Artemisia pauciflora, (Ledebour) Weber. (The inner anhydride (lactone) of santoninic acid, obtained from the dried unexpanded flower-heads (santonica).

Habitat. N. Turkestan, Russia, on the vast plains of Kirghis.

Syn. Levant Wormseed, Aleppo, Alexandria or European Wormseed, tartarian Southern Wood, Semen Santonici -- Cinae -- Sanctum -- Contra; Anhydrous Santoninic Acid; Fr. Semen-contra d'Alep, Barbotine; Santonine, Lactone santonique; Ger. Flores Cinae, Zitwerbluten(samen), Wurmsamen; Santonin.

Ar-te-mis'i-a. L. Fr. Gr. ... The goddess; Roman Diana, to whom Artemisia Absinthium was dedicated, owing to its use in hastening puberty.

Pau-ci-flo'ra. L. Paucus, few, + florus, flower -- i.e., has few blooms, mostly only buds.

San-ton'i-ca. L. Santonicus, pertaining to the Santoni, people of Aquitania (Gr. ...their wormwood), named in commemoration, which name survives to the place Saintes, in France.

Plant

Small, semi-shrubby, perennial, with knotty, fibrous root-stocks, branching from crown, from which many erect, flowering stems arise, .3 M. (1 degree) high; stems 6-8, woolly or glabrous, at first leafy; leaves bipinnatisect, 12 Mm. (1/2') long, woolly when young, afterward grayish. Flowers, 2-4 Mm. 1/12-1/6') long, 1 Mm. 1/25') wide, oblong-ovoid, slightly flattened, obtuse, smooth, glossy, grayish-green, after exposure to light -- brownish-green, consisting of an involucre of 12-18 closely imbricated, glandular scales, with broad midribs, enclosing 4-5 rudimentary florets; odor strong, peculiar, camphoraceous; taste aromatic, bitter. Solvents: diluted alcohol; hot water partially. Dose, gr. 15-60 (1-4 Gm.).

Constituents

Santonin 2.5-3.5 p.c., volatile oil 2-3 p.c., artemisin, CHO(in santonin mother-liquor, recrystallizing pure form chloroform), resin, gum, ash 7 p.c.

Santoninum. Santonin. -- Discovered in 1830, and may be obtained by mixing powdered santonica (5) with slaked lime (1), exhausting with hot water, concentrating filtered solution containing calcium santonate, decomposing with hydrochloric acid, giving calcium chloride in solution, and santonin precipitated along with resinous matter, from which freedom may be obtained by washing with dilute ammonia water, or recrystallizing from hot alcohol. It is in colorless, shining, flattened rhombic prisms, crystalline powder, odorless, nearly tasteless at first, afterward developing bitterness, permanent; yellow on exposure to light, which may be converted into colorless crystals by recrystallization from alcohol, soluble in alcohol (43), boiling alcohol (6.5), chloroform (1.7), ether (110), slightly in water or boiling water; solutions levorotatory, melts at 170 degrees C. (338 degrees F.). Tests: 1. Heat .2 Gm. with 2 cc. of alcoholic potassium hydroxide T.S. -- red color; incinerate--ash .1 p.c. 2. Shake .01 Gm. with a cooled mixture of sulphuric acid and distilled water, each 1 cc., heat to boiling, add 1 drop of dilute ferric chloride solution (1 in 10)--violet color. Impurities: Alkaloids, readily carbonizable organic substances. Should be kept dark, in wellclosed containers. Dose, gr. 1-4 (.06-.26 Gm.); child, gr. 1/4-1 (.016-.06 Gm.).

Volatile Oil. -- Obtained by distilling with water or steam; yellowish, disagreeable odor; consists mainly of cineol, CHO, some dipentene, sp. gr. 0.0930, when shaken with iodine get greenish crystals.

