The root of Jateorhiza palmata, of Eastern Africa, contains an alkaloid, berberine; a bitter neutral principle, colombin; and colombic acid. It contains no tannin, and may be given with iron.

Calumba is a bitter tonic and stomachic, stimulating the flow of saliva, the glands and blood-vessels of the stomach, and also the gastric nerves, causing a sensation of hunger. Calumba, like bitters in general, has some power to overcome fermentation or decomposition in the stomach and intestines; promotes peristalsis (bitters containing tannin have not this property); removes flatulence and tends to regulate the evacuation of the bowels.

Bitters if given in excess or for a long time irritate the stomach and bring on indigestion. Calumba is one of the least irritating of this class of medicines.

Like all bitter stomachics it must be given well diluted, and about half an hour before meals.

Tinctura Calumbae. Tincture Of Calumba

Strength, 20%. Average dose, 3 i.-4 mils.

Fluidextractum Calumbae. Not Official. Fluidextract Of Calumba

Dose,  xv.-i mil.

Picrotoxinum (Picrotoxin). Not official

The fruit (called fish berries) of Anamirta paniculata, an Asiatic plant, yields an active principle, picrotoxin, a bitter neutral substance.

It is an active excitant of the brain and spinal cord; stimulates secretions, especially of the intestines; causes nausea and vomiting, and slows the heart and respirations. In overdoses it produces muscular twitchings, stupor, delirium, convulsions, and coma; and may cause death by paralysis of the heart.

The temperature is slightly raised by picrotoxin.

It has been used externally in an ointment, and convulsions and death have followed its use in this way.