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..
Xanthoxylon. - Synonym. - Prickly Ash Bark. The bark of Xan-thoxylum americanum Miller, and of Xanthoxylum Clava-Herculis Linne (nat. ord. Rutaceae).
Xanthoxylum americanum (Northern Prickly Ash) is in curved or quilled fragments, about I mm. thick; outer surface brownish gray, with whitish patches, and minute, black dots, faintly furrowed, with some brown, glossy, straight, two-edged spines, linear at the base, and about 5 mm. long; inner surface whitish, smooth; fracture short, non-fibrous, green in the outer and yellowish in the inner layer; inodorous; taste bitterish, very pungent.
Xanthoxylum Clava-Herculis (Southern Prickly Ash) resembles the preceding, but is about 2 mm. thick, and is marked by many conical, corky projections, sometimes 2 cm. high, and by stout, brown spines, rising from a corky base. Resembling Xanthoxylum. - Aralia spinosa, which is nearly smooth externally, and beset with slender prickles in transverse rows.
Dose, 10 to 30 gr.; .60 to 2.00 gm.
Xanthoxylum has about the same action as guaiac. It produces, when swallowed, a sensation of heat. It enjoys some reputation as a remedy for chronic rheumatism, and has been used in syphilis and chronic hepatic disorders. For patients suffering from chronic syphilis who do not tolerate either mercury or the iodides, McDade's formula may be employed. This is equal parts of the fluid extracts of sarsaparilla, stillingia, lappa, Phytolacca root and tincture of xanthoxylon. The dose is from 1 to 4 fl. dr., 4. to 15. c.c., thrice daily. The bark, used as a masticatory, is a popular remedy for tooth-ache.