Garcinia Hanburyi, Hooker filius. The gum-resin with not more than 1 p.c. foreign organic matter, yielding not more than 1 p.c. acid-insoluble ash, nor less than 65 p.c. alcohol-soluble extractive.

Habitat. Annam, Camboja (Cambodia), Siam, Cochin-China.

Syn. Cambog., Pipe Gamboge, Gummi-resina Guttae (Gutti), Gutta Gamba, Cambodia; Fr. Gomme-gutte; Ger. Gutti, Gummigutt.

Gar-cin'i-a. L. named after Laurent Garcin, French botanist and oriental traveler, who first described it in 1734.

Han-bu'ry-i. L., in memory of Daniel Hanbury, named by Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker.

Cam-bo'gi-a. L. usually called Cambodia, a French protectorate in farther India, where it is indigenous.

Gamboge. The trade name, corruption of Camboge.


A tree 10.5-15 M. (35-50 degrees) high, with many spreading branches; bark orange-brown, thick; leaves 10-17.5 Cm. (4-7') long, laurel-like; flowers Feb., dioecious, small, yellow, in 4's, staminate ones on pedicels (pedicula'ta) 6 Mm. (1/4') long; fruit may-June, size of crab apple, 3 Cm. (1 1/5') in diameter; smooth, orange-green color, with 4 dissepiments, each having 1 seed 12-18 Mm. (1/2-3/4') long. GUM-RESIN (gamboge), in hard, brittle, cylindrical pieces, usually hollow in center, 10-20 Cm. (4-8') long, 2-5 Cm. (4/5-2') thick, grayish-orange-brown, longitudinally striate; fracture brittle, conchoidal, smooth, dull orange-red surface; odorless; taste acrid.


bright yellow -- few or no starch grains; mounted in chloral hydrate T.S. all particles slowly dissolve leaving a few scattered fragments of vegetable tissues. Tests: 1. Dissolve completely by successive treatments of ether or alcohol, and water. 2. Rub with water -- yellow emulsion, darker and almost transparent upon adding ammonia T.S.; + iodine T.S. -- not green (abs of starch); not more than 35 p.c. should be insoluble in alcohol. Solvents: alcohol or ether dissolves at least 65 p.c. Dose, gr. 1/2-5 (.03-.3 Gm.).


Wheat and rice flour, sand, stones, nails, spikes, powdered wood or bark -- mostly in the cake variety, giving greater hardnesss and coarser fracture; when many fragments of rice paper present -- "ricey."


Gamboge secretes in latex-tubes (ducts) in the middle bark and to some extent in the pith, alburnum, leaves, flowers, and fruit; it is at first a yellow milky juice obtained in drops from broken leaves, twigs, or artificial incisions, being caught in leaves, cocoanut shells or bamboo joints. There are two varieties: 1, Pipe (Roll, Fine), the best, resulting from making, at the beginning of the rainy season, June-Oct., a spiral incision in the bark half around the tree trunk from the ground upward a number of feet, and collecting the slowly exuding juice in a hollow bamboo joint placed at the lower end of the incision, requiring 1-2 months to fill and harden, in which the contraction toward the sides often affords a central cylindrical cavity; upon cracking off the bamboo shell, that usually imparts its markings, the contents are ready for market; trees should only be tapped biennially and each should yield 3 bamboo joints 50 Cm. (20') long, 4 Cm. (1 3/5') thick; 2, Cake (Lump, Saigon, Cochin, Coarse), inferior, resulting from collecting the juice in leaves and various vessels, being subjected to exposure and adulteration, thereby becoming less uniform and brittle with dull brownish non-conchoidal fracture; usually in masses, 2-3 pounds (.7-1 Kg.), sometimes much larger, being pressed or run into boxes or tubs. Enters market via Canton, Calcutta, Singapore, Saigon, Bangkok, etc.


Gum 16-25 p.c., resin (cambogic acid) 66-80 p.c., volatile oil, phenol ester, methyl alcohol and other alcohols, isovitinic and acetic acids, liquid with fruity odor resembling an aldehyde or ketone, ash 1-3 p.c

Gum. -- Soluble in cold water like gum arabic (arabin), but not identical with it, as it is not precipitated by lead acetate, ferric chloride, sodium silicate, or sodium borate.

Resin. -- Soluble in ether and alcohol, forming golden-yellow tinctures, also in alkaline solutions with red color, from which it is precipitated unaltered by acids. It has acid characteristics, hence sometimes called cambogic acid, and upon it the coloring matter and medicinal properties depend; with salts of heavy metals forms precipitates called cambogiates.


1. Pilulae Hydrargyri Chloridi Mitis Compositae (Pilulae Catharticae Compositae, (1/4 g. (.016 Gm.).

Unoff. Prep.: Pilula Cambogiae Composita, 16 p.c. +, dose, gr. 4-8 (.26-.5 Gm.).


Similar to aloe, colocynth, elaterin, etc.


Drastic, hydragogue cathartic; in small repeated doses diuretic. Usually produces much griping, nausea and vomiting when taken in full doses, so that generally it is combined with other cathartics, as calomel, jalap, potassium bitartrate or carbonate, etc.; it greatly irritates the alimentary canal, especially the small intestine, when taken in excess, and gr. 60 (4 Gm.) have occasioned death; it augments intestinal glands' secretion, but not of bile, and mostly passes in the feces, but some is absorbed, causing yellow urine.


Liver trouble from malaria; renal dropsy, uremic conditions, congestion of the brain, tenifuge (combined usually with tenicides), vermifuge, dropsy; very uncertain in veterinary practice. Mostly used as pigment in water-color painting. The powder when rubbed up with water shows strongly the "Brownian movement" under the microscope--infinitesimal particles (gamboge, carmine, etc.) suspended in water or other liquid in very delicate equilibrium, and sensitive to slightest change of temperature, which causes movement--physical, not vital.

Allied Plants

1. Several guttiferous plants of Southern India, not restricted, however, to the Cambodia province, as is the official, are almost identical with this latter and yield a similar juice: Garacinia Morel'la (staminate flowers sessile), Ceylon, S. India; G. Travanco'rica, Travancore; G. Picto'ria, Madras peninsula, etc.; G. Mangosta'na, Mango Fruit, India, astringent; G. Purpu'rea (in'dica), India; the seed of this are exposed to the sun and then boiled in water, when 10-20 p.c. of a fixed oil (kokum-butter) is obtained.