This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics: An Introduction to the National Treatment of Disease", by John Mitchell Bruce. Also available from Amazon: The pharmacology and therapeutics of the materia medica.
Veratri Viridis Radix - Green Hellebore Root.-The dried rhizome of Veratrum viride. Collected in autumn in the United States and Canada.
Characters.-Slices, fragments, or conical truncated entire pieces, earthy, black outside, light within; with numerous yellowish radicles attached to it. When dry it is inodorous. Taste at first sweet, then bitter, followed by a persistent acrid burning sensation in the mouth.
Substances resembling Veratrum Viride: Valerian, Serpentary, and Arnica (q.v.). Veratrum has thicker rootlets.
Composition.-Veratrum viride contains a mixture of alkaloids, which have been variously separated and named by different pharmacologists, veratria, veratroidin and jervin..
Preparation. Tinctura Veratri Viridis.-1 in 5. Lose, 5 to 20 min.
Sabadilla - Cevadilla. - The dried fruit of Asagraea officinalis. Imported from Mexico.
Characters.-Fruit about half an inch long, consisting of three light brown papyraceous follicles, each containing from one to three seeds, which are about a quarter of an inch long, blackish-brown, shining, slightly winged, possessing an intensely acrid bitter taste.
Composition.-The active constituent of sabadilla is veratria.
From Sabadilla is made ;
Veratria, C32H52N2O8.-An alkaloid obtained from Ceva-dilla; not quite pure.
Source.-Obtained from Cevadilla by (1) making and con- centrating a tincture of the seeds; (2) pouring into water to precipitate the albumen, and filtering; (3) precipitating crude veratria from the filtrate by NH4O, and washing; (4) purifying by solution in HC1, digestion with charcoal, reprecipitation with NH4O, filtration, washing, and drying.
Characters.-Pale grey, amorphous, odourless, but very irritant to nostrils; strongly and persistently bitter, and acrid; insoluble in water, soluble in spirit.
Dose, 1/70 to 1/16 gr., carefully divided in pill.
Preparation. Unguentum Yeratriae.-8 gr. to 1 oz. Lard, with Olive Oil 1/2 fl.dr.