Jateorhiza palmata, (Lamarck) Miers. (Jateorkiza calumba, (Roxburgh) Miers.)
The dried root.
Habitat. E. Africa, Madagascar (Mozambique and Quilimane forests, along the lower Zambesi River); cultivated in Africa and E. India islands.
Syn. Calumb., Columba, Columbo, (Foreign) Colombo, Kalumb.; Br. Calumbae) Radix; Fr. Colombo, Racine de Colombo (Calumbe); Ger. Radix Colombo, Kolom-bowurzel.
Jat-e-o-rhi'za. L. fr. Gr.
a root - i. e., its medicinal virtues.
Pal-ma'ta. L. palmatus, like the palm of the open hand - i. e., the leaves pal-mately-lobed or divided.
Ca-lum'ba. L. fr. native African name, kalumb, hence Colombo in Ceylon, supposed to be the plant's original habitat.
Plant. - Perennial climber; stems several, green, 6-12 Mm. (1/4-1/2') thick, hairy, from short, thick, irregular rhizome; leaves petiolate,
Fig. 131. - Jateorhiza palmata (calumba).
large, 25 Cm. (10') long, 35 Cm. (14') broad, orbicular, cordate, 3-5-7-palmately-lobed, lobes entire, wavy, hairy; flowers dioecious, 6's, 12 Mm. (1/2') broad; fruit 3 ovoid fleshy drupes, size of hazelnut, 1-seeded. Roots, from rhizome, many, fleshy, fasciculated, fusiform, 2.5-10 Cm. (1-4') thick; commercially in circular, oval disks, 2-9 Cm. (4/5-3 3/4') broad, 2-12 Mm. (1/12-1/2') thick, or longitudinal or oblique slices, 30 Cm. (12') long, 35 Mm. (1 2/5') broad, 16 Mm. (2/3') thick; brown, roughly wrinkled; cut surface yellowish-gray, transverse slices radiate in outer portion with dark cambium, centre often depressed (thinnest); fracture short, mealy; odor slight; taste slightly aromatic, very bitter. Powder, yellowish-gray; microscopically many starch grains, .003-.085 Mm. (1/8325-1/300') broad, few stone cells with one or more calcium oxalate prisms or sphenoidal micro-crystals; few fragments with tracheae associated with wood-fibres. Solvents: alcohol (75 p. c); boiling water largely (calumbin, berberine). Dose, gr. 5-30 (.3-2 Gm.).
Adulterations. - Roots of Bryonia alba and Frasera carolinensis (Walteri) - American Columbo. These sometimes are dyed yellow with turmeric or safflower, and made bitter with infusion of calumba or quassia, thus giving a near resemblance, but recognized by the lighter or slightly false color, absence of dark cambium zone, radiating lines, etc.; the latter also precipitates with iron salts, is not mucilaginous nor affected by infusion of galls, reddens litmus, evolves ammonia with fixed alkalies, and contains no starch. Occasionally with slices of the stem of Coscin'ium fenestra'turn, Ceylon, which are harder, smoother, and not contracted centrally; false calumba - centre elevated, not depressed.
Commercial. - Plant, also named Menispermum palmatum, Coc'cuius palma'tus, and natively called Kalumb, resembles very closely our
Menispermum canadense, reaching the top of lofty forest trees from the sea-coast to many miles inland. Roots of wild plants are dug in hot dry season (March), tubercles separated, washed, cut into transverse and longitudinal slices, and dried slowly in the shade; often more or less worm-eaten. Portuguese always have controlled (1508) its trade, exporting it for 3 centuries via Colombo, Ceylon, also their possession, to veil its origin; now enters market from Zanzibar, or via Bombay.
Constituents. - Calumbin .8 p. c., Berberine 1 p. c., Calumbic acid, calumbine (?), starch 35 p. c, pectin 17 p. c., gum 4.7 p. c, resin 5 p. c, wax, calcium oxalate, ash 6-8 p. c.
Calumbin, C21H24O7. - Gives most of the bitterness - obtained by exhausting root or alcoholic extract with alcohol or ether, evaporating and letting stand several days for crystals to form, which are white, bitter, odorless, soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform, alkalies, acetic acid, almost insoluble in water. Dose, gr. 1/2 - 1 (.03-.06 Gm.).
Berberine, C20H17NO4. - This is left in mother-liquor from calumbin, which is evaporated to dryness, exhausted with boiling alcohol, evaporated, allowed to crystallize upon standing. Recently this content has been resolved into three alkaloids - palmatine, calumbamine, jateorhizine - which with calumbin constitute the drug's activity. Dose, gr. 1/2-1 (.03-.06 Gm.).
Calumbic Acid, C21H22O6 + H2O. - Obtained from 3 p. c. oxalic acid infusion by adding barium hydroxide and treating precipitate with
Fig. 132. - Calumba: transverse section, natural size: r, bark; k, cambium; h, wood; m, pith (medulla).
alcohol; it is less bitter than calumbin, amorphous, straw-yellow, soluble in alcohol, alkalies, almost insoluble in water or ether, and is in combination with berberine - the two believed to be derived from calumbin, this latter being the anhydride of calumbic acid.
Calumba contains no tannin, hence can well be used with iron salts and alkalies as a substitute for gentian, etc.; its infusion or tincture, however, precipitates with infusion of galls or solution of lead acetate.
Preparations. - 1. Tinctara Calumbae. Tincture of Calumba. (Syn., Tr. Calumb., Tinctura Colombo; Fr. Teinture de Colombo; Ger. Kolombotinktur.)
Manufacture: 20 p. c. Similar to Tinctura Veratri Viridis, page 101 - packing moderately; menstruum: (50 p. c. alcohol. Dose 3ss-2 (2-8 Ml. (Cc.)).
Unoff. Preps.: Extract, dose gr. 1-5 (.06-3 Gm.). Fluidextract (alcohol 80, water 10, glycerin 10), dose, v-30 (.3-2 Ml. (Cc.)). Infusion, 5 p. c, dose, ℥ss-1 (15-30 Ml. (Cc.)).
Properties. - Tonic, stomachic, stimulant, increases appetite and digestion by stimulating the gustatory nerves, thereby dilating the gastric vessels and augmenting secretion, does not constipate; externally - antiseptic, disinfectant, anthelmintic.
Uses. - Dyspepsia, debility, remittent fevers, dysentery, diarrhoea, cholera morbus, cholera infantum, hectic fever of phthisis, vomiting of pregnancy, bowel flatus, purging; large doses emeto-cathartic.