Hydrastis canadensis, Linne.
Habitat. N. America, Canada, east of the Mississippi; rich woodlands, mountains.
Syn. Golden Seal, Yellow (Orange) Root, Yellow Puccoon (Indian Paint), Turmeric (Jaundice) Root, Ohio Curcuma, Indian Turmeric (Dye), Ground Raspberry, Eye Balm (Root), Yellow Eye; Br. Hydrastis Rhizoma; Fr. Racine Orange, Sceau d'Or; Ger. Hydrastisrhizom, Canadische Gelbwurzel.
Hy-dras'tis. L. fr. Gr.
to act - i. e., alluding to the active properties of the juice, or to the plants growing in marshy places. Can-a-den'sis. L. of Canada - i. e., its northern habitat limit. Golden Seal - i. e., its yellow scarred rhizome, once used as a paint and dye.
Plant. - Perennial herb 15-30 Cm. (6-12') high, simple, hairy, 2-leaved near apex, one sessile at top, the other an inch or so below with thick petiole; leaves pubescent, round, cordate, palmately 5-7-
Fig. 115. - Hydrastis canadensis: rhizome.
Fig. 116. - Hydrastis rhizome: transverse section, magnified.
lobed, pointed, serrate, 10-22.5 Cm. (4-9') wide; flowers May-June, only one, greenish-yellow, arising from upper leaf on a peduncle; fruit compound red berry, 12 Mm. (1/2') thick, composed of 12 or more 1-2-seeded berries like raspberry. Rhizome, horizontal or oblique growth, subcylindrical, flexuous, 1-5 Cm. (2/5-2') long, 2-7 Mm. (1/12-1/3') thick, grayish-brown, longitudinally wrinkled, annulate from scars of bud-scales; upper surface occasionally with stem-bases, many stem-scars; under and lateral surfaces with easily detached filiform roots; fracture short, waxy; internally deep yellow, mostly parenchyma enclosing an interrupted circle of small fibro-vascular bundles; odor distinctive; taste bitter. Powder, brownish-yellow; microscopically - numerous starch grains, .002-015 Mm. (1/12500-1/1650') broad, fragments of tissues with fibro-vascular bundles, tracheae, short scler-enchymatous fibres, tabular cork cells. Solvents: alcohol; diluted alcohol; boiling water. Dose, gr. 5-30 (.3-2 Gm.).
Adulterations. - Rhizomes of Aristolochia Serpentaria, Aristo-lochia reticulata, Cypripedium hirsutum, Cypripedium parviflorum, Asarum canadense, Xanthorrhiza apiifolia, and roots of Styloph'orum diphyl'lum.
Commercial. - The Cherokee Indians used hydrastis very early as a domestic remedy and dye, and although they disclosed its value to the American settlers, it did not attract medical attention until 1798, but soon thereafter became popular with the "Eclectics" and later one of our important drugs.
Hydrastina, Hydrastine, C21H21NO6, official. - (Syn., Fr. Hydras-tine; Ger. Hydrastin.) This characteristic colorless alkaloid is obtained by adding hydrochloric or sulphuric acid in excess to an alcoholic tincture of hydrastis, whereby the corresponding berberine salt deposits in crystals; to the filtered mother-liquor add ammonia water until acidity is nearly neutralized, strain to remove ammonium salt, concentrate to a syrupy consistence and pour this into 10 volumes of cold water, to remove fat and resin; to the filtrate, containing crude hydrastine salt, add ammonia water in excess to precipitate impure alkaloid, which may be purified by dissolving in diluted sulphuric acid, again precipitating with ammonia water and repeated crystallization from hot alcohol; also prepared synthetically; occurs in white, creamy white, glistening prisms, white microcrystalline powder, permanent, soluble in benzene, alcohol (170), hot alcohol (22), chloroform (1.4), ether (175); insoluble in water; saturated alcoholic solution alkaline, melts at 131° C. (268° F.). Tests: 1. With sulphuric acid - yellow color, changing to purple on heating. 2. With sulphuric acid containing .005 Gm. of molybdic acid in each Ml. (Cc.) - green, olive-green, brown; substitute selenous acid for molybdic acid - light green color, changing to brown; with nitric acid - reddish-yellow color; incinerate .1 Gm. - ash non-weigh-able. Impurities: Hydrastinine, berberine. Should be kept dark, in well-closed containers. Dose, gr. 1/4-1/2 (.016-.03 Gm.).
Hydrastinae Hydrochloridum, Hydrastine Hydrochloride, C21H21-NO6.HC1, official. - (Syn., Hydrastin. Hydrochl., Hydrastine Chloride; Fr. Chlorhydrate de Hydrastine; Ger. Hydrastinhydrochlorid.) Obtained by dissolving the pure alkaloid in alcoholic solution of hydrochloric acid, concentrating until crystals appear; occurs as a white, creamy-white powder, odorless, hygroscopic; soluble in water, alcohol, slightly in chloroform, ether; aqueous solution (1 in 20) neutral, slightly acid; with silver nitrate T. S. - white precipitate, insoluble in nitric acid. Should be kept dark, in well-closed containers. Dose, gr. 1/4-1/2 (.010-.03 Gm.).
Hydrastininae Hydrochloridum, Hydrastinine Hydrochloride, C11-H11NO2HCl, official. - (Syn., Hydnistinin. Hydrochl., Hydrastinine Chloride, Hydrastininae Hydrochloras; Fr. Chlorhydrate d'Hydrastin-ine; Ger. Hydrastininhydrochlorid.) This hydrochloride of the artificial alkaloid is obtained by the oxidation of hydrastine with an oxidizing agent (nitric acid, potassium dichromate or permanganate, etc.) in acid solution; dissolve hydrastine 10 Gm. in nitric acid 75 Ml. (Cc.), heat to 60° C. (140° F.), upon cooling opianic acid crystallizes out, add to filtrate potassium hydroxide solution to precipitate hydrastinine, purify by recrystallizing from benzene or acetic ether, dissolve crystals in hydrochloric acid, crystallize from alcohol; occurs in light yellowish needles, yellowish-white, crystalline powder, odorless; soluble in water, alcohol, chloroform (195), ether (1820); aqueous solution (1 in 20) neutral, with blue fluorescence, especially when highly diluted, melts at 210° C. (410° F.) with partial decomposition. Tests: 1. Aqueous solution + potassium dichromate T. S. - precipitate, dissolving by gentle heat but separating again in glistening needles on cooling. 2. Aqueous solution + silver nitrate T. S. - white precipitate, insoluble in nitric acid; incinerate .1 Gm. - ash non-weighable. Impurities: Hydrastine, foreign alkaloids. Used chiefly for uterine hemorrhage (hypodermically), also as oxytocic; slows heart, but increases force of contraction, motor-depressant, paralyzant. Dose, gr. 1/3-1/2 (.02-.03 Gm.), in 10 p. c. solution.