Rhamnus Purshiana, De Candolle.
The dried bark of the trunk and branches.
Habitat. N. Idaho, west to the Pacific (N. California).
Syn. Case. Sagr., Rhamnus Purshiana, U. S. P., 1900, Chittem Bark, Sacred-, Persian-, Persiana or Purchiana Bark, Bearberry, Bear (Shittim) Wood; Rhamni Purshiani Cortex.
Pur-shi-a'na. L. of Pursh, after Frederick Pursh (L. Purshia), author of Flora Americoe Septentrionalis, 1817.
Cas'ca-ra Sa-gra'da. L. Sp. cascara, bark, + sagrada, saored - holy bark - i. e., so considered by many natives, on account of its medicinal properties.
Plant. - Small tree, 4.5-6 M. (15-20°) high; twigs pubescent; leaves 5-15 Cm. (2-6') long, 2.5-7.5 Cm. (1-3') wide, thin, elliptic, apex obtuse, base rounded, pubescent beneath, dull green, dentate, petioles short, downy; flowers large, umbellate cymes; fruit drupe, black, obovoid, 8 Mm. (1/3') long, 3-lobed, 3-seeded. Bark, in quills, flattened or transversely curved pieces, 2.5-10 Cm. (1-4') long, 1-5 Mm. (1/25-1/5') thick, brownish, longitudinally ridged, often nearly covered with grayish, whitish lichens, bearing small blackish apothecia, sometimes numerous lenticels, occasionally mosses; inner surface yellowish-brown, striate, red when moistened with solutions of alkalies; fracture short, inner bark with projections of bast-fibres and medullary
Fig. 252. - Rhamnus Purshiana (Cascara Sagrada): A, B, flowering branches: 1, flower cluster; 2, flower, vertical section, magnified; 3, fruit.
rays forming converging groups, outer bark with groups of stone cells, more apparent on moistening fresh surface with phloroglucinol T. S. and hydrochloric acid; odor distinct; taste disagreeable, bitter, slightly acrid. Powder, light brown; microscopically - elongated groups of bast-fibres, crystal fibres, stone cells, fragments of parenchyma and medullary ray cells (red with alkalies), starch grains, .003-.008 Mm. (1/8325-1/3125') broad, rosette aggregates of calcium oxalate, fragments of brownish cork. Tests: 1. Shake .1 Gm. + hot water (10) occasionally until cold, filtrate + ammonia water (10) - orange-yellow. 2. Macerate .1 Gm. + few drops of alcohol, boil with 10 Ml. (Cc.) of water, cool, filter, shake with 10 Ml. (Cc.) of ether - yellow ethereal solution separates; of this shake 3 Ml. (Cc.) + 3 Ml. (Cc.) of ammonia water
- separated ammoniacal solution + 20 Ml. (Cc.) of water remains yellowish-red. Solvent: diluted alcohol. Dose, gr. 15-60 (1-4 Gm.).
Adulterations. - Barks of allied species: Formerly the smaller quills of It. californica, with medullary rays irregularly curved and grouped; in powder often find R. Frangula, which, owing to absence of stone cells and its longer bast-fibres, may be recognized; to this latter ammonia imparts deeper color.
Constituents. - Emodin (non-laxative), isoemodin, resin, tannin 2 p. c., glucose, volatile oil (yellowish-green, odorous), fixed oil (rhamnol araehidate, glycerides of linolic and myristic acids) 2 p. c, rhamnol (alcohol identical with quebrachol), C20H34O, hydrolytic ferment (non-griping), syringic acid (not preexisting in the bark, but from a substance of unknown nature by the action of acids), ash 6-8 p. c. The active principle, undetermined chemically, but possibly a glucosidal derivative, is obtained by precipitating aqueous solution of the alcoholic extract with lead subacetate, treating precipitate with ethyl-acetate, thereby yielding a non-crystalline, sticky mass containing laxative constituent. The "cascarin" and "purshianin" of previous investigators are regarded now simply as emodin with impurities, these latter constituting the medicinal entity, as purshianin gr. 1/5 (.013 Gm.) is purgative. The constituents of fresh (1-year) and matured (3-year) bark seem not to differ.
