Citriillus Colocynthis,

(Linne) Schrader.

The dried pulp of fruit, with not more than 5 p. c. of seeds or 2 p. c. of epicarp.

Habitat. S. and W. Asia, N. and S. Africa, in arid places, deserts; Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Cape of Good Hope, Greece, Spain, Japan; cultivated.

Syn. Colocyn., Colocynth Pulp, Bitter Apple, Colocynth Apple (Fruit), Cucumber, or Gourd; Br. Colocynthidis Pulpa, Colocynth Pulp, Poma Colocynthidis; Fr. Coloquinte; Ger. Fructus Colocynthidis, Koloquinthen, Coloquinthenapfel.

Ci-trul'lus. L. citrus, an orange, Gr.

Colocynthis Colocynth 781

citron, Ar. origin - i. e., named after color of the fruit when cut-orange red. Col-o-cyn'this. L. fr. Gr.

Colocynthis Colocynth 782

the classic name of the plant.

Plant. - Perennial tendril-bearing vine; stem angular, hispid, herbaceous; leaves many-lobed, hairy, 2.5-10 Cm. (1-4') long, sub-palmately cleft on long hispid petioles; tendrils, with which it climbs, short, branching; flowers large, monoecious, both kinds similar, solitary, yellow. Fruits, before removing seeds, nearly globular, 4-7 Cm. (1 3/5 - 3') broad, size of a small orange, usually more or less crushed and in broken pieces, with occasional patches of nearly smooth epicarp; yellowish-white; light, spongy; separable longitudinally when entire into 3 carpels, each containing, near the outer surface, the ovoid, compressed, yellowish seeds; odor slight; taste intensely bitter. Powder, yellowish-white, buff; microscopically - fragments of parenchyma cells and tracheae, few tissues of seed-coat with characteristic stone cells, globules of fixed oil, aleurone grains; must be made from pulp containing not more than 5 p. c. of seeds, and upon extraction with purified petroleum benzin yields not more than 2 p. c. of fixed oil. Solvents: alcohol; diluted alcohol; water. Dose, gr. 2-10 (.13-.6 Gm.); laxative, gr. 2-5 (.13-.3 Gm.); drastic purgative, gr. 5-10 (.3-.6 Gm.), repeated in 8-12 hours if necessary.

Commercial. - Plant resembles closely the watermelon (C. Citrullas - an annual with larger, smoothish leaves, and much larger sweetish fruit), and has been cultivated in English gardens since 1551. It is a very old medicine, the pulp, constituting 24.5 p. c. of the peeled fruit, being the portion that alone should be used; the separated and rejected seeds possess slight bitterness, but also a fixed oil, 12.72 p. c, that, upon removal of testa, renders the kernels (one-half oil) somewhat prized in Africa for food, bread, etc. There are two varieties: 1, Peeled {Turkey), the smaller, best, usually from the maritime plain between the mountains of Palestine and the Mediterranean; shipped chiefly from Jaffa, Trieste, that from Spain being smaller, darker, more compact, less pulp, blackish seeds; 2, Unpeeled (Mogador), the larger, inferior, covered with smooth, yellowish-brown firm rind. Fruit is gathered in autumn when turning yellow, peeled (or this, if to be done, may be deterred until after drying) and dried quickly by sun or fire; not known or used by native physicians as a cathartic, but simply as a protection against moths.

Constituents. - Pulp 24.5 p. c, Seed 75.5 p. c. Pulp contains colo-evnthin 2 p. c, Colocynthitin, pectin, gum (no starch), ash 15 p. c; seeds contain alkaloid (trace), fixed oil 12.72 p. c, albuminoids 6 p. c, ash 2-4 p. c. (whole fruit 4-5 p. a).

Fig. 403.   Citrullus Colocynthis.

Fig. 403. - Citrullus Colocynthis.

Colocynthin, C56H84O23. - The chief cathartic principle: an amorphous glucoside (bitter principle), obtained by exhausting with water the alcoholic extract, precipitating filtrate with lead acetate and sub-acetate; the yellow filtered liquid is treated with H2S to remove lead, filtered, then precipitated with tannin. This tannate of colocynthin is dissolved in alcohol, the tannin thrown down by lead subacetate, filtered liquid digested with animal charcoal, filtered, evaporated. It is a yellow powder, soluble in water, alcohol, boiled with diluted acids splits into sugar and resinous colocynthein. Dose, gr. 1/2-l (.03-06 Gm.) - hypodermically, gr. 1/6-1/3 (.01-02 Gm.), by which method it is painful, and should be associated with cocaine. The "Eclectic" resinoid, colocynthin. Dose, gr. 3/4-l (.016-06 Gm.).

