Spartium Scoparium, Linn. Cytisus Scoparius. Common Broom. Nat. Ord. Papilion-aceae. Linn. Syst. Diadelphia Decandria. Hab. Europe.

Med. Prop. and Action. The fresh and dried tops (off.), as well as all the other parts of the plant, are diuretic. In large quantities it is cathartic, and occasionally emetic. Broom tops contain a neutral principle, Scoparine, and a liquid alkaloid, Sparteine, together with extractive matters and salts. Dr. Garrod observes that the diuretic effects of Broom are probably due to one of the above principles, as the alkaline salts contained in the tops are not in sufficient quantity to account for its effects.

Offic. Prep. of Broom (Scoparius). 1. Decoctum Scoparii (Broom tops dried oz. ss.; Distilled Water Oss. Boil for ten minutes and strain: the product should measure about fl. oz. viij.). Dose, fl. oz j. - fl. oz. iij.

2. Succu8 Scoparii (the juice expressed from the fresh tops 3 measures; Rectified Spirit 1 measure. Set aside for seven days and filter). It should be kept in a cool place. Dose, fl. drm. j. - fl. oz. ss.

Dose of the dried tops, gr. xx. - gr. xxx. They are best given in decoction.

2431. Therapeutic Uses

In Dropsy and Dropsical Affections, the common Broom was held in high esteem by Sydenham, Mead, and Cullen. More recently, it has been employed by Dr. Darwell,* who states that he can bear witness to its excellent effects, often removing the effusion, when other remedies fail; he adds that it acts powerfully on the kidneys, and usually affords relief in a few days. The late Dr. R. Pearson was a great advocate for this remedy. He recommends that the seeds should be substituted for the leaves, tops, and roots, which are the parts usually employed. He states that they are powerfully diuretic, and produce their effect without weakening the patient. He recommends the following Tincture: - R. Broom Seeds ij., Proof Spirit fviij.; macerate for ten days. Dose, f3j. - f3ij., thrice daily. If it produce diarrhoea, five or six drops of T. Opii may be added. If much debility be present, it may be combined with Iron or Quinine. He found it eminently serviceable in all dropsies, excepting ovarian and hydrothorax. Dropsies depending on cardiac disease are especially benefited by Broom tops.

* On Corpulency, Lond. 1780.

Clin. Lect., vol. ii. p. 427.