Digitalis, or Foxglove (originally Folk's glove), consists of the carefully dried leaves of Digitalis purpurea (Fam. Scrophulariaceae).

Properties:

D. Leaf:

D. Powder:

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Tinct. Digitalis:

Digitoxin:

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No alkaloid has as yet been isolated from Digitalis, though some uncertain gluco-sides, digitonin, digitalin, and digitalein, and a crystallizable principle, digitoxin, have been discovered, and extensively studied. Digitonin, constituting more than half the mixed glucosides, is soluble in water and alcohol. Digitoxin is soluble in alcohol, but not in water, if pure. Digitalin is slightly soluble in either; and digitalein readily soluble.

No satisfactory assay is available for Digitalis, though manufacturers make an approximate assay by means of the biological test. In this test about 0.006 mil Tincture Digitalis per gram weight of frog is given as the standard amount required to produce the frog's death by cardiac arrest in just one hour. In reference to this, it should be said that the real value of the test is materially affected by many factors pertaining to the condition, age, sex, species, habitat, etc., of the frog.

Digitalis has its principal utility in medicine in the treatment of auricular fibrillation, and in uncompensated valvular insufficiency. Dose, 0.06 Gm., repeated cautiously.

Official preparations are: the Fluidextract, the Infusion, and the Tincture, the last being the best preparation to use.

Digitalis Purpurea

Digitalis Purpurea.