Source, Etc

The dried bark of Aspidosperma quebracho-bianco, Schlechtendal (N.O. Apocynaceoe), a large tree indigenous to the Argentine.


Nearly flat pieces, 1 to 3 cm. thick; outer surface, yellowish grey or brownish, deeply fissured, inner surface yellowish brown or reddish brown, distinctly striated. Fracture granular in the outer, lighter portion, splintery in inner darker portion. Transverse section shows numerous whitish dots and striae arranged tangentially. Taste very bitter and slightly aromatic; no odour.


Quebracho bark contains the alkaloids aspidosper-mine, aspidospermatine, aspidosamine, quebrachine, hypoquebrachine, and quebrachamine; further starch, tannin, and the sugars inosite and quebrachite. Commercial aspidospermine is usually a mixture of alkaloids.


The bark has been used as a tonic and also in dyspnoea; large doses may cause vomiting.


This bark must not be confused with quebracho Colorado, the bark of Loxopterygium Lourenzii, Grisebach (N.O. Terebinthaceoe, Argentine); an extract of the wood is largely used in the tanning industries.