Prepared from Nectandra or Bebeeru bark. It is probably a mixture of sulphates of beberine, C36H42N2O6, nectandrine, C40H46N2O6, and other alkaloids.

Preparation. - By exhausting the bark with diluted sulphuric acid, removing most of the acid by lime, precipitating the alkaloid with ammonia, and neutralising with sulphuric acid.

Properties. - In dark-brown, thin, translucent scales, yellow when in powder, with a strong bitter taste.

Solubility. - Soluble in water and in alcohol.

Reactions. - Its watery solution gives a white precipitate with chloride of barium (sulphate); and with caustic soda a yellowish-white precipitate, which is dissolved by agitating the mixture with twice its volume of ether (beberine).

Impurities. - Mineral matter.

Tests. - The ethereal solution, separated by a pipette and evaporated, leaves a yellow translucent residue, entirely soluble in dilute acids. It is entirely destructible by heat. Water forms with it a clear brown solution.

Action and Uses. - Bebeeru bark is seldom used in medicine; both it and the sulphate of beberine are said to have a similar action to quinine (cf. p. 61), and have been used as tonics and antiperiodics, but sulphate of beberine is but a poor substitute for the cinchona alkaloids.