Colocynthitin (citrullin). - A resin left after treating alcoholic extract with cold water in preparing colocynthin; occurs in white, tasteless microscopic prisms, soluble in ether, hot alcohol.

Preparations. - 1. Extractum Colocynthidis. Extract of Colocynth. (Syn., Ext. Colocynth., Powdered Extract of Colocynth, Extractum Colocynthidis Alcoholicum; Fr. Extrait de Coloquinte; Ger. Kolo-quinthenextrakt.)

Manufacture: Macerate, percolate 100 Gm. with diluted alcohol until exhausted (500 Ml. (Cc.)), reclaim alcohol, evaporate residue to dryness, pulverize, add dried starch q. s. 25 Gm.; mix thoroughly, pass through fine sieve; 1 Gm. represents 4 Gm. of the drug. Should be kept in small, wide-mouthed, tightly-stoppered bottles. Dose, gr. i-2 (.03-.13 Gm.).

Prep.: 1. Extractum Colocynthidis Compositum. Compound Extract of Colocynth. (Syn., Ext. Colocynth. Co., Powdered Compound Extract of Colocynth; Fr. Extrait de Coloquinte compose; Ger. Zusammengesetztes Koloquinthenextrakt.) Manufacture: Triturate together until No. 60 powder, extract of colocynth 16 Gm., aloes 50 Gm., cardamom seed 5 Gm., resin of scammony 14 Gm., soap (dried powder) 15 Gm., pass through fine sieve. Should be kept in small, wide-mouthed, tightly-stoppered bottles. Dose, gr. 5-15 (.3-1 Gm,).

Prep.: 1. Piluloe Catharticoe Compositoe. Compound Cathartic Pills. (Syn., Pil. Cathart. Co., Antibilious Pills; Fr. Pilules cathartiques composees; Ger. Abfuhrpillen.) Manufacture: Mix compound extract of colocynth 8 Gm., mild mercurous chloride 6 Gm., resin of jalap 2 Gm., gamboge 1.5 Gm., diluted alcohol q. s. 100 pills. Dose, 1-3 pills.

Colocynthis Colocynth 784Fig. 404.   Peeled colocynth: transverse and longitudinal sections.

Fig. 404. - Peeled colocynth: transverse and longitudinal sections.

Unoff. Preps.: Fluidextract, dose, eij-10 (.13-6 Ml. (Cc.)). Pilula Colocynthidis Composite - extract of colocynth 1.1 Gm., aloes 13, resin of scammony 13, oil of clove 1.5, dil. alc. q. s. 100 pills. Piluloe Colocynthidis et Hyoscyami - extract of colocynth .65 Gm., aloes, resin of scammony, extract of hyoscyamus, each 9.7, oil of clove 1, make into 100 pills. Pilulae Colocynthidis et Podophylli - comp. extract of coloeynth 16.2 Gm., resin of podophyllum 1.6, syrup q. s. 100 pills, dose, of each, 1-2 pills. Tincture, 10 p. c. (alcohol), dose, 3ss-l (2-4 Ml. (Cc.)). Piluloe Laxatives Post Partum - comp. ext. of coloeynth 11 Gm., aloes 5.5, ext. of nux vomica 2.5, resin of podophyllum .5, ipecac .5, ext. of hyoscyamus 8, dil. ale. q. s. 100 pills.

Properties. - Drastic and hydragogue cathartic, hepatic stimulant, diuretic; small doses bitter, stomachic; large doses emetic, irritant poison, causing violent griping, dangerous bowel inflammations - gr. 90 (6 Gm.) have killed.

Uses. - The Greeks and Arabians were unacquainted with its drastic effect, but prescribed it for its other properties. Now used as an evacuant, dropsy, melancholia, coma, apoplexy, paralysis, but never in pregnancy, nor where gastric or intestinal inflammation is present. It is very harsh and seldom used alone.

Poisoning: Same as for aloes, etc. Evacuate stomach, give demulcents, opium, stimulants.

Allied Plants:

1. Luf'fa Luffa aegypti'aca,) Egypt, and L. opercula'ta, Brazil, Vegetable Sponge, Wash-rag Sponge, Gourd Towel. 2. Cu'cumis myrio-car'pus, S. Africa. These produce analogous fruits, which have similar action to coloeynth, while the derma of Luff a serves as sponge. 3. Momor'dica Balsam'ina, Balsam Apple, E. India. Climbing plant, also cultivated in gardens throughout the United States for its yellow cucumber-like fruit. This is soaked in whisky and used domestically as a vulnerary.