Gamboge. The Gum Resin of an undetermined species of Garcinia. Nat. Ord. GuttiferAe. Source. Imported from Siam, the product probably of Hebradendron pictorium (Garcinia pictoria of Roxburgh). The Burmese name for this tree, which is found in some parts of the Tenasserim Provinces, is Tha-nat-tan-ben. Another variety of Gamboge is described by writers as Ceylon Gamboge, but it is unknown in English commerce.
Med. Prop. and Action. Hydragogue, cathartic, and anthelmintic. It often causes violent vomiting and griping, but this may be in a great degree obviated by combining with it soap, the carbonate of potash, rhubarb, or calomel; or by giving it in a liquid form, properly diluted. When taken internally, it becomes absorbed into the system, and communicates its colouring principle to the urine, the quantity of which secretion it also increases. It may be advantageously given either in the form of the Compound Gamboge Pill; or, Gamboge oz. ss., Carb. of Potash oz. j., Alcohol fl oz. xij. Macerate for a week. Dose, exl. - fl.drm. j. in a convenient vehicle. It is the base of Morrison's Pills.
* Med. Chir. Rev., July 1844. .Med. and Experiment. Essays, vol. ii. p. 3.
Introduction to Midwifery, vol. ii. p. P. 524. § Dispensatory, p. 360.
Offlc. Prep. Pilula CambogiAe Composita (Gamboge oz.j.; Barbadoes Aloes oz. j.; Aromatic Powder oz. j.; Hard Soap in Powder oz. ij.; Syrup q. s.). Dose, gr. v. - xv.
Dose of Gamboge in powder, gr. j. - v.
Contra-indications. 1, Pregnancy; 2, the presence of the Catamenia: 3, Irritability or inflammation of the genitourinary organs, particularly in the female; 4, Acute inflammation of the abdominal viscera; 5, Debility; 6, Infancy and childhood.
In Dropsical Affections, Gamboge, from its powerful hydragogue cathartic property, often proves serviceable. Dr. Christison* speaks highly of it. He states that he has found Gamboge act in these cases with great force, both in occasioning free watery evacuations and in reducing the dropsy, yet without any particular tormina, exhaustion, or other uneasiness being occasioned, although administered once every two days, or even daily. He advises it in doses of gr. v. -vij., or even ix., every other day, finely powdered, and combined with Cream of Tartar. Of all hydragogues, he regards Gamboge as the most certain and the most easily managed.
v. - viij. every day or every other day, is stated to be very efficacious, when this state depends upon want of tone in the intestines. In Constipation arising from Torpor of the Colon, Dr. Symonds enumerates this pill, in combination with equal parts of Pil. Coloc. Co., amongst the most efficient purgatives.
643. In Cerebral Affections, when it is desirable to produce revulsion from the brain, the Compound Gamboge Pill, in combination with Calomel, will often be found to fulfil this indication. It is inadmissible, however, when the vital powers are greatly depressed, or when great debility is present.
644. Against Tnia or Tape-Worm, Gamboge often proves effectual, particularly when conjoined with Calomel, Soap, &c, but its tendency to occasion griping and nausea renders its general employment injudicious. When employed, it should be in small doses (gr. iij.) and frequently repeated till the desired effect is produced. The quantity of gr. xx. in divided doses should never be exceeded. It should not be given to young children. Oil of Male Fern, Turpentine, and Pomegranate are safer and more efficacious, and should, consequently, be preferred.
* On Granular Diseases of the Kidneys, pp. 152-4.
Lib. of Med., vol. iv. p. 139.