The dried bark of the root of Punica Granatum. South of Europe.

Fig. 192.   Pomegranate, half the natural size.

Fig. 192. - Pomegranate, half the natural size.

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. - The most important constituents on which its anthelmintic action depends are two liquid alkaloids, pelle-tierine and iso-pelletierine. It contains two other alkaloids which are inactive, tannin, mannite, etc.

Preparation.

B.P.

Dose.

Decoctum Granati Radicis...(2 ounces to 1 pint).,

1-3 fl. oz.

U.S.P

None.

Uses. - Pomegranate is chiefly used as an anthelmintic for tapeworm. As it is not purgative, but rather astringent, its use must be followed by that of a cathartic. Often, several doses are required. The dose of the tannate of pelletierine is 1/2-3/4 gr. (0.03-0.05 gm.), taken fasting and followed in fifteen minutes by a brisk purgative.

Papayaceae.

Papayotin. Not officinal. The dried juice of the papaw tree, Carica papaya. - Papain. A ferment obtained from the juice of Carica papaya. The term papain is frequently applied to the dried juice.

Preparation. - When scratches are made on the half-ripe fruit of the Carica papaya a milky juice exudes in abundance. When dried it forms a powder somewhat like gum-arabic, and to this the name of papayotin is sometimes given. Papain is the pure ferment associated with a proteid and obtained by precipitation with alcohol and removal of the chief albuminous matters by basic acetate of lead.

Dose. - 5 to 10 grains.

Action. - The fruit of the papaw tree has long been used in the West Indies to render beef tender. The unripe fruit is split open and rubbed over the surface of the meat previous to cooking. Its action probably depends upon the fact that papain has a digestive action not only upon muscular fibre, but also upon connective tissue. It digests fibrin and albumin in neutral and slightly alkaline solutions. It also rapidly dissolves the false membrane of croup. When injected into the circulation in large doses it paralyses the heart. In smaller quantities it appears to favour the multiplication of micrococci in the blood (p. 85).

Uses. - It has been recommended to dissolve the fibrinous membrane in croup and diphtheria, a solution being painted over the pharynx every five minutes. It has also been recommended to destroy epithelioma and warts. Internally it appears to be useful in dyspepsia and catarrhal conditions of the stomach.