Strophanthus. Strophanthus


Kombe, Oliver,

The dried, ripe seeds, deprived of the long awn.

hispid us, De Candolle. '

Habitat. Tropical Africa (Kombe, Guinea, Senegambia), Asia, Philippines. Syn. Strophanti.; Br. Strophanthi Semina; Fr. Strophanthus, Semence de Strophanthe; Ger. Semen Strophanthi, Strophanthussamen. Stro-phan'thus. L. fr. Gr.

Strophanthus Strophanthus 651

turning, to turn, twist, +

Strophanthus Strophanthus 652

a flower i. e., from the twisted and tailed lobes of the corolla.

Kom-be'. Native place of plant, in Gaboon district, Africa. His'pi-dus. L. hairy, bristly - i e., seeds covered with long, coarse hairs.

Plants. - Woody climbers, stem, several inches thick, emits milky juice; leaves rough; flowers Oct.-Nov., cream-color, yellow at base, purple-spotted above, cymes; corolla gamopetalous, lobes extended in narrow, tail-like ends, 22.5-30 Cm. (9-12') long; fruit June, pair of follicles, 20-37.5 Cm. (8-15') long, 2.5 Cm. (1') thick, acuminate, each containing about 200 long-awned seeds. Seeds, lance-ovoid, flattened, obtusely edged, 7-20 Mm. (1/3-4/5') long, 4 Mm. (J') broad,

2 Mm. (1/12') thick; light fawn, greenish tinge, silky-lustrous from dense coating of closely appressed hairs (S. Kombe'), or light dark-brown, nearly smooth, sparingly hairy (S. hispidus); ridge on one side from centre to summit; fracture short, soft, whitish, oily; odor heavy when crushed and moistened; taste very bitter. Powder, grayish-brown, odor distinct; microscopically - chiefly parenchyma cells and fragments of hairs (few in S. hispid-us); mounted in hydrated chloral T. S. shows numerous oil globules; many fragments of endosperm greenish with sulphuric acid (stro-phanthin). Should be kept in tightly-closed containers, adding occasionally a few drops of chloroform or carbon tetrachloride, to prevent insect attack. Solvents: alcohol (65 p. c); boiling water partially. Dose, gr. 1/8-1/2 (.008-03 Gm.).

Adulterations. - White, woolly strophanthus, S. Nicholson'ii (as'per), hairs white, long, producing shaggy, stout appearance; S. gra'tus, seeds brown, without hairs; S. Courmon'tii, seeds small, brownish, ventral ridge obscure, with calcium oxalate crystals; Kichx'ia africa'na, seeds with both ends acuminate, terete, hairless.

Commercial. - Plants abound in the forests between the coasts and centre of the continent, reaching the highest trees, and hanging in festoons and coils upon the ground. Fruit is collected by the natives who peel off husks (epicarp, mesocarp), preserve, and dry the smooth, yellowish-brown, more leathery inner covering (endocarp) enclosing the seeds, and as such consists of seeds 37 p. c, endocarp (pod) 37 p. c, hairs 25 p. c.; the lighter in color the pappus, the higher in grade the contained seeds; occurs on the market in pods and as clean seeds.

Constituents. - Strophanthin 1-3 p. c, choline, trigonelline, fixed oil 25-30 p. c, starch, proteids, pseudo-strophanthin (?), ash 4-5 p. c. Strophanthinum, Strophanthin, C40H66O19, official. - (Syn., Fr. Strophantine, Ineine; Ger. Strophanthin.) This glucoside or mixture of glucosides is obtained by exhausting seeds with ether or petroleum benzin (removing fat), then extracting with 70 p. c. alcohol, reclaiming

Fig. 316.   Strophanthus KombS: flowering branch; a, a, a, budding branches.

