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.
Piper angustifolium. Official in Mexico and the U. S. P. VIII. Its activity is dependent upon a volatile oil which influences the genito-urinary passages in much the same way as does cubeb. Matico is used principally in the treatment of gonorrhea. See "Cubeb" for further discussion. The fl. is given in doses of 30 to 60 minims, the oil in doses of 5 to 20 minims.
Mechanically used drugs, colors and flavors under "Agar," "Manna" and in several incidental references, as under "Gossypium," this class of remedies are discussed. A few remain, however, which will be grouped together here.
Vegetable suspending agents are Acacia, Tragacanth and similar gums too well known to require discussion.
Pill excipients are many, and they need no elaboration here. Many substances are merely demulcent. Acacia and tragacanth are such. Gelatin, although nutritious, is used separately and as Glycerinated Gelatine, as a demulcent basis for medicated pastilles. Althaea officinalis, Marsh-mallow, is a most agreeable demulcent containing mucilage. Linseed tea, Linum, is an agreeable demulcent of value in bronchitis. The oil (Flaxseed oil) is used as a pharmaceutical base, especially in Linimentum Calcis. Ulmus, Ulmus fulva, Slippery Elm, is another useful demulcent. Sweet Almonds, triturated with sugar and gum acacia, make a popular demulcent mixture. More active agents, such as Glycyrrhiza, q. v., are demulcent. Cetaria, Iceland Moss, is a good demulcent. Starch and Glycerite of Starch are used mechanically and as demulcents.
The Emollients are many. The vegetable oils are often used in this connection. Poultices are also made of numerous vegetable substances. Vegetable oils enter into official soaps, liniments, etc.
Dusting Powders are largely of mineral origin, but starch is also used. Lycopodium has the property of absorbing oils and resins and so is a most excellent protective in intertrigo and similar affections. It is of service in protecting hygroscopic substances and in the making of extempore pill masses.
Rubber, gutta-percha, cotton, vegetable wax, rosin, mastic, and many other vegetable substances are used mechanically in medicine and pharmacy.