The Gum-Resin of Euphorbia Officinarum, E. Canadensis, and probably of other species of Euphorbia. Nat. Ord. EuphorbiacAe. Linn. Syst. Moncia Mona-delphia. Source, Western Africa and the Canary Islands.
Mid. Prop. and Action. Drastic purgative. The dose is variously stated Ettmuller advises gr. xx., Schroeder from gr. v. - x., Geoffroy gr. viij., and Dr. Vietch, who quotes these authorities, does not consider that the dose should exceed gr. vj. Dr. Vietch,* from numerous experiments, comes to the conclusion, that it is of little value as a purgative, as it sometimes causes great irritation of the stomach and bowels, and its operation is extremely uncertain. Externally applied, it is a powerful irritant, causing a papular, and, in some instances, a pustular eruption. Dr. Vietch strongly advises its being substituted for savine ointment, in dressing blisters and issues. The strength he advises is gr. xx. - xxv. of the powder to j. of Lard. He states that he has used it fur three years without witnessing any ill effects from it in a single instance. It may prove a valuable resource in tropical countries, where Savine soon spoils, and Euphorbium is abundant. Caution is required in reducing Euphorbium to powder, as the smallest particles of dust introduced into the eyes or mouth would cause violent inflammation.
* Amer. Journ. of Med. Sciences, April 1844.