Quassia. - The wood of Picraena excelsa (Swartz) Lindley (nat. ord. Simarubeae).

Habitat

Jamaica.

Characters

In billets of various sizes, dense, tough, of medium hardness, porous, with a minute pith and marrow, medullary rays; inodorous, and intensely bitter. In the shops it is usually met with in the form of chips or raspings of a yellowish-white color. Resembling Quassia. - Sassafras, but this is aromatic and not bitter.

Composition

The chief constituents are - (1) Quassiin, C10H12O3, a bitter principle occurring in crystalline rectangular plates. (2) A volatile oil. No Tannic Acid being present, Quassia can be prescribed with iron salts.

Preparations

1. Extractum Quassiae. - Extract of Quassia. By percolation with Water, and evaporation.

Dose, 1/2 to 3 gr.; .03 to .20 gm.

2. Extractum Quassiae Fluidum. - Fluid Extract of Quassia. By maceration and percolation with Alcohol and Water, and evaporation.

Dose, 1/4 to 1 fl. dr.; 1. to 4. c.c.

3. Tinctura Quassiae. - Tincture of Quassia. Quassia, 100; by maceration and percolation with Alcohol and Water to 1000.

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

Action And Therapeutics Of Quassia

Quassia is an aromatic bitter stomachic, acting in the same way as calumba. As it contains no tannic acid it is often prescribed with iron. The only objection to it is that some persons find it too bitter. Injected per rectum, it is an excellent anthelmintic for Oxyuris vermicularis; half a pint 250 c.c. of the infusion 1 to 100 of cold water to avoid extraction of too much of the bitter principle, may be given for this purpose, the patient being in the knee-chest position.