. of oil. The commercial oil is obtained by expression, or sometimes by boiling the crushed seeds with water. It is "a brownish-yellow oil or soft fat. Characteristic odor; taste somewhat acrid. Melting point about 22° to 30° C. (71.6°-86° F.). Specific gravity at 45° C. (113° F.) about 0.940; saponification value 198 to 213; iodine value 96 to 104; acid value 21 to 27. Soluble in ether, in chloroform, and in carbon disulphide; partially soluble in cold alcohol (90 per cent.); almost entirely soluble in hot alcohol (90 per cent.)." Br.
The. genuine chaulmoogra oil is dextrorotatory, having a specific rotation of about +52°. It consists of the glycerides of cyclic organic acids of which the most important is chaulmoogric acid, C18H32O2, melting at 68° C. (154.4° F.), while a homologue, hydnocarpic acid, C18H28O2, melts at 60° C. (140° F.). Palmitic acid and a phytosterol are also present.
The so-called chaulmoogra oil, from gynocardia, is optically inactive and contains none of the acids peculiar to the genuine chaulmoogra oil. It consists of glycerides of linolic, palmitic, linolenic, isolinolenic and oleic acids and a phytosterol, as well as a glucoside, gynocardin, C13H19O9N, which resembles amygdalin and which is associated in the seeds with an. enzyme, gynocardase.
Uses.—Chaulmoogra oil was originally employed in its native countries both internally and externally in the treatment of scrofula, skin diseases, and rheumatism. In England it is very widely used as a counter-irritant application in bruises, sprains, and similar local inflammations both of man and beast as well as in open sores and wounds. Its most important use, however, is in the treatment of leprosy. There seems to be little doubt that it is the most useful remedy known for this intractable infection, indeed many authorities have claimed that it will often produce complete and permanent cures. For review of the literature see Engel (Monatsh. f. prakt. Dermat., 1909, xlix, p. 290.) It should be used freely both internally and externally. Donato (Leprosy in the Philippines and Its Treatment, Manila, 1915) believes that its action is due to the stimulation of leucocytosis. He recommends the following solution for intramuscular injection: Camphorated oil (10 per cent. camphor), chaulmoogra oil (sterilized), of each, 60 mils; resorcinol, 4 Gm.; ether, 2.5 Gm. Of this solution 1 mil (15 minims) is injected intramuscularly every alternate day, gradually increasing the dose up to 8 or 10 mils or until reaction becomes severe.
Unna has proposed, for oral administration, the use of a soap made from the oil as affecting the stomach and intestines less unpleasantly than the oil itself. (See P. J., lxiv, 615.)
Dose, five to ten minims (0.3-0.6 mil) gradually increased to one fluidrachm (3.75 mils).
Off. Prep.—Unguentum Chaulmoograe, Br.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.