Med. Prop. and Action. Mild tonic and stomachic. It is a very mild and able tonic, and is, in most cases, easily retained on the stomach, when the more powerful vegetable bitters are rejected. It gives rise to little, if any, arterial excitement, and does not cause constipation. As it contains neither Tannic nor Gallic acids, it may be given in combination with the salts of iron. The infusion requires to be freshly prepared daily, as, in consequence of the large proportion of starch which it contains, it rapidly decomposes. It contains a non-nitrogenized crystallizable principle, Calumbine, which .8 but slightly soluble in water or proof spirit; an alkaloid, Berberine (C10H17NO8); and an acid, Calumbic Acid. Calumbate of Berberine is contained in the Tincture and Infusion. (Garrod.||) Therootof Fraseri Walteri, American Calumba, may be substituted for it.
Qffic. Prep. 1. Extractum CalumbAe (a Spirituous Extract). Dose, gr. v. - gr. x.
as.; Cold Distilled Water fl. oz. x Macerate one hour and strain). Dose, fl oz. j. - fl. oz. ij.
iiss.; Proof Spirit Oj. Prepared by maceration and percolation). Dose, fl. drm. ss. - fl. drs. ij.
Dose of Calumbo in powder, gr. x. - gr. xxx. Incompatibles. Lime water; Corrosive Sublimate; the Acetate and Di-acetate of Lead.
* Trans. of the Med. and Phys. Soc. of Calcutta, vol. i. p. S4. Med. Chir. Trans., vol. x.
Mat. Medica, p. 480.
§ Op. cit.
|| Essentials of Mat. Med., p. 14S.
In Gastric Irritation after Fevers, and other debilitating diseases, and in Dyspepsia, in which irritation of the Stomach is a prominent Symptom, there are few medicines which have proved more generally useful than Calumba, given in the form of Infusion. It effectually allays the irritation, strengthens the digestive organs, increases the appetite, and gives a tone to the system generally. It may be advantageously combined with other tonics or sedatives, particularly with Prussic Acid.
635. In Ataxic and nervous Vomiting, particularly in that of Pregnancy, the Infusion of Calumba is a most efficacious remedy. It will often succeed when more powerful sedatives have failed. A very severe case of nervous vomiting is recorded in Ann. Univers. 1844,* which, after resisting almost every other mode of treatment, yielded to gr. viij. of Calumba root, thrice daily. It has little influence in the vomiting attendant on cancer of the stomach; and is contra-indicated, when inflammation is present.
Percival found the Infusion of Calumba effectual in arresting the discharge. It may be given with safety to young children. In other forms of Diarrha, it has also been employed with advantage.
Denman found Calumba more generally useful than Cinchona.
639. As a Tonic, it is particularly adapted to debility after Fevers and other exhausting diseases, when the stomach is highly irritable, for the puerperal state, and for childhood. It may be given in Infusion; or the Tincture may be advantageously added to an ordinary effervescing draught.