The dried young branches of Solarium Dulcamara. From indigenous plants which have shed their leaves.

Characters. - Light, hollow, cylindrical, about the thickness of a goose-quill; bitter and subsequently sweetish to the taste.

Fig. 211.   Dulcamara, a, reduced 1/2. b, natural thickness.

Fig. 211. - Dulcamara, a, reduced 1/2. b, natural thickness.

Composition. - It contains solanine, and less dulcamarine, both alkaloids, amorphous, and of a bitter taste. It yields also sugar.

Preparation.

u.s.p.

Dose.

Extractum Dulcamarae Fluidum.......................................

1 fl. dr.

Action. - The action of dulcamarine has not been investigated.

Solanine, both in warm and cold-blooded animals, paralyses the central nervous system without affecting the peripheral nerves or voluntary muscles. It slows the heart and respiration, lessens sensibility, and causes death with convulsions. In warm-blooded animals there is constant fall of temperature, and there is entire absence of any action on the pupil. In man it produces weakness, laboured breathing, nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness, but no true sleep. The pupil is unaffected and there is no increased movement of the bowels, diuresis, or diaphoresis.

Uses. - Dulcamara is chiefly used as an alterative in scaly skin diseases, in which it is often combined with antimony. It has been recommended by Husemann in chronic bronchial catarrh, asthma, and whooping cough.