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..
Sassafras. - The bark of the root of Sassafras variifolium (Salisbury) O. Kuntze (nat. ord. Laurineae).
North America from Eastern Texas and Kansas eastward to Florida and Ontario; in woods.
In irregular fragments, deprived of the gray, corky layer, bright rust-brown, soft, fragile, with a short, corky fracture; the inner surface smooth; strongly fragrant; taste sweetish, aromatic, and somewhat astringent.
Sassafras is contained in Decoctum Sarsaparillae Compositum, and Extractum Sarsaparillae Fluidum Compositum.
Dose, 1/4 to 1 dr.; 1. to 4. gm.
The pith of Sassafras variifolium (Salisbury) O. Kuntze (nat. ord. Laurineae).
In slender, cylindrical pieces, often curved or coiled, light, spongy, white, inodorous and insipid. Macerated in water it forms a mucilaginous liquid, which is not precipitated on the addition of Alcohol.
Sassafras Pith, 2; Water, 100. By maceration and straining. Dose, freely.
A volatile oil distilled from Sassafras.
A yellowish or reddish-yellow liquid, having the characteristic odor of Sassafras without the odor of Camphor, and a warm, aromatic taste. It becomes darker and thicker by age and exposure to the air. Sp. gr., 1.070 to 1.090.
Oil of Sassafras is contained in Syrupus Sarsaparillae Compositus.
Dose, 1 to 5 m.; .06 to .30 c.c.
The external and internal action of sassafras is, so far as is known, the same as that of volatile oils generally. The mucilage is somewhat stimulant in its action, and is an excellent vehicle.