The dried rhizome and rootlets of Aristolochia Serpentaria or Aristolochia reticulata. From the southern parts of North America.

Fig. 217.   Serpentary, half the natural size.

Fig. 217. - Serpentary, half the natural size.

Characters. - A small roundish rhizome, with a tuft of numerous slender rootlets, about three inches long, yellowish, of an agreeable camphoraceous odour, and a warm bitter camphoraceous taste.

Composition. - An essential oil, and resin, tannin, and sugar.

Adulteration. - Other roots fraudulently or inadvertently added, distinguished by appearance and smell.

Preparations.

B.P.

Dose.

Infusum Serpentariae.......................................................................

1-2 fl. oz.

Tinctura Cinchonae Composita...........................................................

1/2-2 fl. dr.

Tinctura Serpentariae.......................................................................

1/2-2 fl. dr.

U.S.P.

Extractum Serpentariae Fluidum.........................................................

10-30 min.

Tinctura Cinchonae Composita..........................................................

1-4 fl. dr.

Tinctura Serpentariae ........................................................................

1-3 fl. dr.

Action and Uses. - Serpentary is a stimulant tonic, and is used in atonic dyspepsia with nervous depression. Owing to its having some diaphoretic and diuretic properties, it is used in chronic rheumatism.

Asarum Europaeum or Asarabacca belongs to this order; its leaves were formerly used as an errhine. They cause powerful vomiting and purging when administered internally.