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..
Quillaja. - Synonyms. Panama Bark. Soap Bark. The inner bark of Quillaja Saponaria Molina (nat. ord. Rosacea).
Chili and Peru.
Flat, large pieces, about 5 mm. thick; outer surface brownish-white, often with small patches of brown cork attached, otherwise smooth; inner surface whitish, smooth; fracture splintery, checkered with pale, brownish bast fibres, imbedded in white tissue; inodorous; taste persistently acrid; the dust very sternutatory.
Dose, 1/4 to 1/2 dr.; 1. to 2. gm.
Dose, 1/2 to 2 fl. dr.; 2. to 8. c.c.
The tincture of quillaja, on account of its soapy nature, is largely employed to make a lather for shampooing, and may be used to aid the diffusion of oils and other insoluble bodies, but the fact that it contains the active body saponin is an objection to its employment for emulsifying medicines for internal administration. On the other hand, because of the saponin, it might probably be used more largely as an expectorant. Those who have employed it speak very favorably of it, especially in cases in which the object is to promote free expectoration of mucus which is accumulating in the chest.