Pilocarpus Pinnatifolius. Nat. ord., Rutaceae.
A shrub found in Brazil, which, in common with others of the same species, is known as Jaborandi or Jamborandi. It has been brought under the notice of the profession by Dr. Contiuho, of Pernambuco.
Characters. - The leaves and bark are slightly aromatic, and when chewed cause "a fine, prickling, warm glow in the mouth, exactly like that experienced on chewing pyrethrum root."
From its sialogogue, diaphoretic, and emetic action, and from the power of pilocarpia, an alkaloid to which it seems to owe its activity, to cause contraction of the pupil, it appears to be a drug likely to prove valuable when its homoeopathic virtues are looked into.
Pilocarpia may be obtained by the following process of Mr. Gerard's: "Prepare a soft extract of either the leaf or bark with proof spirit. Digest this with water, filter, and wash. Evaporate the filtrate to a soft extract, cautiously add Ammonia in slight excess, shake with Chloroform, separate the latter and evaporate; the residue is impure pilocarpia, which may be purified by re-solution in acidulated water, and re-crystallization from Chloroform."
A more extended notice will be found in the 6th Edition of Royle's Materia Medica.
Parts employed. - The leaves.
Preparation. - Tincture (proof spirit).