This section is from the book "Botanic Drugs Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics", by Thomas S. Blair. Also available from Amazon: Botanic Drugs, Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
Chrysarobinum, Goa Powder, Andira araroba. Official in fifteen countries. The U. S. P. recognizes it as derived from Vouacapoua araroba. A neutral principle. Do not confound with chrysophanic acid.
As it belongs to the anthracene group, it purges in doses of from 1-10 to 1 grain; but it is unavailable as a purgative, since it irritates the kidneys. It is a reducing agent, but is not an effective antiseptic. Applied to any considerable area it is absorbed, irritating the kidneys and inducing a dangerous intoxication. It is exceedingly irritating to the eyes.
Never give it internally; never apply to healthy skin, and never apply near to the eyes. Don't forget it stains yellow; but the stain may be partially removed with chlorinated lime.
The uses of chrysarobin externally are well defined. Superficial parasitic skin diseases of vegetable origin, more especially ringworm, yield to it provided the initially superficial lesion has not penetrated into deep tissues. Actinomycosis and sporotrichosis involve tissues too deep to be influenced by this drug. Chronic patches of psoriasis are amenable, and to a less degree eczema and favus. To all of these it is a stimulant application in 2 per cent ointment to begin with and running up to 6 per cent. It is used 2 to 10 per cent in solution of gutta-percha.