This section is from the "A Handbook of Useful Drugs" book, by State Medical Examining and Licensing Boards.
Properties : This preparation, popularly known as podophyllin, occurs as an amorphous powder, varying in color from grayish-white to pale greenish-yellow, turning darker when subjected to heat exceeding 35 C, or when exposed to light.
Action and Uses: Resin of podophyllum is very irritating to the mucous membrane, especially to that of the eyes. It has a slight, peculiar odor and a faintly bitter taste. It is very soluble in alcohol, but practically insoluble in water. It is used as a laxative and hydragogue cathartic, chiefly in the form of pills. It was formerly thought to exercise a special influence on the liver, but this idea has been abandoned. It is chiefly used in small doses for the treatment of chronic constipation.
Dosage: As a laxative in constipation small doses should be used, from 0.003 to 0.006 gm. or from 1/20 to 1/10 grain, once or twice daily. For a cathartic effect it may be given in doses of from 0.008 to 0.03 or from 1/8 to ½ grain.