The dried rhizome of Podophyllum Peltatum, the American May-apple or Mandrake. Nat. Ord, Ranunculaceae. Linn. Syst. Polyandria Monogynia. Hab. North America.

Podophylli Resina. A Resin obtained from Podophyllum by means of Rectified Spirit. This substance is usually known as Podophylline, but the name has been applied to two substances which require to be distinguished from each other: - 1. To the pure resin (Podophylli Resina, Ph. Br.). 2. To an Extractive, containing not only the resin, but other principles of the Podophyllum. Ber-berine is stated to exist in the root, and to be contained in much of the commercial Podophylline. (Garrod.*)

Med. Prop. and Action. Podophyllum is purgative and cholagogue, and, in small repeated doses, alterative and deobstruent. According to Dr. Ramskill. it ranks near Scammony as a purgative, but is milder in its operation. Dr. Garrod states that its action is very much like that of Jalap. As a cholagogue, Dr. Ramskill considers that it stands pre-eminent and alone, far above Mercury or any other drug of that class. Dr. Garrod, however, thinks that it produces evacuations containing an abundance of bile, rather by emptying the gall-bladder than by augmenting the secretion of that fluid; for he has noticed the fact that, when many evacuations have been caused by it, the latter were rather of a serous or mucous than bilious character. some remarks on its value as an aperient have also been published by Dr. Clarke, § of the London Hospital. From the recorded experience of American physicians, the following points seem to be established: - 1. That the purified resin of Podophyllum is escharotic, producing, when applied to the skin, small pustules, which are difficult to heal, and administered internally, giving rise to extreme griping and violent catharsis. 2. That Chloride of Sodium given with Podophyllin increases its purgative action to an undesirable extent, and should therefore bo avoided, except in cold phlegmatic habits, where the action of the drug is feeble. 3. That Lactic Acid counteracts its operation, and that sugar, sweetmeats, pickles, and like substances should be avoided when it is administered. On the other hand, many writers recommend it to be well triturated with four or five times its weight of fine sugar. 4. That its use should be avoided in inflammatory states of the stomach and bowels, particularly of the mucous lining of the primAe via. 5. That a warm infusion of ginger is the best means of relieving tormina and griping caused by its use. 6. That for an over-dose, sour milk, whey, or any form of Lactic Acid, are the best remediea Lastly. That, as a purgative, Bitartrate of Potash (gr. xx. - xxx.) is the best adjuvant; whilst, when given as a cholagogue or alterative, it is well to combine it with small doses of Belladonna, Hyoscyamus, or Cannabis Indica. In some cases a kind of ptyalism has been observed to follow its continued use. Mr. Hugh Norris || states that he has observed it produce emmenagogue, in addition to its purgative effects.

* Ess. Mat. Med. and Therap., p. 145.

See Lancet for Feb and March, 1868, which contains a long article on this drug, from which the present notice is extracted in a very condensed form.

Med. Times and Gaz., Mar. 5,1864.

§ Ibid., Jan. 4, 1862.

|| Lancet, Oct. 31, 1863.

The doses are: - Of the Powdered Root, as a cathartic, gr. xx. Of Podophylli Resina (Podophylline): as a cholagogue and cathartic, gr. j. - ij.; as a moderate purgative, gr. 1/2 - gr. j.; as an aperient, gr. 1/4 - 1/2; as an alterative, gr. 1/6 - gr.1/4, twice or thrice daily.