Preparations. - 1. Extractum Cascaroe Sagradoe. Extract of Cas-cara Sagrada. (Syn., Ext. Casc(ar). Sagr., Extractum Rhamni Pursh-iana?, U. S. P. 1900, Powdered Extract of Cascara Sagrada; Br. Extractum Cascarae Sagradae Siccum; Fr. Extrait de Cascara Sagrada; Ger. Amerikanisch Faulbaumrindenextrakt.)
Manufacture: Macerate 3 hours 90 Gm. with boiling water 400 Ml. (Cc), percolate until exhausted (500 Ml. (Cc.)), evaporate to dryness, pulverize, add magnesium oxide 2.5 Gm. and dried starch q. s. 30 Gm.; mix thoroughly, pass through fine sieve. Should be kept in small, wide-mouthed, tightly-stoppered bottles. Dose, gr. 2-8 (.13 - .5 Gm.).
2. Fluidextractum Cascaroe Sagradoe. Fluidextract of Cascara Sagrada. (Syn., Fldext. Cascar. Sagr., Extractum Rhamni Purshianae Fluidum; Br. Extractum Cascarae Sagradae Liquidum; Fr. Extrait fluide de Cascara Sagrada; Ger. Gascara Sagradafluidextrakt.)
Manufacture: Similar to Fluidextractum Tritici, page 91; concentrate aqueous percolate to 75 Ml. (Cc.), cool, add alcohol 25 Ml. (Cc), and, if necessary, water q. s. 100 Ml. (Cc). Dose, ex-30 (.6-2 Ml. (Cc.)).
3. Fluidextractum Cascaroe Sagradoe Aromaticum. Aromatic Fluid-extract of Cascara Sagrada. (Syn., Fldext. Cascar. Sagr. Arom., Tasteless Fluidextract of Cascara Sagrada; Fr. Extrait fluidearomatique de Cascara Sagrada; Ger. Bitterloses Cascara Sagradafluidextrakt.)
Manufacture: Moisten 100 Gm., + magnesium oxide 12.5 Gm. with boiling water 200 Ml. (Cc.), macerate for 2 hours, pack, percolate with boiling water until exhausted, evaporate to 50 Ml. (Cc.), while warm dissolve in it pure extract of glycyrrhiza 4 Gm., cool, add glycerin 20 Ml. (Cc.), alcohol 25 Ml. (Cc.) having dissolved in it benzo-sulphinide .1 Gm., oil of anise .25 Ml. (Cc.), oil of cassia. 02 Ml. (Cc), oil of coriander .01 Ml. (Cc.), and methyl salicylate .02 Ml. (Cc.), add boiling water q. s. 100 Ml. (Cc.). Dose, ex-30 (.6-2 Ml. (Cc)).
Unoff. Preps.: Fluidglycerate, 100 p. c, dose, exv-30 (1-2 Ml. (Cc.)). Aromatic Fluidglycerate, 75 p. c.+ fluidglycerate of glycyr-rhiza 25, dose, TUxv-30 (1-2 Ml. (Cc.)). Elixir, 50 p. c, + aromatic elixir 50. Compound Elixir, 12.5 p. c (arom. fldextr.), + fldextr. of senna 7.5, fldextr. of juglans 6.5, aromatic elixir q. s. 100. Cordial, dose, 3j-2 (4-8 Ml. (Cc.)). Syrupus Cascaroe Aromaticus (Br.), 40 p. c, dose, 3ss-2 (2-8 Ml. (Cc.)). Tincture, 15 p. c, dose, 5ss-2 (2-8 Ml. (Cc.)).
Properties. - Purgative, tonic, febrifuge, increases secretions of stomach, liver, pancreas; not usually given as a single cathartic, but where frequent repetition is required; it operates in 6-10 hours, and wears well, as generally increased quantities are not needed when habitually used; it regulates action of the bowels, and acts best when given on empty stomach in concentrated form. Fresh bark gripes, owing to a ferment which in time changes, so that matured official bark and its preparations should be without this property. The purgative action is claimed by some to be due largely to resins, tonic to bitter principle.
Uses. - Habitual constipation due to torpor of the colon, dyspepsia, hemorrhoids. Allied Plants: