Related entries: Vernonia
Batiator Root.—The root of the Vernonia nigritiana Oliver and Hiern. (Fam. Compositae), a widely distributed plant of West Africa, is said to be largely used in Senegal as a febrifuge, emetic, and anti-dysenteric, resembling ipecac somewhat in its therapeutic application. The plant is a composite which climbs to the height of a foot and a half, and yields a root composed of numerous fibers from twenty to thirty centimeters long, slender and grayish-yellow externally, a number of which are united to form an irregular knotty rhizome, unequally spherical at the neck or crown, and covered at this point with silky hairs. The active constituent is a glucoside, vernonin, C10H24O7. (Heckel and Schlagdenhauffen, A. de P., Aug., 1888; see also Zeit. An. Chem., 1893, p. 364.) This is a hygroscopic whitish powder, forming a pale yellow solution with water, and only slightly soluble in ether and in chloroform. By the absorption of 2 molecules of water it is split into a resinous body and glucose. Physiological experiments made upon frogs show vernonin to be a cardiac poison of the digitalis group; it is also said to act as a paralyzant to the motor nerve trunks. (P. J., June 30, 1888.)
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.