Sanguinaria canadensis,


The dried rhizome and roots.

Habitat. N. America - Canada, United States, in shaded situations, on rich soil.

Syn. Sanguin., Blood Root, Red (Root, Puccoon) Indian Paint, Puccoon (Coon) Root, Snake-bite, Sweet Slumber, Tettlewort; Fr. Sanguinaire; Ger. Blut-wurzel.

San-gui-na'ri-a. L. sanguinarius fr. sanguis, blood - i. e., all of the plant-parts abound in, and when injured emit a blood-like juice.

Can-a-den'sis. L. Canadian, belonging to Canada - i. e., habitat, where it is abundant.

Plant. - Perennial herb putting forth in spring a rounded palmate, 5-9-lobed leaf and a slender scape 10-20 Cm. (4-8') high, bearing large, single, white flower; leaves 7.5 Cm. (3') long, 10-12.5 Cm. (4-5') broad, palmately 5-9-lobed, lobes cleft at apex, light green, glaucous beneath, whitish, veins 5-9, reddish; sepals 2, fugacious; petals 8-12, white; fruit, June, capsule (pod), oblong, many-seeded. Rhizome, of horizontal growth, occasionally branched, subcylindrical, flattened, 2-7 Cm. (4/5-3') long, 5-15 Mm. (1/5-3/5') thick, dark brown, slightly annulate, few stem-scars above, many broken filiform roots and root-scars beneath; fracture short, somewhat waxy, brownish-red, yellowish-white, numerous small, circular, yellowish fibro-vascular bundles within 1 Mm. (1/25') of the epidermis; pith vary large, odor slight; taste persistently acrid and bitter. Powder, brownish-red, rnutatory; microscopically - many starch grains resembling those of wheat, .003-.02 Mm. (1/8325-1/1250) broad, also fragments of short latex cells with reddish-brown resinous masses; few tracheal fragments. Solvents: alcohol; diluted acetic acid; water. Dose, expectorant, gr. 1 8 (.00-.5 Gm.); emetic, gr. 15-30 (1-2 Gm.).

Commercial. - Plant growing in the North and South has marked distinctions, but everywhere is one of the earliest harbingers of spring, producing a pretentious white flower at first enfolded in, but expanding and perishing long before the leaf fully develops; all parts exude an orange sap, of deepest color in the rhizome, which deteriorates rapidly with age.

Constituents. - Chelery-thrine, Sanguinarine, Protopine (fumarine), β-Homochelidonine, resin, starch, citric and malic acids, ash 8 p. c.

Chelerythrine, (C21H17NO4)2.-H2O + C6H5CH3, and Sanguinarine, C20H15NO4 + 1/2C2H5OH. - Obtained by exhausting the rhizome with 2 p. c. acetic acid menstruum, adding ammonia water in excess, thereby precipitating chelerythrine, sanguinarine, protopine, resin, and coloring matter, leaving in filtrate homo-chelidonine. This precipitate, when purified, is a yellowish-brown, sternutatory powder, having a variable solubility in alkaloidal solvents (alcohol, chloroform, acetone, ether, benzol); alcoholic solutions - reddish-brown; chloroform and acetone solutions - yellowish; ether and benzol - nearly colorless, giving a blue fluorescence. Exhaust powder with ether, evaporate; the light brown residue boiled with alcohol changes into a white crystalline powder, which, dissolved in chloroform and mixed with an equal quantity of alcohol, gives by spontaneous evaporation in

Fig. 148.   Sanguinaria canadensis.

Fig. 148. - Sanguinaria canadensis.

a few days fine colorless crystals, melting at 263° C. (505° F.) (chelery-thrine), separating out among a mass of reddish crystals, melting at 211° C. (412° F.) (sanguinarine); both alkaloids are purified, when chelerythrine occurs in greater amount, and in colorless crystalline crusts, yielding yellow salts with acids, while sanguinarine is in much the less quantity, in fine needles, yielding intensely red salts. Dose (sanguinarine), expectorant, gr. 1/12-1/8 (.005-008 Gm.); emetic, gr. 1/4-1/2 (.015-.03 Gm.); properties similar to the drug.

Protopine, C29H19NO5. - Obtained by treating impure sanguinarine with chloroform-alcohol, when it crystallizes out either as hemispherical wart-like aggregates of fine needles, or as well-developed colorless prisms; or free original filtrate from resin, add ammonia water, shake out with chloroform, evaporate, dissolve amorphous residue in hot acetic ether; melts at 206° C. (403° F.); with sulphuric acid - deep purple color.

Fig. 149.   Sanguinaria rhizome, showing cross section.

Fig. 149. - Sanguinaria rhizome, showing cross-section.

Homochelidonine, C21H23NO5. - Obtained by freeing the original filtrate from resin, adding ammonia water, shaking out with chloroform, evaporating, and dissolving amorphous residue in hot acetic ether, when upon cooling wart-like crystals (protopine) separate out, and also crystals which melt at 155° C.; 311° F. (jS-homochelidonine); protopine is almost insoluble in acetic acid, while homochelidonine is very soluble, a property which renders the alkaloids easily separable.

Resin. - Yields protocatechuic acid.

Preparations. - 1. Tinctura Sanguinariae. Tincture of Sanguinaria. (Syn., Tr. Sanguin., Tincture of Bloodroot; Fr. Teinture de Sanguinaire; Ger. Blutwurzeltinktur.)

Manufacture: 10 p. c. Menstruum 60 p. c. alcohol - moisten sanguinaria 10 Gm. with 3 Ml. (Cc.) of menstruum to which has been added hydrochloric acid 1 Ml. (Cc.), transfer to percolator without pressing, macerate, well-covered, for 6 hours, pack firmly, add menstruum, macerate for 24 hours, continue with menstruum q. s. 100 Ml. (Cc.). Dose, v-60; - 3j-2 (.3-4; - 4-8 Ml. (Cc.)).

Unoff. Preps.: Acetum, 10 p. c., dose, x-30; - 3j-4 (.6-2; - 4-15 Ml, (Cc.)). Fluidextract (citric acid 10, alcohol 75, water 25), dose, j-5; - 10-30 (.06-.3; - .0-2 Ml. (Cc.)). Infusion, 5 p. c., dose, ℥ss-4 (15-120 Ml. (Cc.)). Syrup, 22.5 p. c.

Properties. - Systemic emetic, stimulating expectorant (increasing broncho-pulmonary mucus), tonic, alterative, sialagogue, sternutatory, ciiimenagogue, cardiac paralyzer, violent irritant, acro-narcotic poison. Small doses excite the stomach, increase the circulation, while large doses nauseate and depress the pulse; full doses vomit actively; when inhaled causes violent sneezing.

Uses. - Bronchitis, croup, asthma, pneumonia, chronic nasal catarrh (tincture x; .6 Ml. (Cc.) at a dose), atonic dyspepsia with torpid liver, jaundice, duodenal catarrh, amenorrhoea, syphilis. Externally the powdered drug or juice to ulcers, warts, scaly and pustular eruptions, nasal polypi.

Poisoning: Have violent emesis, salivation, catharsis, burning in stomach, thirst, faintness, vertigo, dim vision, dilated pupils, reduced temperature, cold sweats, slow, weak, irregular pulse, great prostration, death from paralysis of heart and respiratory centres, often preceded by convulsions. Wash out the stomach, give diffusible stimulants freely, amyl nitrite; morphine and atropine to antagonize depression of circulation and local irritation (pain and nausea).

Allied Plants: