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.
The Oil distilled from the leaves of Melaleuca minor. Imported from Batavia and Singapore.
Composition. - Oil of Cajuput consists of hydrate of cajupu-tene (2/3), isomeric with Borneo camphor, C10Hl8O, and a second oil (1/3), boiling at a higher temperature.
Impurities. - Copper; detected by usual tests. Other volatile oils.
Dose. - 1 to 3 min.
Spiritus Cajuputi. - 1 in 50. Dose, 30 to 60 min.
Oil of Cajuput is also contained in Linimentum Crotonis. 3 1/2 in 8.
Eucalypti Folia - Eucalyptus Leaves. (Not Officinal.) - The dried leaves of Eucalyptus globulus, the Blue Gum tree of Australia.
Characters. - Grey-green coriaceous leaves, 6 to 12 inches in length, 1/2 to 1 inch in breadth, ensiform, smooth, entire, studded with oil glands; smell, camphoraceous; taste, bitter and pungently aromatic.
Composition. - The leaves contain 2.75 to 6 per cent of an aethereal oil, eucalyptol, resin, tannin, salts, and colouring matter. Eucalyptol is a colourless mobile liquid obtained by distillation from the leaves, with a strong agreeable odour, consisting of 70 per cent. of a terpene, with cymol. It readily changes into resin, yielding ozone.
Dose. - Of the leaves, 5 gr. and upwards; of the oil, 1 to 5 mm.
Eucalyptus Gauze; and Eucalyptus Ointment. - 1 of the oil in 5.
Externally. - Eucalyptus oil is a powerful antiseptic and disinfectant. The gauze has almost supplanted carbolic acid gauze in Lister's process, as it is neither irritant locally, nor poisonous when absorbed.
Internally. - The action of eucalyptus oil is nearly the same as that of oil of turpentine, with which it is otherwise so closely allied. (See Terebinthinae Oleum.) It is antipyretic and antiperiodic to a degree, like quinia, and was once believed to be of great value in ague, but this is now doubtful. The blue gum tree is planted in aguish districts to free the soil of malaria.
The remote local action of eucalyptus is important. It leaves the system by the kidneys and lungs, giving its odour to their excretions, and disinfecting these and the mucous surfaces. The oil is therefore indicated in pyelitis and cystitis on the one hand; and in bronchitis, dilated bronchi, and asthma on the other hand.
Granati Radicis Cortex - Pomegranate Root Bark. - The dried bark of the root of Punica, Granatum. Obtained from the south of Europe.
Characters. - In quills or fragments of a greyish-yellow colour externally, yellow internally, having a short fracture, little odour, and an astringent slightly bitter taste.
Composition. - Pomegranate root bark contains tannin; a crystallisable body punicin; a substance resembling mannite (see Manna), mucilage, etc.
Preparation. Decoctum Granati Radicis. - 1 in 10. Dose, 1 to 2 fl.oz.
Pomegranate root bark has an anthelmintic and slightly irritant action, much like kousso (see Cusso, page 242), but is somewhat astringent unless taken in large quantities. It has long been used in the treatment of the tape-worm, which is expelled apparently (not actually) dead by a dose of the decoction, preceded and followed by a purgative.