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.
The leaves of Aconitum Napellus, Linne, (N.O. Ranun-culacece). Leaves stalked, roundish in general outline, divided down to the stalk into three main segments, which are again subdivided into nearly opposite, linear, acute tapering segments; dark green on the upper surface, glabrous; much broken in the commercial drug, which often contains the zygomorphous flowers with dark blue, helmet-shaped sepals. No odour, taste numbing. Contain from 0.12 to 0.96 per cent, of total alkaloid, the toxic constituent of which is aconitine (compare ' Aconiti Radix').
The leaves of Ilex paraguayensis, Hooker (N.O Ilicineœ), Brazil and Argentina. Ovate or oblong-lanceolate, 5 to 15 cm. long, coriaceous, distantly crenate-serrate, nearly glabrous; cells of upper epidermis polygonal, with thick, striated cuticle; stomata on under surface only, each surrounded by four or five cells; numerous prismatic and cluster crystals of calcium oxalate; taste bitterish and astringent; usually imported in coarse powder; contains 0.2 to 2 per cent, of caffeine and 10 to 16 per cent, of tannin.
Leaves of Turnera diffusa, Willdenow, var. aphrodisiaca, Urban, and probably other species of Turnera (N.O. Turneraceœ), herbs indigenous to south-western Texas and Mexico. Light green, 10 to 25 mm. long, 5 to 10 mm. wide; broadly lanceolate, shortly petiolate; margin dentate, with three to six teeth on either side; veins prominent on under surface. Under the microscope long, unicellular hairs and cluster crystals of calcium oxalate; odour and taste aromatic. Contain volatile oil, 0.5 to 1.0 per cent., amorphous bitter principle (damianin), resin, tannin. Used as an aphrodisiac but efficacy doubtful.
The leaves of Gaultheria procumbens, Linne, (N.O. Ericaceœ), United States. Leaves shortly stalked, elliptical or obovate, glabrous, green, brownish- or reddish-green, distantly serrate, each tooth with a bristle astringent and aromatic. Yield 0.7 per cent, of volatile oil (methyl salicylate) which is not contained in oil-cells but is formed from the glucoside gaultherin by the action of the enzyme gaultherase; contain, in addition to gaultherin, arbutin and tannin.
The leaves of Tylophora asthmatica, Wight and Arnott (N.O. Asclepiadeoe), India. Leaves yellowish-brown, 5 to 12-5 cm. long, broadly ovate, cordate at base, shortly acuminate, margin entire, upper surface glabrous, under surface with slender, three- to five-celled hairs; little odour or taste. Contain alkaloid tylophorine; said to contain an emetic principle. Used as an expectorant and emetic in place of ipecacuanha.
Leaves of Eriodictyon californicum, Green (N.O. Hydrophyllacece), California. Oblong lanceolate, 5 to 15 cm. long, 1 to 3 cm. broad, acute; margin more or less incurved, entire or irregularly serrate; upper surface yellowish green, smooth, covered with brownish resin; under surface whitish or yellowish white, reticulated and densely tomentose; odour and taste aromatic. Contain eriodictyol and four allied substances all of phenolic nature, volatile oil and resin. Used as a bitter tonic and expectorant.
The leaves of Duboisia myoporoides, Robert Brown (N.O. Solanaceoe), Australia, New Caledonia; from them duboisine sulphate is obtained, a mixture of the sulphates chiefly of hyoscyamine and hyoscine.
The leaves of Adhatoda vasica, Nees (N.O. Acanthaceoe), an Indian shrub. Leaves 10 to 15 cm. long, about 4 cm. broad, entire, lanceolate, shortly petiolate, tapering at base and apex; brownish green, with characteristic odour and taste; the epidermis bears one- to three-celled, simple, warty hairs and small hairs with quadricellular secreting gland; below the epidermis there are cystoliths. Contains vasicine (alkaloid), volatile oil, and possibly a second alkaloid; used as an expectorant.
The leaves of Peumus Boldus, Molina, (N.O. Monimiaceoe), Chili. Leaves ovate or elliptical, 4 to 8 cm. long, shortly petiolate, greyish-green, coriaceous, brittle; margin entire, slightly revolute; both surfaces with numerous emergences each crowned with a group of one-celled, thick-walled hairs (easily broken off); in the mesophyll numerous oil-cells; aromatic odour; pungent, camphoraceous, bitter taste. Contain volatile oil, boldine (alkaloid), and boldoglucin (glucoside). Used as a diuretic and liver stimulant.