Fig. 316. - Strophanthus KombS: flowering branch; a, a, a, budding branches.

latter, dissolving residue in water, filtering; add tannin, wash precipitate, mix with litharge, dry, exhaust with alcohol, precipitate with ether; heated with diluted hydrochloric acid becomes hydrolyzed, yielding strophanthidin, C27H38O7 + 2H2O, which precipitates, and strophanthobiose-methyl-ether, C12H21O10CH3, remaining in solution. It is a white, yellowish powder, containing varying amounts of water, which it does not lose entirely without decomposition, permanent (must use great caution in tasting and then only in very dilute solutions), soluble in water, diluted alcohol, less so in dehydrated alcohol, nearly insoluble in chloroform, ether, benzene; solutions neutral, dextrorotatory. Tests: 1. With sulphuric acid - emerald-green color, changing to brown; incinerate .1 Gm. - ash non-weighable. 2. Aqueous

Fig. 317.   Strophanthus Kombe: capsule, one half natural size.

Fig. 317. - Strophanthus Kombe: capsule, one-half natural size.

solution with trace of ferric chloride T. S. and a few Ml. (Cc.) of sulphuric acid - red-brown precipitate, turning dark green in 1-2 hours. Should be kept dark, in well-closed containers. Dose, gr. 1/300-1/120 (.0002-.0005 Gm.).

Fixed Oil. - Brownish-green, non-drying, heavy odor, sp. gr. 0.925, contains volatile oil, phytosterin, formic acid, oleates, stearates, arachinates; may be the irritating ingredient.

Preparations. - 1. Tinctura Strophanthi. Tincture of Strophanthus. (Syn., Tr. Strophanth.; Fr. Teinture (de Semences) de Strophanthus; Ger. Strophanthus(samen)tinktur.)

Manufacture: 10 p. c. Percolate slowly 10 Gm. with purified petroleum benzin-until no greasy stain left; unpack and expose contents to air until dry and benzin odor disappeared, then proceed similar to Tinctura Veratri Viridis, page 101; menstruum: alcohol - moistening and macerating for 48 hours (instead of 24 hours) before starting percolation. Dose, ej-10 (.06-6 Ml. (Cc.)).

Fig. 318.   Strophanthus seed with comose awn.

Fig. 318. - Strophanthus seed with comose awn.

Unoff. Preps.: Decoction, 1 p. c, dose, ex-60 (.6-4 Ml. (Cc.)). Extraction Strophanthi (Br.), 50 p. c, dose, gr. 1/4-l (.016-.06 Gm.). Test: 1. The tincture or extract + ferric chloride T. S. -+- sulphuric acid, gives brown precipitate changing to green after 1 hour, and so remains 3-4 hours.

Properties. - Similar to digitalis; heart stimulant, diuretic. Acts directly on muscular tissue of the heart, increasing the contractile power; small doses stimulate contractions, strengthen the force and lower the rate of heart-beats, thus prolonging diastole without altering the duration of the systole, making regular an irregular heart; large doses paralyze the heart, leaving cardiac muscle rigid. It is a better diuretic and a more powerful eardiae stimulant than digitalis, the effect coming on much more quickly, yet being less permanent; reduces pulse and temperature, but is not cumulative, nor does it occasion gastro-intestinal derangement; the increased cardiac action stimulates renal circulation, thereby causing the diuretic action.

Fig. 319.   Apocynum cannabinum.

Fig. 319. - Apocynum cannabinum.

Uses. - Cardiac dyspnoea, chronic Bright's, valvular heart lesions, palpitation, weak heart, pulmonary oedema from pneumonia, cardiac dropsy, endocarditis, hysteria, chlorosis, renal calculi, asthma, exophthalmic goitre. The effect is felt within half an hour, lasting 4-8 hours, reducing pulse 10-30 beats, at the same time increasing force and volume. The natives make of it an arrow poison (kombe), which is an extract, to be applied as a coating over several inches of the pointed end. Game, when wounded, soon becomes exhausted, but flesh is not injured by the poison.

Poisoning, Incompatibles, Synergists: Same as for digitalis.

Allied Plants: