Catechu. - Synonym. - Cutch. An extract prepared from the wood of Acacia Catechu (Linne filius) Willdenow (nat. ord. Legurninosae).




In irregular masses, containing fragments of leaves, dark brown, brittle, somewhat porous and glossy when freshly broken. It is nearly inodorous, and has a strongly astringent and sweetish taste.


The chief constituents are - (1) Catechutannic Acid, about 45 per cent., the active principle, isomeric with Catechin, and converted into it by boiling or by the saliva, a red color being formed. (2) Catechin or Catechuic Acid C21H20O9+5H2O, probably inactive. Both constituents give a green precipitate with Ferric Salts. (3) Pyrocatechin or catechol gives a green color with ferric chloride.

Incompatibles. - Alkalies, metallic salts, and gelatin.

Impurity. - Starch.

Dose, 10 to 30 gr.; .60 to 2.00 gm.


1. Tinctura Catechu Composita. - Compound Tincture of Catechu. Catechu, 100; Cassia Cinnamon, 50; by maceration and percolation with diluted Alcohol, to 1000.

Dose, 1/2 to 2 fl. dr. • 2. to 8. c.c.

2. Trochisci Catechu. - Troches of Catechu. Catechu, 6; Sugar, 65; Tragacanth, 2 gm.; Stronger Orange Flower Water, a sufficient quantity to make 100 troches. Each troche contains about 1 gr.; .06 gm.

Dose, 1 to 6 troches.

Action And Therapeutics Of Catechu

Catechu is a powerful astringent, acting in virtue of its tannic acid, and having a precisely similar action to it. It is used as a troche for sore throat, and the compound tincture is very efficacious for diarrhoea.