Rhus glabra, Linne'. The dried ripe fruit with not more than 5 p.c. stems or other foreign organic matter.

Habitat. N. America, west to California, Idaho; on barren or rocky soil.

Syn. Rhus Glab., Sumac Berries, Sumach, Mountain-, Dwarf-, Sleek-, Smooth-, Upland-, Scarlet, or Pennsylvania Sumach, Indian salt (powder on the berries); Fr. Sumach, Sumac; Ger. Sumach.

Rhus'. L. fr. Gr. pous; Celtic rhudd, red -- i.e., color of the fruit, also the leaves of the same species in autumn.

Gla'bra. L. fr. glaber, smooth, hairless -- i.e., its leaves and branches.

Su'mac. L. fr. Ar. summaq -- i.e., their native name for the plant.

Plant

Woody shrub 1.5-4.6 M. (5-15 degrees) high; stem more or less bent, dividing into many straggling branches, pith large, wood thin, white; bark smooth, grayish or reddish, with small scattered warts; leaves imparipinnate; leaflets 11-31, lanceolate, acuminate, serrate, whitish beneath, changing to a beautiful red in autumn; flowers June-July, greenish-red, terminal panicles.

Fruit

Sept., drupes in small clusters, flattened ovoid, nearly globular, somewhat reniform; 3.5-5.5 Mm. (1/7-1/4') long, nearly as broad, usually somewhat less; apex with raised scar, five-parted calyx occasionalloy with short pedicel at base; dark red, velvety with short hairs; endocarp smooth, shiny, crimson -- yellowish-red; 1-locular, 1-seeded; seed brown, very hard; inodorous; taste acidulous, astringent.

Powder

brownish-red -- numerous non-glandular hairs, usually several celled, uniseriate, filled with pink or red dried sap, occasionally rod-shaped crystals; few slender 1-celled, colorless, non-glandular hairs; numerous brownish glandular hairs, fragments red-celled epicarp with adhering mesocarp having spiral tracheae; stone cells of endocarp small, fragments of embryo with cells having aleurone grains and fixed oil. Solvent: diluted alcohol. Dose, 3ss-1 (2-4 Gm.).

Adulterations

Fruits of allied species -- R. hirta (typhina -- shaggy coating of long, straight hair), R. aromatica (smaller, less compressed, nearly spherical), R. coriaria (rougher, hispid).

Commercial

Sumac grows in waste fields, along fences, woods, etc., the bark, galls, and leaves are very astringent, being collected during summer or fall for use in tanning and dyeing, while from these an extract is made containing 25-30 p.c. tannin, and this is its most convenient form for all trade and chemical purposes. For this extract sumac is cultivated in Virginia and other States.

Constituents

Fruit

Acid calcium and potassium malates, tannin (gallo-tannic acid) 2 p.c., gallic acid, coloring matter. SEED: Fixed oil. GALLS: Tannin 60-70 p.c.

Preparations

1. Fluidextractum Rhois Glabrae. Fluidextract of Rhus Glabra. (Syn., Fldext. Rhois Glab., Extractum Rhois Glabrae Fluidum, U.S.P. 1890; Fr. Extrait liquide de Sumac; Ger. Flussiges Sumachextrakt.)

Manufacture

Similar to Fluidextractum Ergotae, page 63--macerate, percolate 100 Gm. with 1st menstruum: glycerin 10 cc., alcohol 50, water 40; finish with 2d: diluted alcohol. Dose, 3ss-1 (2-4 cc.)

Unoff. Preps.: Decoction, 5 p.c., 3j-2 (30-60 cc.). Infusion, 5 p.c., 3j-2 (30-60 cc.).

Properties

Astringent, refrigerant, diuretic; resembles tannin.

Uses

Catarrhal affections of stomach and bowels, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, mercurial aphthae, spongy gums, and other mouth affections (as a gargle), ulcers, wounds, etc. (as a wash).