Ourouparia gambir, (Hunter) Baillon. The dried aqueous extract prepared from the leaves and twigs, yielding not less than 70 p.c. water-soluble extractive, nor less than 60 p.c. alcohol-soluble extractive.

Habitat. E. India Islands.

Syn. Gambier, Terra Japonica; Br. Catechu, Catechu Pallidum, Pale Catechu; Fr. Gambir cubique; Ger. Gambir Catechu, Gutta Gambir.

Ou-rou-pa'ri-a. Native name -- ... , a Carib. name of the type species, fr. Gr...., a tail, tailed +, -- i.e., the seed.

Gam'bir. Native Malayan name of the extract.

Plant

Strong shrubby climber, stem woody, often angular; leaves oblong-ovate, 7.5-10 Cm. (3-4') long, petiolate, acuminate, entire, smooth; flowers small, pinkish, in clusters, calyx and corolla 5-divided, stamens 5, ovary 2-celled; fruit 2.5 Cm. (1') long, narrow, ovoid tapering at each end, dehiscent, pericarp dry; seed numerous, minute, pale brown, rough, tailed at each end. EXTRACT (gambir), usually in cubical or rectangular masses 20-30 Mm. (4/5-1 1/5') broad, grayish, reddish-brown, dull, porous, friable; internally light brown, dark gray color; inodorous; taste bitterish, very astringent.

Powder

light brown -- masses of acicular crystals, few starch grains, .005-.030 Mm. (1/5000/1/833') broad, epidermal fragments, few thick-walled, wavy non-glandular hairs. Solvents: water dissolves 65 p.c.; alcohol 60 p.c. Dose, gr. 5-30 (.3-2 Gm.).

Commercial

The extract is made by boiling young leafy shoots in water for 6 hours, with continued stirring and bruising, evaporating decoction to proper consistency, allowing to cool under constant and peculiar stirring; within half an hour the gambir suddenly contracts and thickens, possibly by the sudden crystallization of the catechin. It is allowed to harden in various forms, the purest in thin cakes, flakes, small cubes. Nearly all exported in wooden cases from Singapore.

Constituents

Tannic acid 25-38 p.c., Catechin (catechuic acid) 20-29 p.c., ash 9 p.c.

Preparations

1. Tinctura Gambir Composita. Compound Tincture of Gambir. (Syn., Tr. Gambir Co., Compound Tincture of Pale Catechu; Fr. Teinture de Gambir; Ger. Gambirtinktur.)

Manufacture

5 p.c. Similar to Tinctura Cardamomi Composita, page 137 -- using gambir 5 Gm., cinnamon 2.5; menstruum: diluted alcohol q.s. 100 cc. Dose, 3ss-2 (2-8 cc.).

Prep.: 1. Tinctura Opii et Gambir Composita, N.F., 6.4 p.c.

Unoff. Preps.: Fluidextract. Infusion. Pulvis Gambir Compositus, 40 p.c., + kino 20, krameria 20, cinnamon 10, myristica 10, dose, gr. 10-45 (.6-3 Gm.). Troches, 1 gr. (.06 Gm.), dose, 1 occasionally.

Properties

Similar to tannic acid, astringent, tonic. The darker colored product is most powerful, acting more energetically and harshly than kino.

Uses

Diarrhea, leucorrhea, gonorrhea, cough, chronic sore throat, phthisis, bronchitis, hemorrahages, relaxed uvula, ulcerated nipples, chronic ulcers, relaxed oral mucous membrane and spongy gums (mouth-wash). In the arts -- calico printing, dyeing, tanning, as an ingredient in boiler compounds to prevent formation of scaly crusts from certain kinds of water.