Mezereum, Linni, Gniditiin, Linne, Laureola, Linne.

The dried bark.

Habitat. Europe, mountainous regions, (Siberia, spontaneous in Canada, New England; cultivated for medicine and ornament).

Syn. Mezereon, Spurge Laurel (Olive), Spurge Flax, Lady Laurel, Wild Pepper; Mezerei Cortex, Cortex (Thymeleae) Coccognidii; Fr. Ecorce de Mezereon-, de Garou-, de Laureole-, de Thymelee, Bois gentil; Ger. Seidelbast, Kellerhals (rinde).

DaDh'ne. L. fr. Gr.

Mezereum Mezereum 555

the laurel or bay tree, into which a nymph, beloved of Apollo, was metamorphosed; lit. fr.

Mezereum Mezereum 556

to burn, +

Mezereum Mezereum 557

a sound - i. e., it crackles when burning.

Me-ze're-um. L. medieval name fr. Pers. mazariyum, which then was applied to species of Daphne.

Gnid'i-um. L. fr. gnidia - i. e., the ancient name of the laurel.

Lau-re'o-la. L. dim. of laurea, a laurel, garland - i. e., a little laurel, garland, a laurel-branch.

Plants. - Small, slender, hardy, straggling shrubs, .3-1.3 M. (1-4°) high; stems branching, smooth, young branches tomentose; leaves 5-7.5 Cm. (2-3') long, obovate-, linear-lanceolate, bluntly pointed or acute, sessile, entire, smooth, dark green; flowers, Feb.-April, before leaves appear, in small clusters, sessile, fragrant, tubular, 5-15 Mm. (1/5-3/5') broad, rose-red (1), white (2), yellowish-green (3); fruit, July, ovate, 3-9 Mm. (1/8-1/3') long, sessile, succulent, bright red (1), scarlet (2), purplish-black (3). Bark, in flexible, tough quilled pieces, somewhat flattened strips, .6-1 M. (2-3°) long, .3-1 Mm. (1/75-1/25') thick, yellowish-, olive-brown (1), purplish-brown (2), purplish-gray (3), smooth, numerous lenticels giving transversely striated appearance, occasionally with many circular, brownish-black apothecia; outer corky layer easily separable from middle bark, which varies from light green to olive-brown with more or less detached bast-fibres; inner surface yellowish-

Fig. 267.   Daphne Mezereum.

Fig. 267. - Daphne Mezereum.

white; satiny lustrous, finely striate; fracture tough, fibrous, inner bark lamellated; odor very slight; taste at first slight, gradually and increasingly pungent, acrid. Powder, grayish-brown; microscopically -numerous bast-fibres, often with attenuated ends, walls free from pores; fragments of yellowish-brown cork-cells, starch-bearing medullary rays; few starch grains, .003-.015 Mm. (1/8325-1/1625) broad. . Solvents: boiling water; alcohol. Dose, gr. 1-10 (.06-.6 Gm.). Commercial.-Plants flourish well in shade or sunshine, the D. Mezereum, best in peat and loam soil, with abundant moisture in summer, carefully avoiding wetting the bark in needed irrigation, as that causes rotting; var. alba has white flowers, yellow fruit (berries); var. autumnalis has purple flowers, Oct.-Jan.; D. Gnidium, best in dry, sunny locations, heaths, pine woods, France, Spain, Portugal; flowers July-Sept.; D. Laureola, best in shade, hedgebanks, in woods, copses, chiefly on calcarious or clay soil. Bark should be collected Nov.-Feb., and while that of the root is most effective its insufficient supply has compelled the acceptance of that from the stem; leaves, wood, roots, flowers possess medicinal properties in the order named. Bark when dried is made into rolls or bundles, most coming to us from Germany. In powdering, muzzle the nostrils, or add occasionally a little water, to prevent inhaling poisonous dust.

Fig. 268. Mezereum: transverse section, magnified 15 diam.

Fig. 268.-Mezereum: transverse section, magnified 15 diam.

Constituents.-Acrid resin, Acrid volatile oil, Daphnin, wax, sugar, yellow coloring matter, malic acid; by dry distillation yields umbelliferon.

Acrid Resin (Mezerein).-The vesicant content; obtained by boiling the bark with alcohol, distilling, and treating residue with water, thus leaving resin; it is blackish-green, hard, brittle, permanent, acrid taste.

Daphnin, C15H16O9.-Bitter glucoside; obtained by precipitating the decoction of alcoholic extract with lead subacetate, filtering, decomposing with hydrogen sulphide, evaporating filtrate, treating residue with alcohol or water, crystallizing; soluble in alkalies with yellow color, insoluble in ether, blue with ferric salts, not acrid, with acids forms glucose and daphnetin; little value medicinally, as that resides in the volatile oil and its transformed resin.

Preparations.-1. Fluidextractum Sarsaparilloe Compositum, 3 p. c.

Unoff. Preps.: Decoction. Extract (alcohol), dose, gr. 1-2 (.06-.13 Gm.). Fluidextract (alcohol 80 p. c), dose, ej-10 (.06-.6 Ml. (Cc.)). Ointment.

The extract and fluidextract are used mostly in liniments.

Properties.-Similar to other drugs with volatile oils, and to sanguinaria; stimulant, diuretic, diaphoretic, alterative, sialagogue, vesicant.

Uses. - Syphilis, scrofula, rheumatism, skin diseases. Externally - local irritant like cantharides, applied to indolent ulcers to make them again active, also to maintain discharges from setons, fly blisters, etc.

Poisoning: Have severe intestinal irritation, vomiting, purging, cold sweats, prostration, collapse, convulsions death. Evacuate stomach with warm albuminous or mucilaginous drinks, follow with milk, fatty oils, and opium for depression.

In compatibles: Tannin and free acids precipitate the glucoside, and water the resin.

Synergists: Alteratives except colchicum.

Allied Products: