Gelsemium sempervirens,

(Linne) Alton filius.

The dried rhizome and roots.

Habitat. United States, southward, Va. to Fla., Ala.; rich, moist soil - woodlands.

Syn. Gelsem., Yellow Jasmine Root, Yellow Jassamine, Wild or Carolina Jassamine, Woodbine, Evening Trumpet-flower; Br. Gelsemii Radix; Fr. Jasmin sauvage; Ger. Gelsemie, Giftjasmin, Gelber Jasmin.

Gel-se'mi-um. L. gesmino, gelsomino, jasmine, altered from gelseminum, a form of jasminum, all medieval names for the jasmines (or jassamines), with which this was classed.

Sem-per'vi-rens. L. semper, always, + viren(t)s, ppr. of vivere, to be green, evergreen - i. e., the leaves.

Plant. - Beautiful woody climber; stem smooth, shining, hollow, purplish; leaves persistent, evergreen, lanceolate, entire; flowers Jan.-April, large, fragrant, poisonous, deep yellow, corolla funnel-shaped, 2.5-4 Cm. (1-1 3/5') long, stamens 5, dimorphous; fruit flat, brown capsule, 18 Mm. (3/4') long, 2-celled, 4-6 winged-seed in each cell. Rhizome, cylindrical, usually in pieces 3-20 Cm. (1 1/5-8') long, 3-30 Mm. (1/8-1 1/5') thick, light yellowish-brown, longitudinally wrinkled with purplish-brown lines, transverse fissures; upper surface with few stem-scars, under and side portions with numerous roots and root-scars; fracture tough, splintery, internally pale yellow; bark thin, 1 Mm. (1/25') wood distinctly radiate, excentral, pith disintegrated; odor slight; taste bitter; roots light brown; fracture one-half transverse, the other oblique or splintery. Powder, yellowish-brown; microscopically - trachea?, bast-fibres, fibre-tracheids, starch grains, .004-.008 Mm. (1/6250-1/3125')broad, calcium oxalate prisms, few stone cells, sclerenchymatous fibres. Solvents: diluted alcohol; water partially. Dose, gr.2-10 (.13-.6 Gm.).

Fig 307.   Gelsemium sempervirens: a, rhizome; b, flowering branch; c, fruiting branch (1/4 natural size); also flower, ovary, fruit, seed, floral diagram, enlarged.

Fig 307. - Gelsemium sempervirens: a, rhizome; b, flowering branch; c, fruiting branch (1/4 natural size); also flower, ovary, fruit, seed, floral diagram, enlarged.

Adulterations. - Aerial stem (hollow, small, dark purplish, thin corky layer, bast-fibres in thick bundles close to cambium, destitute of alkaloids and gelsemic acid); roots of the tree Jasmine, many starch grains in pith and medullary ray cells, indurated pith cells absent, bast-fibres around sieve tubes.

Commercial. - Plant ascends large trees forming festoons from one to another, and when in bloom delightfully perfumes surrounding atmosphere, for which it sometimes is cultivated; should not be confused with tree Jasmine (Jas'minum (Plumeri'a) ru'bra), called sometimes Gelsemium, which has abundance of starch grains in the pith and medullary ray cells, absence of indurated pith cells, and flowers with only 2 stamens. Rhizome should be collected just after flowering. Constituents. - Alkaloids .2-.5 p. c.: Gelsemine, Gelseminine, Gelsemic acid (Beta-methyl-aesculetin) .3-.4 p. c, volatile oil .5 p. c, 2 resins 4 p. c, starch, gum, pectin.

Gelsemine, C49H63N5O14. - Obtained by adding acetic acid to concentrated tincture, precipitating with water; concentrate filtrate, remove gelsemic acid (?) with chloroform or ether, precipitate alkaloid with sodium carbonate, and extract it with chloroform, ether, or benzin. It is amorphous, white, very bitter, alkaline; with hydrochloric or nitric acid forms crystalline salts; with sulphuric acid + manganese dioxide - cherry-red, becoming olive-green. Dose, gr. 1/60-1/20 (.001-.003 Gm.).

