Nat. Ord. Berberaceae. Linn. Syst. Hexandria Monogynia. Hab. The Himalayas. (Chitra-Kushmul, Hind.)
Med. Prop. and Action. From these two plants the natives of India prepare a watery extract. called Rusot, which has been long esteemed a valuable febrifuge. Dr. O'shaughnessy speaks highly of its efficacy, and also of a tincture of the bark of these trees. In addition to its febrifuge properties, it is slightly aperient, which greatly adds to its value. Active Principle, Ber-berite, which, in doses of gr. v. twice or thrice daily, is also febrifuge and tonic. It might be advantageously introduced into European practice. The Extract (Rusot) was first identified with the Lycium of the ancients by Prof. Boyle,§ and the point has been further confirmed with great research by Prof. Simpson.|| By the natives of India, as also by the ancients, it is an esteemed application to various morbid states of the eye. Its action is that of an astringent
Dose of the Tincture (Bark oz. viij.; Proof Spirit Oij.¶) fl. drs. ij. - fl. drs. iv.; of the Alcoholic Extract, gr. xx. - xxx. thrice daily.
In Intermittent Fevers, Dr. O'shaughnessy** observes, in thirty cases of tertian ague (several of them complicated with affection of the spleen) we have succeeded in checking the fever, on an average, within three days after commencing the use of Rusot. In eight cases of Quartan, six were cured. The cases of common Quotidian thus successfully treated were so numerous that they were not recorded. In no instance was headache or constipation produced, but we have seen Rusot exasperate the symptoms of chronic dysentery and hepatitis when complicated with ague. In most cases it occasions a feeling of agreeable warmth at the epigastrium, increases the appetite, promotes digestion, and acts as a very gentle but certain aperient. The skin is invariably moist during its operation. Further evidence in favour of its anti-periodic powers is adduced by Drs. Stevin,* Francis, Kirk, Hay, Tritton, Stewart, and other medical officers in India. By most of these practitioners, the Tincture, in doses of fl. oz. ss. - fl. drs. vj., was employed, and its efficacy appears to have been marked. In Debility after Fevers, in Spleen Affections (especially when given in combination with the Sulphate of Iron), in Rheumatism, &c, it is favourably spoken of by Dr. Francis.
* Lancet, Nov. 21, 1863.
+ Gazette des Hopitaux, Dec. 21, 1844.
On Jaundice, &c. London, 8vo, 1863.
§ Linnsean Trans, vol. xviii. p 82. || Pharm. Trans. 1854, vol. xiii. p. 413. ¶ Feng. Pharm. * * Bengal Dispensatory.