The (dried B.P.) root of Smilax officinalis (Smilax medica, and other undetermined species of Smilax, U.S.P.). It is commonly known as Jamaica Sarsaparilla, from having been formerly obtained from central America, by way of that island.

Characters. - Roots not thicker than a goose-quill, generally many feet in length, reddish-brown, covered with rootlets, and folded in bundles about eighteen inches long, scentless.

Composition.- The active principle is a crystalline body, parillin or smilacin.

Preparations.

B.P.

Dose.

Decoctum Sarsae (2 1/2 oz., water 1 pint)............................................

2-10 fl. oz.

,, ,, Compositum...........................................................

2-10 fl. oz.

Extractum ,, Liquidum..............................................................

1/2-4 fl. dr.

U.S.P.

Decoctum Sarsaparillae Compositum ...................................................

4-6 fl. oz.

Extractum ,, ,, Fluidum......................................

30-60 min.

,, ,, Fluidum.........................................................

30-60 min.

Syrupus ,, Compositus..................................................

1-4 fl. dr.

Decoctum Sarsae Compositum, B.P.; Decoctum SarsaparillaeCom-positum, U.S.P. Compound Decoction of Sarsaparilla. - Sarsaparilla, cut and bruised, 10 parts, or 2 1/2 oz.; sassafras, guaiacum wood and liquorice root, of each 2 parts, or 1/4 oz.; mezereon, 1 part, or 1 dr.; boiling water up to 100 parts, or up to 1 pint after straining.