The dried, peeled, and seeded fruit of Citrullus Colocynthis, or bitter cucumber, from Eastern countries. The active principle is colocynthin.

Colocynth is a powerful hydragogue and drastic cathartic, irritant, and quickly acting, causing large watery evacuations, with griping pains and general depression. Besides acting as a stimulant to the muscular coat of the intestines, it also acts on the intestinal glands and on the liver. To avoid the severity of its effects, it is always given in combination, and is not suitable as an habitual purgative, being irritant to the stomach as well as to the bowels.

Gastro-enteritis is caused by colocynth in poisonous quantity, and death has resulted in twenty-four hours from a dose of ʒ i.- ʒ iii. of the powder.


Extractum Colocynthidis. Extract Of Colocynth

Average purgative dose, gr. 1/4-0.03 Gm.

Extractum Colocynthidis Compositus. Compound Extract Of Colocynth

Contains extract of colocynth, aloes, scammony, and cardamom.

Average laxative dose, gr. ii.-0.125 Gm. Average purgative dose, gr. iv.-0.25 Gm.

Pilulae Cathartics Compositae. Compound Cathartic Pills

Contain extract of colocynth, mild mercurous chloride, extract of jalap, and gamboge. Dose, i or ii pills.

Piluiae Catharticae Vegetabiles. Not Official. Vegetable Cathartic Pills

Contain compound extract of colocynth, extract of hyoscyamus, jalap, leptandra, and resin of podophyllum.