The dried ripe fruit of Capsicum fastigiatum. Zanzibar.

Characters. - Pod membranous, from five to eight lines long, two lines broad, straight, conical, pointed, smooth, shining, but somewhat corrugated, orange-red; intensely hot in taste.

Composition. - An exceedingly acrid, volatile substance, capsaicin, and an alkaloid resembling coniine in odour.

Adulteration. - The powder is occasionally found adulterated with red lead.

Test. - Digest in nitric acid and add sulphate of sodium. There should be no precipitate of sulphate of lead. It should burn away without residue of lead.

Preparations.

B.P.

Dose.

Tinctura Capsici..............................................................................

..5 20 min.

(as a gargle, 1/2-2 fl. dr. in 5 oz. of fluid).

U.S.P.

Extractum Capsici Fluidum..............................................................

2 10 mm.

Oleoresina Capsici...........................................................................

1/8-1 min.

Tinctura Capsici...............................................................................

8 min. to 2 fl. dr.

Emplastrum Capsici.........................................................................

Action and Uses. - Externally capsicum is an irritant, producing warmth, redness, and vesication. Internally it is an irritant, and in large doses will produce gastro-enteritis.

It has been used for unbroken chilblains, neuralgia, and rheumatic pains. The Emplastrum Capsici of the U.S.P. is a useful application in cases of myalgia and sciatica. Internally it may be used as a gargle for tonsillitis, pharyngitis, and relaxed sore-throat. It is used as a condiment, and to relieve flatulence. It is also recommended to relieve the sinking in the epigastrium felt by dipsomaniacs. It promotes appetite and stimulates the stomach.