Physostigma. - Synonyms. - Calabar bean. Ordeal bean. The seed of Physostigma venenosutn Balfour (nat. ord. Leguminosae).


Tropical Western Africa, near the mouth of the Niger and old Calabar.


About 25 to 30 mm. long, 15 to 20 mm. broad, and 10 to 15 mm. thick; oblong, and somewhat reniform; testa granular, chocolate-brown, with a broad, black groove extending over the entire length of the convex edge; embryo with a short, curved radicle, and two large, white, concavo-convex cotyledons; inodorous; taste, bean-like.


The chief constituents are: (1) Physostigmine or Eserine (see below); (2) Calabarine, a derivative of Physostigmine; (3) Eseridine; and (4) Physosterin a neutral principle closely related to cholesterine.

Dose, 1/2 to 2 gr.; .03 to .12 gm. of the powdered seeds.


1. Extractum Physostigmatis.-Extract of Physostigma. By maceration, percolation with Alcohol and evaporation.

Dose, 1/10 to 1/2 gr. .006 to .03 gm., internally, or rather less dissolved in 10 m.; .60 c.c. of water and given subcutaneously.

2. Tinctura Physostigmatis. - Tincture of Physostigma. Physostigma, 150. By maceration and percolation with Alcohol to 1000.

Dose, 10 to 30 m.; .60 to 2.00 c.c.

Physostigminae Salicylas. Physostigmine Salicylate. Eserine Salicylate

C15H21N3O2C7H6O3=412.17. Synonym. - Eserine Salicylate. The Salicylate of an Alkaloid obtained from Physostigma.


By adding Physostigmine to a solution of Salicylic Acid in boiling Distilled Water, and allowing the salt to crystallize on cooling.


Colorless or faintly yellowish, shining, acicular, or short, columnar crystals, odorless, and having a bitter taste. It acquires a reddish tint when long exposed to light and air.


In 150 parts of water, and in 12 parts of Alcohol.

Dose, 1/100 to 1/30 gr.; .0006 to .002 gm.

Physostigminae Sulphas. Physostigmine Sulphate. Eserine Sulphate

C15H21 N3O2)2H2So4=646.82. Synonym. - Eserine Sulphate. The Sulphate of an Alkaloid obtained from Physostigma.


A white or yellowish-white, micro-crystalline powder; odorless, and having a bitter taste. It is very deliquescent when exposed tc moist air, and gradually turns reddish by exposure to air and light.


Very soluble in water and in Alcohol. Dose, 1/100 to 1/30 gr.; .0006 to .002 gm.