Spigelia marylandica,


The dried rhizome and roots with not more than 10 p. c. of stems, foreign matter.

Habitat. United States, Maryland, southward, west to Texas, Wis.; in rich woods.

Syn. Pinkroot, Maryland (Carolina, Indian) Pink, Worm-grass (weed), Star-bloom, American Wormroot; Fr. Spigelie du Maryland; Ger. Spigelie, Mary-landische Spigelie.

Spi-ge'li-a. L. Spigelius, after Adrian von der Spiegel (1558-1625), professor of anatomy and surgery at Padua, Flemish botanist, who first gave directions for preparing an herbarium.

Ma-ry-lan'di-ca. L. of, or belonging to Maryland - i. e., its supposed habitat and one most northern.

Plant. - Perennial herb; stems several, .3-.6 M. (1-2°) high, erect, round below, square above, purplish, smooth; leaves sessile, ovate-lanceolate, 5-7.5 Cm. (2-3') long entire; flowers June-July, 4-12, large, sessile, on one side of stem above the leaves, spike; corolla funnel-shaped, 5 Cm. (2') long, scarlet-red outside, yellow inside; fruit compressed, 2-seeded, yellow; seeds few, yellow. Rhizome, horizontal, slightly oblique, flexuous, branched, 1.5-5 Cm. (3/5-2') long, 2-5 Mm. (1/12-1/5') thick, dark brown, slightly annulate, with scars of bud-scales, knotty above from approximate stem-bases, bearing cup-shaped scars; from lower and lateral portions numerous long, rather coarse, sparingly branched, brittle roots; fracture short; internally differentiated into 3 nearly equal zones - pith, wood, bark; odor slightly aromatic; taste bitter, pungent. Few if any roots have thin, terminal portions with bark stripped from the slender strands of wood; stems attached often 6 Cm. (2 2/5') long, 3 Mm. (J') thick, grayish-brown, nodes annulate, marked by opposite leaf-scars. Powder, grayish-brown; microscopically - numerous starch grains, .002-006 Mm. (1/12500) broad, fragments of lignified tracheae and tracheids conspicuous, few fragments of tracheae with spiral thickening, few bast-fibres and reddish-brown epidermal cells. Solvents: diluted alcohol; boiling water. Dose, 3ss-2 (2-8 Gm.); children, gr. 10-20 (.6-1.3 Gm.).

Adulterations. - Common: Rhizome of Ruel'lia cilio'sa, larger, paler, fewer coarse roots, with readily separating bark, cystoliths, contributing the so-called "East Tennessee Pink-root," once attributed to Phlox Carolina, and intentionally marketed, entire or admixed, in packages under the name of spigelia; also Phlox ovata and P. glaberrima, rhizomes and roots closely resemble spigelia, but darker and less ridged than ruellia; small amounts of saponaria, serpentaria, hydrastis, caulophyllum, dioscorea, collinsonia, earthy matter.

Commercial. - Pinkroot, now exterminated by ruthless collection from many sections, flourishes in rich soil near the border of woods, and rarely grows north of the Potomac River. The Creek and Cherokee Indians formerly collected much of it in Georgia by pulling up the entire plant and marketing it in bales, 300-350 pounds (136-158 Kg.); now only the official portion is collected, dried carefully, packed in casks or bales and sent into commerce via St. Louis, New Orleans, the most coming from S. W. States; that in casks is preferred, being less damp and moldy. Constituents. - Bitter principle, Spigeline, volatile oil, resins, tannin, wax, fat, gum, ash 8-10 p. c.

Bitter Principle. - This is precipitated by tannin, but not by lead acetate, is soluble in water, alcohol, insoluble in ether.

Spigeline. - Volatile alkaloid obtained by distilling with milk of lime over a paraffin-bath, collecting distillate in hydrochloric acid, evaporating to dryness, crystallizing from alcoholic solution. Tests: 1. With iodine - brownish-red precipitate. 2. With Mayer's test

Fig. 309.   Spigelia marylandica.

Fig. 309. - Spigelia marylandica.

(potassio-mercuric iodide) - white crystalline precipitate, soluble in alcohol, ether, acids, its solubility in this latter distinguishing it from all other alkaloids. 3. Benzin removes from Phlox Carolina a hydrocarbon (crystalline, white, tasteless) 1 p. c, fat, wax, red coloring matter, thus differing somewhat from spigelia when treated similarly.

Preparations. - 1. Fluidextractum Spigelia. Fluidextract of Spigelia. (Syn., Fldext. Spigel., Fluid Extract of Spigelia, Fluidextract of Pink Root; Fr. Extrait fluide de Spigelie; Ger. Spigelienfluidextrakt.)

Manufacture: Similar to Fluidextractum Sabal, page 95; menstruum: diluted alcohol. Dose, 3ss-2 (2-8 Ml. (Cc.)); child 3 years old, ex-20 (.6-1.3 Ml. (Cc.)).

Unoff. Prep.: Compound Infusion (Worm Tea), 15 Gm. + senna 10, fennel 10, manna 30, water q. s. 500 Ml. (Cc.), dose, ℥ij-5 (60-150 Ml. (Cc.)).

Properties. - Anthelmintic, toxic, mydriatic. Large doses cause narcotic poisoning, vertigo, dim vision, mydriasis, spasms, convulsions; but if it should purge, as it often does, only a few of these symptoms occur - hence no danger when combined with a direct cathartic.

Uses. - To destroy round worms (Ascaris lumbricoides); usually associated with a cathartic, as senna, calomel, etc., which hastens the removal of the benumbed worm from the system before it has time to recover from the effect of the spigelia.

Poisoning: Have dimness of vision, vertigo, dilated pupils, dry throat, convulsions, delirium. Give wine, ammonia, brandy, diffusible stimulants, amyl nitrite, atropine, digitalis.

Allied Plants:

1. Spigelia anthel'mia, Demerara Pink Root, Worm Grass - W. Indies. Used for a long time by the native Indians as a vermifuge and narcotic; fresh root has nauseous odor, is bitter, acrid, and kills cattle.