Gelseminine, C12H14NO2. - Small, white, bitter crystals, soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform, forms salts soluble in water (hydrochloride, nitrate, sulphate, etc.). Dose, gr. 1/120-1/30 (.0005-.002 Gm.). Gelsemic (Gelseminic) Acid, C13H11O5. - A colorless, odorless, nearly tasteless crystalline body, once considered a glucoside, the same as aesculin, C15H16O9; while this is not true, it is identical with beta-methyl-aesculetin, C9H5(CH3)O4, found in scopola, etc., soluble in hot alcohol, glacial acetic acid, alkalies with blue fluorescence - consequently is erroneously called gelsemic acid.

Preparations. - 1. Extraction Gelsemii. Extract of Gelsemium. (Syn., Ext. Gelsem., Powdered Extract of Gelsemium; Fr. Extrait de Gelsemium; Ger. Gelsemiumextrakt.)

Manufacture: Macerate, percolate 100 Gm. with alcohol until exhausted, reclaim alcohol until residue is 50 Ml. (Cc.), evaporate at 70° C. (158° F.), frequently stirring, to soft extract, add 5 Gm. of a mixture (magnesium oxide 1, dried starch 3), mix thoroughly, spread thinly on glass or tinned-metal plates, or in porcelain dish, dry in air-bath at 70° C. (158° F.), pulverize, add of mixture (magnesium oxide and 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. 3 (.01-2 Gm.).

2. Fluidextractum Gelsemii. Fluidextract of Gelsemium. (Syn., Fldext. Gelsem., Fluid Extract of Gelsemium, Fr. Extrait fluide de Gelsemium; Ger. Gelsemiumfluidextrakt.)

Manufacture: Similar to Fluidextractum Sabal, page 95; menstruum: 80 p. c. alcohol. Dose, eij-10 (.13-.6 Ml. (Cc.)).

3. Tinctura Gelsemii. Tincture of Gelsemium. (Syn., Tr. Gelsem.; Fr. Teinture de Gelsemium; Ger. Gelsemiumtinktur.)

Manufacture: 10 p. c. Similar to Tinctura Veratri Viridis, page 101; menstruum: 65 p. c. alcohol. Dose, ex-60 (.6-4 Ml. (Cc.)).

Properties. - Nervine, sedative, mydriatic, antispasmodic, anti-periodic Resembles very much in action hemlock, and somewhat digi-

Fig. 308.   Gelsemium sempervirens: rhizome, transverse section.

Fig. 308. - Gelsemium sempervirens: rhizome, transverse section.

talis, aconite, veratrum viride, antimony; heart action rendered slower and weaker, arterial tension lowered, motor cranial nerves paralyzed.

Uses. - Rheumatic neuralgia, intermittent, typhoid, and yellow fevers, lung affections, dysmenorrhoe, delirium tremens, chorea, hysteria, epilepsy, sunstroke, tetanus, rhus-poisoning, coryza, opium-poisoning, odontalgia, cardiac palpitation, mania.

Poisoning: Have pain about the eyes, dim vision, sometimes double, dilated pupils, rapid and feeble pulse, dizziness, projected eyeballs, loss of sensation and motion, dropping of upper eyelid (ptosis) and lower jaw, inability to enunciate, cold moist skin, anxious face, pain in chest, slow, labored breathing, convulsions resemble those of strychnine-poisoning, feeling of suffocation, foaming at the mouth, respiration ceases, finally heart ceases to beat from asphyxiation, death; conscious until near the end. Give evacuants (stomach pump, mustard, zinc sulphate), or wash out stomach with tannic acid solution, follow with hypodermic of morphine, atropine, stimulants, ammonia, coffee, alcohol, digitalis, strychnine, external heat and friction.

Incompatibles: Cardiac and diffusible stimulants, caustic alkalies, tannin.

Synergists: Motor depressants.