The bark of the root of Sassafras officinalis.

Characters. - In irregular fragments, deprived of the grey, corky layer; bright rust-brown, soft, fragile, with a short, corky fracture; strongly fragrant; sweetish, aromatic, and somewhat astringent.

U.S.P. Oleum Sassafras. Oil of Sassafras. - A volatile oil distilled from sassafras.

Characters. - A colourless or yellowish liquid becoming darker and thicker by age and exposure to air, having the characteristic odour of sassafras, a warm, aromatic taste, and a neutral reaction; sp. gr. about 1.090.

Solubility. - It is readily soluble in alcohol.

Reactions. - When treated with cold nitric acid it becomes dark red, and is finally converted into a red resin.

Dose. - 1-5 min.

Preparations.

u.s.p.

Dose.

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

4-6 fl. oz.

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

30-60 min.

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

1-4 fl. dr.

Action and Use. - Sassafras has a destructive action on infusoria (cf. p. 63). It is a stimulant diaphoretic, and is used in rheumatism and syphilis, generally in combination with other drugs.