The sliced (and dried

B.P.) bulb of Urginea Scilla (U. maritima). Mediterranean coasts.

Characters. - Bulb pear-shaped, weighing from half a pound to ten pounds; outer scales membranous, brownish red or white; inner scales thick, whitish, fleshy, juicy; taste mucilaginous, intensely and disagreeably bitter, somewhat acrid. The dried slices are white or yellowish-white, slightly translucent, scentless, disagreeably bitter, brittle and easily pulveris-able if very dry.

Fig. 223.   Cut piece of Squill, half the natural size.

Fig. 223. - Cut piece of Squill, half the natural size.

Composition. - The active principle is a glucoside, scillitoxin, or scillain. The scillitin of some authors is probably slightly impure scillitoxin.

Dose. - Of powdered squills, 1-3 gr.

Preparations.

B.P.

Dose.

Acetum Scillae....................................................................................

15-40 min.

Oxymel ,, ....................................................................................

1/2-1 fl. dr.

Pilula Ipecacuanhae cum Scilla (vide p. 522) ..................................

5-10 gr.

,, Scillae Composita (vide p. 523)................................................

5-10 gr.

Syrupus Scillae ..................................................................................

1/2-1 fl. dr.

Tinctura ,, .................................................................................

10-20 min.

U.S.P.

Acetum Scillae ...................................................................................

15 min.-l fl. dr.

Extractum Scillae Fluidum .................................................................

1-2 min.

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

10-30 min.

Tinctura ,, ............................................................................

8-30 min.

Syrupus „ ............................................................................ .....................................................

1/2-1 fl. dr.

U.S.P. Syrupus Scillae Compositus. Squill, 120; senega, 120; tartrate of antimony and potassium, 3; sugar, 1,200; precipitated phosphate of calcium, 9; diluted alcohol and water, of each, q.s. to make 2,000.

Action and Uses. - Squill and its active principle, scillitoxin, act like digitalis.

Internally, in large doses, it causes vomiting and purging. When absorbed into the blood, it slows the pulse and raises the blood-pressure. Like digitalis it acts as a diuretic, and also acts like it on voluntary muscle fibre. It is chiefly used as an adjunct to digitalis to produce diuresis in cases of cardiac dropsy; also as an expectorant, when, although the secretion is profuse, it is difficult to expel. It is of no use when the expectoration is dry and deficient; in such cases ipecacuanha should first be given and followed by squill.

Pilula ipecacuanhae cum scilla, 10 grains night and morning, is a most useful remedy in chronic bronchitis.