This section is from the "A Handbook of Useful Drugs" book, by State Medical Examining and Licensing Boards.
The seed of Colchicum autumnale, assaying not less than 0.55 per cent, of colchicin.
Action and Uses: Colchicum produces marked irritation of the intestines, leading to looseness of the bowels with much pain and watery stools. It may produce severe inflammation and collapse. The collapse is believed to be due to the intestinal irritation and not to a central action. It also produces marked irritation of the kidney, which may lead to severe nephritis. Colchicum seed is said to be antineuralgic and analgesic. By many it is considered to be a specific in acute gout, controlling the pain and cutting short the attack. It may be given to prevent the occurrence of gouty attacks, and it is recommended by some to continue it in smaller doses after the attack.