The root of Cephaelis Ipecacuanha (Brotero) A. Richard (nat. ord. Rubiaceae).


Brazil to Bolivia and New Granada, in damp forests; cultivated in India.


About 10 cm. long, and 4 or 5 mm. thick; mostly simple, contorted, dull grayish-brown or blackish, finely wrinkled; closely and irregularly annulated, and often transversely fissured; bark thick, brittle, brownish, easily separated from the thin, whitish, tough, ligneous portion; odor slight, peculiar, nauseous; taste bitterish, acrid, nauseating.


The chief constituents are - (1) Emetine, C30H44N2O4, from I to 2 per cent., an uncrystallizable alkaloid. It is colorless (turns yellow on keeping), odorless, bitter, and soluble in Alcohol, Ether and Chloroform, slightly soluble in water, not in caustic alkali. (2) Cephaeline, C28H38 N2O4, an amorphous, bitter alkaloid, colorless (turns yellow on keeping), soluble in caustic alkali, less soluble in Ether than Emetine, but freely in Alcohol and Chloroform. (3) A third alkaloid in minute quantities. (4) A mixture called Cephaelic or Ipecacuanhic Acid. (5) Tannic acid, Volatile Oil, Starch, Gum, etc.

Ipecacuanha contains about 2 per cent. of alkaloids. The proportion of each varies in different specimens of the root, but as a rule there is twice as much Emetine as Cephaeline. Emetine hydrochlorate and hydrobromate are in the market; a solution of either in sherry 1 to 3840 is of about the same strength as Vinum Ipecacuanhae.


Hemidesmus, which is cracked, not annulated. Almond-Powder, occasionally found mixed with powdered Ipecacuanha root, gives odor of \ Hydrocyanic Acid when moistened.

Dose, of powdered root, 1/2 to 2 gr.; .03 to .12 gm. (expectorant), 15 to 30 gr.; 1. to 2. gm. (emetic).


1. Extractum Ipecacuanhae Fluidum. - Fluid Extract of Ipecac. By maceration and percolation with Alcohol and Water, distillation of the Alcohol, addition of water to residue, evaporation and addition of Alcohol.

Fluid Extract of Ipecacuanha is used to make Syrupus Ipecacuanhae, Tinctura Ipecacuanhae et Opii, and Vinum Ipecacuanhae. Dose, 1 to 5 m.; .06 to .30 gm.

2. Pulvis Ipecacuanhae et Opii. - See Opium, p. 352.

3. Trochisci Ipecacuanhae. - Troches of Ipecac. Ipecac, 2; Tragacanth, 2; Sugar, 65 gm.; Syrup of Orange, a sufficient quantity for 100 troches. Each troche contains 1/3 gr.; .02 gm. Ipecacuanha.

Dose, 1 to 6 troches.

4. Trochisci Morphinae et Ipecacuanhae. - See Morphine, p. 354.

5. Syrupus Ipecacuanhae. - Syrup of Ipecac. Fluid Extract of Ipecac, 75; Acetic Acid, 10; Glycerin, 100; Sugar, 700; Water to 1000.

Dose, 5 m. to 2 fl. dr.; .30 to 8.00 c.c.

6. Tinctura Ipecacuanhae et Opii. - See Opium, p. 352.

7. Vinum Ipecacuanhae. - Wine of Ipecac. Fluid Extract of Ipecac, 100; Alcohol, 100; White Wine, 800.

Dose, 1 to 60 m.; .06 to 4.00 c.c.