This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Radix. Indica Lopeziana Pharm. Edinb. Radix Indica a Joanne Lopez denominate Gaubii Adversar, Cap. vi. Rais di Juan Lopez Lufitanis. The root of an unknown tree, growing, as some assert, at Goa, as others suppose, in Malacca, from whence it is sometimes brought to Batavia. It is met with in pieces of different thickness, some, at least, of two inches diameter. The woody part is whitish, and very light; softer, more spongy, and whiter next the bark, including a denser some-what reddish medullary part. The bark is rough, wrinkled, brown, soft, and as it were woolly, pretty thick, covered with a thin paler cuticle.
Neither the woody nor cortical part has any remarkable smell or taste, nor any appearance of resinous matter. On boiling in water, no odour is emitted; and the strained liquor, which is of a yellow hue, is almost insipid, only impressing the tongue with a very light obscure bitterishness; and without viscidity. The ex-tract obtained by evaporating the decoction is equally void of sensible activity. Rectified spirit is tinged by the root of a brown colour, but acquires no particular taste. After drawing off the spirit from the tincture, a matter remains resembling balsam, which bubbles and inflames in the fire, and has a bitterish taste, like that of opium,
Though the preceding examination of this root is not favourable to the opinion of its medical powers, yet it is regarded in the East Indies as a medicine of extraordinary efficacy in diarrhoeas; and the learned Gaubius, in his Adversaria, has published an account of some experiments made with it, which in some degree confirm its reputation. From his own trials, and those of his friends, it appeared most remarkably effectual in flopping colliquative diarrhoeas which had resisted the usual remedies. Those attending the last stage of consumptions were particularly relieved by its use. It seemed to act not by any astringent power, but by a faculty of restraining and appearing spasmodic and inordinate motions in the intestines. Gaubius compares its action to that of simarouba, but thinks it more efficacious than this medicine.
The mode of exhibiting it in India, is to levigate the root with water on a porphyry till reduced to a fine pulp. In Europe the powder of it has been given with any proper vehicle, in doses from fifteen to thirty grains, repeated three or four times a day: one practitioner found a tincture of it in common spirits equally effectual with the root in substance. Of this, a tea-fpoonful was given thrice a day in red wine. The colleges of Edinburgh and Brunswick have received this root into their catalogues; but it is scarcely yet to be met with in the shops.