Adulterations

Santonica

Mustard hulls (large brown fragments recognized by microscope), exhausted birch bark. SANTONIN: Salicin, boric acid, strychnine, picric acid. With Sulphuric acid at first colorless (abs. of salicin, which turns red). Boric acid insoluble in chloroform, non-volatile--green color to alcohol flame, and heated upon foil--glassy mass, the solution of which turns turmeric paper brown. Picric acid--explodes by heat or percussion; forms yellow salts and precipitates gelatin in aqueous solution.

Commercial

The source Artemisia marit'ima var. pauciflora is preferred by some writers, although it has escaped far from its original maritime habitat. Flowers exposed to light and air soon become brown and inactive, hence should be preserved in tight containers. There are two varieties: 1, Aleppo, Alexandria, Levant, collected July-August, forwarded to the great fair of Nizhnee-Novgorod, and thence to market via Moscow, Leningrad (Petrograd, St. Petersburg), W. Europe; 2, Barbary (A. Siebe'ri, + A. Ramo'sa), rarely met here, as it (flowerheads) does not contain santonin.

Preparations

1. Tabellae Santonini, F.F., gr. (.03 Gm.) each --santonin 3 Gm., gluside .06 cocoa 6, sucrose 21, tr. vanill. 1.5 cc.: compress 100 tablets, dose, 1-2 tablets. 2. Tabellae Santonini Compositae, n.f., gr. (.03 Gm.) Each--santonin 3 Gm., mild mercurous chloride 3, gluside .06, cocoa 6, sucrose 18, tr. vanill. 1.5 cc.: compress 100 tablets, dose, 1-2 tablets. As both tablets suggest candy, physicians should not morder more than 3, since 2 gr. (.13 Bm.) Has caused the death of a 5-year-old child.

Unoff. Preps.: FLOWER-HEADS; Electuary. Extract. Infusion. SANTONIN: Trochiscus Santonini (Br.) 1 gr. (.06 Gm.). Sodium Santoninas, U.S.P. 1880, gr. 2-10 (.13-.6 Gm.). Trochisci Sodii Santoninatis, U.S.P. 1880, 1 gr. (.06 Gm.), 1-4 troches. Santoninic Acid, gr. 1-4 (.06-.26 Gm.).

Properties

Anthelmintic, stimulant, emmenagogue. The Crusaders introduced santonica into Europe, and it has been used there ever since, mostly now as santonin. It is absorbed as sodium santoninate, and eliminated by the kidneys; large doses dilate pupils, causse gastric oppression, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, thirst, cold, clammy skin, giddiness, cerebral congestion, yellow vision (xanthopsia) changing to purplish-red, convulsions, death. Santonin in gr. 5 (.3 Gm.) doses is a strong diuretic imparting to normal acid urine a saffron color (as does rhubarb), which, by age, hence alkalinity, becomes violet-purple.

Uses

-- For round worms (Ascaris lumbricoides), sometimes for thread-worms (Oxyu'ris vermicula'ris), but never for tape-worm. Santonin kills the round worms that inhabit the small intestine; therefore, purgatives having specific action here should be selected. Give the powder in honey, molasses, to which calomel of jalap has been added, at bedtime, having fasted that day; follow this next morning, before food, with a draught of senna (infusion) or a dose of castor oil; a suppository is serviceable for thread-worms; may reserve entire cathartic until next morning if desirable. Useful in incontinence of urine, eye affections due to inflammatory changes of optic nerve and retina. Never give to children with fever nor while constipated, owing to possible toxic results, which are combatted by ammonia, strychnine, eliminants, artificial respiration. A. Ramo'sa, Barbary Wormseed, N. E. Africa -- unexpanded flower-heads rounder than those of A. Auciflora, and covered with whitish down, by which they may readily be recognized; Indian Wormseed, Europe, are only half the size of santonica, hairy and more yellow; American Wormseed (Chenopodium), in spite of slight resemblance, are often substituted for santonica.