This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
Mezereum. - Synonym. - Mezereon. The bark of Daphne Mezereum Linne, and other species of Daphne (nat. ord. Thymelceaceae).
Europe in mountainous regions, eastward to Siberia; spontaneous in Canada and New England.
In long thin bands, usually folded or rolled into disks; outer surface yellowish or brownish yellow, with transverse scars, and minute, blackish dots, underneath of a light greenish color; inner surface whitish, silky; bast in transverse layers, very tough; inodorous; taste very acrid.
The chief constituents are - (1) Mezerein, a soft, acrid resin. (2) An acrid, rubefacient, volatile oil. (3) Daphnin, C15H16O9+ 2H2O, a bitter glucoside in fine needles or rectangular plates. (4) Coccogin, C20H22O8, a bitter principle.
Mezereum is contained in Decoctum Sarsaparillae Compositum and Ex-tractum Sarsaparillae Compositum Fluidum.
Fluid Extract of Mezereum is used in Linimentum Sinapis Compositum.
Dose, 5 to 15 m.; .30 to 1.00 c.c.
Mezereum has the same action as volatile oils generally. It is a powerful rubefacient and vesicant externally, and is used chiefly in the compound mustard liniment, where it excites the same effects and is employed for the same purposes as the oil of mustard. Almost its only use at present is to keep open an issue, a procedure which is very rarely employed.
It is a gastric stimulant, producing, in large doses, vomiting and diarrhoea.