Delphinium Staphisagria,


The ripe seeds, with not more than 2 p. c. of foreign vegetable matter.

Habitat. Mediterranean Basin; cultivated, France, Italy.

Syn. Staphisag., Stavesacre, Larkspur Herb, Semen Staphidis-agrige, Semen Pedicularis; Br. Staphisagriae Semina; Fr. Staphsaigre; Ger. Stephanskorner, Lausekorner.

Del-phin'i-um. Gr.

Staphisagria Staphisagria 303

L. delphinus, a dolphin - i. e., the form of the nectary resembles the imaginary figures of the dolphin. Staph-i-sag'ri-a. L. fr. Gr. o-rariis. dried grape, raisin. +

Staphisagria Staphisagria 304

wild - i. e.,

Plant. - Annual herb 1-1.3 M. (3-4°) high, branched, downy; root large, tapering; leaves 10-12.5 Cm. (4-5') broad; palmately 5-9 parted, with long, hairy petioles, lanceolate, pubescent segments; flowers purplish, racemes; pedicels long, stout, hairy; sepals petaloid; fruit 3, thick, oblong, erect, hairy, veined follicles with prolonged curved beak, each follicle 12-seeded, odor of plant unpleasant. Seeds, irregularly triangular, flattened, somewhat tetrahedral, one side convex, 4-7 Mm. (1/6-1/4') long, 3-6 Mm. (1/8-1/4') broad, dark brown, grayish, lighter with age, coarsely reticulate, easily cut showing light brown oily endosperm, enclosing small embryo at pointed end, odor slight, disagreeable; taste intensely bitter, acrid. Powder, grayish-black, brownish; microscopically - thin-walled parenchyma cells, thick-walled cells, polygonal endosperm cells enclosing small aleurone grains and fixed oil, the latter forming in large globules with hydrated chloral T. S. Solvents: alcohol; boiling water. Dose, gr. 1-2 (.06-13 Gm.).

Constituents. - Alkaloids 1 p. c.: Delphinine, Delphinoidine, Del-phisine, Staphisagrine, Staphisagroine, C20H24NO4, malic acid, fixed oil 25 p. c, volatile oil, resin, (proteids, mucilage, ash 9 p. c.).

Delphinine, C22H35NO6. - This leading alkaloid occurs as malate in white acrid crystals and is obtained by boiling the decoction with magnesium oxide, treating precipitate with alcohol, evaporating. As such it consists of three distinct principles, one of resinous nature, separated from its solution in diluted sulphuric acid by adding nitric acid; another which is insoluble in ether (staphisagrine - staphisaine); the third soluble in alcohol, chloroform, ether, and considered pure delphinine. Dose, gr. 1/60-1/10 (.001-.006 Gm.); made into ointment, 5 p. c, and liniment, 5 p. c. with alcohol or olive oil as the base. Delphinoidine, C42H68N2O7. - Amorphous, alkaline, soluble in alcohol, chloroform, ether; brownish-red with sulphuric acid.

Delphisine, C27H46N2O4. - Crystalline, soluble in alcohol, chloroform, ether; dark brown with sulphuric acid.

Staphisagrine (Staphisaine, Staphisain), C22H33NO5. - Amorphous, yellow, insoluble in ether, soluble in alcohol, chloroform; bitter, acrid, red and violet with sulphuric acid.

The fixed oil is extracted with ether or benzene, which also takes out delphinine at the same time. It is claimed that delphinine and delphisine have the same composition, C31H49NO7, and that they crystallize alike from their ether or benzene solutions.

Preparations. - 1. Fluidextractum Staphisagriae. Fluidextract of Staphisagria. (Syn., Fldext. Staphisag., Fluid Extract of Staphis-agria, Fluidextract of Stavesacre (Seed); Fr. Extrait fluide des Semences de Staphisaigre; Ger. Stephanskornerfluidextrakt.)

Manufacture: Similar to Fluidextractum Sabal, page 95; menstruum: alcohol; remove oil, which soon separates, by chilling and filtering through a filter moistened with alcohol. Dose, j-2 (.06-.13 Ml. (Cc.)).

Unoff. Preps.: Extract, dose, gr. 1/4-1 (.016-.06 Gm.). Tincture, 10 p. c, dose, v-15 (.3-1 Ml. (Cc.)). Unguentum Staphisagriae (Br.), 20 parts + yellow wax 10, benzoinated lard, 85.

Properties. - Sedative, emetic, cathartic, diuretic, irritant, parasiticide, poisonous.

Uses. - The seeds were popular with the Greeks, Romans, etc., as emetic, cathartic, but are so dangerous as, in modern times, to be used chiefly externally for killing vermin, lice, itchmite; in rheumatism, neuralgia, earache, toothache, and for catching fish like cocculus

Fig. 120.   Stavesacre seed: a, natural size; b, cross section; c, longitudinal section.

Fig. 120. - Stavesacre seed: a, natural size; b, cross-section; c, longitudinal section.

indicus; they should never be applied to abrasions. When taken internally cause lessened heart action and respiration, great weakness, loss of voluntary movement, then insensibility, frequent spasms, death from spinal-cord and respiratory paralysis (asphyxia). Delphinine resembles closely aconitine and veratrine, irritating the skin, producing tingling and burning inflammation, even when applied as ointment or liniment.

Poisoning: Similar to aconite and vera-trum viride; use emetics or pump, draughts of warm water, tannin, powdered charcoal, diffusible stimulants, strychnine, atropine, artificial respiration, keep patient quiet, feet elevated, extremities warm. To relieve spasms, inhale chloroform or give hydrated chloral (3ss; 2 Gm.), potassium bromide (3j-2; 4-8 Gm.). Use all haste, as death is chiefly by asphyxia.

Allied Plants: