Contractions. - Elat. Elt.
Ecbalium officinarum. Nat. ord., Cucurbitaceae.
Synonym. - Momordica Elaterium.
Fig. - Steph. and Church., Med. Bot., pl. 34.
Squirting Cucumber. For. names: German, Spring-kurke; French, Concombre sauvage; Italian, Cocomero asinino; Spanish, Cohombrillo silvestro.
Habitat. - Greece, and many parts of the South of Europe.
Flowering time. - July.
Part employed. - A sediment from the juice, obtained as follows: -
Squirting Cucumber Fruit, very nearly ripe . . . . . .
Cut the fruit lengthwise, and lightly press out the juice. Strain it through a hair sieve, and set it aside to deposit. Carefully pour off the supernatant liquor; pour the sediment on a linen filter, and dry it on porous tiles with a gentle heat. The decanted fluid may deposit a second portion of sediment, which can be dried in the same way.
Characters and Tests. - In light, friable, slightly incurved cakes, about 1 line thick, greenish-grey, acrid and bitter; fracture finely granular. Does not effervesce with acids; yields half its weight to boiling rectified spirit. This solution, concentrated and added to warm solution of Potash, yields on cooling not less than 20 per cent. of Elaterine in colourless crystals.
Preparation. - Trituration.
Reference to Horn. Proving. - Amer. Trans., i.
Proper forms for dispensing. - lx to 3, Trituration only. 4, dilute Tincture only. 5 and upwards, Tincture, Pilules, or Globules.