This section is from the book "A Text Book Of Materia Medica, Being An Account Of The More Important Crude Drugs Of Vegetable And Animal Origin", by Henry G. Greenish. Also available from Amazon: A Text Book of Materia Medica : Being an Account of the More Important Crude Drugs of Vegetable and Animal Origin.
Indian podophyllum rhizome is obtained from Podophyllum Emodi, Wallich (N.O. Berberideoe), a plant growing freely on the lower slopes of the Himalayas.
The drug consists of the rhizome together with numerous stout roots which frequently break off. The rhizome is cylindrical or flattened, about 10 mm. in diameter and contorted. The upper surface bears the short remains of aerial stems, with cup-shaped scars; to the under surface numerous stout roots are attached. The transverse section is pale brown, starchy or horny, with a ring of radially elongated bundles. The colour, odour and taste resemble those of podophyllum rhizome.
The constituents also are similar to those of the American drug but the yield of resin is usually higher (10 to 12 per cent.) and the proportion of podophyllotoxin greater (1 to 4 per cent.), the resin containing approximately twice as much podophyllotoxin as the resin from the American drug, and being about twice as active. According to Dott the two resins may be distinguished by the following test: Mix 05 gm. with 5 cc. of 10 per cent, solution of ammonia and 5 cc. of water; stir well for twenty minutes, filter, wash and dry; the insoluble residue from American podophyllin should not exceed 013 gm.; from Indian about twice as much will be obtained.
Fig. 155. - Bloodroot. Natural size.