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.
Buchu Folia - Buchu Leaves. - The dried leaves of: 1. Barosma betulina, Bartling. 2. Barosma crenulata, Hooker. 3. Barosma serratifolia, Willd. Imported from the Cape of Good Hope.
Characters. - Smooth, marked with pellucid dots at the indentations and apex; having a powerful odour and a warm camphoraceous taste. 1. About three-quarters of an inch long, coriaceous, obovate, with a recurved truncated apex and sharp cartilaginous spreading teeth. 2. About an inch long, oval-lanceolate, obtuse, minutely crenated, five-nerved. 3. From an inch to an inch and a half long, linear-lanceolate, tapering at each end, sharply and finely serrated, three-nerved.
Impurities. - Leaves of Emplanum serrulatum (for those of B. serratifolia); have no glands.
Substances resembling Buchu: Senna and Uva Ursi, which have entire leaves.
Composition. - Buchu contains a volatile oil, in the glands or "dots," of a yellowish-brown colour, and the source of the peculiar odour of the leaves; a camphor, barosma camphor; a crude oil; and other substances of less importance.
Dose. - 20 to 40 gr.
Infusum Buchu. 1 in 20. Dose, 1 to 4 oz.
Tinctura Buchu. 1 in 8. Dose, 1 to 4 fl.dr.
The action and uses of buchu closely resemble those of pareira, to the description of which the student is referred. It is more frequently employed than pareira, its infusion constituting an excellent vehicle for saline diuretics.
Oleum Rutre - Oil of Rue. - The oil distilled from the fresh herb of Ruta graveolens.
Characters. - Colour pale yellow, odour disagreeable, taste bitter, acrid.
Composition. - Oil of rue is a mixture of various volatile oils. Dose. - 2 to 6 min.
The action of rue is the same as that of savin; but it is seldom employed as an emmenagogue. See Sabinae Cacumina, page 351.
Cuspariae Cortex - Cusparia Bark. Angustura Bark. - The bark of Galipea Cusparia. From tropical South America.
Characters. - In straight pieces, more or less incurved at the sides, from half a line to a line in thickness, pared away at the edges; epidermis mottled, brown, or yellowish-grey; inner surface yellowish-brown, flaky; breaks with a short fracture; the taste is bitter and slightly aromatic. The cut surface examined with a lens usually exhibits numerous white points or minute lines.
Impurity. - The bark of Strychnos Nux vomica ("false angustura bark"), which may be distinguished by its inner surface giving a blood-red colour with nitric acid, whilst true cusparia bark does not. Cusparia resembles Canella alba, but is darker and has pared edges.
Incompatibles. - Mineral acids; perchloride of iron, and other metallic salts.
Composition. - Cusparia contains a neutral crystalline bitter principle, cusparin or angusturin, a second bitter substance, an aromatic oil, but no tannin.
Dose. - 10 to 40 gr.
Preparation, Infusum Cuspariae, - 1 to 20. Dose, 1 to 2 fl.oz.
Cusparia belongs to the group of aromatic bitters, the action and uses of which are fully discussed under Calumba and Caryophyllum. Like other bitters, it has been credited with antipyretic and antiperiodic properties, and in its native place is used instead of cinchona for malarious diseases.