Inula. Elecampane. (Not officinal.) [Officinalin U. B. P.] The root of Inula helenium; Lin. Syst., Syngenesia superflua; indigenous, growing in damp meadows.
Description. A thick elongated root, brown externally, but light yellow within, having an aromatic odour and taste.
Prop. & Comp. Contains a peculiar camphor-like body, hele-nine (C15 H10 O2), crystallizing in white needles; insoluble in water; a hitter extractive, soluble in water; a peculiar starch, striking yellow with iodine, called inulin (C24 H21 O21). Formerly it entered as an ingredient into the confection of pepper.
Therapeutics. Stimulant; thought to be tonic, expectorant, and diaphoretic. Seldom used now, was formerly given in the exanthemata, coughs, etc.
Dose. Of the powdered root, 30 gr. to 60 gr., and upwards.
Pyrethrum. Pellitory. (Not officinal.) [Officinal in U. S. P.] The root of Anacyclus pyrethrum, or Pellitory of Spain; Lin. Syst., Syngenesia superflua; growing in Barbary, Spain, and the Levant.
Description. A fusiform root, cut into cylindrical pieces two or three inches long, dark brown in colour, spotted black.
Prop. & Comp. It contains at least two resins, one of which has been named pyrethric acid; an acrid oil, and tannin.
Therapeutics. A topical irritant, causing pricking in the mouth and a flow of saliva and buccal mucus; it is used as a masticatory in paralysis of parts about the mouth.
Absinthium. Wormwood. (Not officinal.) [Officinal in U. S. P.] The flowering herb of Artemisia absinthium; Lin. Syst., Syngenesia superflua; indigenous, growing in thickets and mountainous places.
Description. It occurs in bundles of the dried herbs, having a silky touch, disagreeable odour, and intensely bitter taste.
Prop. & Comp. The plant yields its bitterness to water and spirit, and contains a volatile oil (C20 H16 O2), green in colour, with the odour of the plant, also a bitter extract yielding absinthine (C16 H11 O5), and absinthic acid. The absinthine is the bitter principle.
Therapeutics. A powerful bitter stomachic and tonic, useful in atonic dyspepsia; it is also reputed to be anthelmintic. It has been lately asserted that the long continued use of absinthe, in the shape of bitters, has an injurious effect upon the nervous system. Wormwood is largely used on the Continent in this form.
Dose. Of the powder, 20 gr. to 40 gr. It may be infused with advantage (1 oz. to 20 fl. oz.), of which 1 fl. oz. to 2 fl. oz. may be given. It strikes blue with iron salts.
Santonica. Santonica. The nnexpanded flower heads of undetermined species of Artemisia. [Of Artemisia contra and other species of Artemisia. U. S.]
Santoninum. Santonin. A crystalline neutral principle obtained from santonica.
Description. The flower heads, which resemble seeds in appearance, are nearly half a line in breadth, and more than a line long, fusiform, blunt at the ends, greenish brown in colour, smooth, not hairy, formed of umbricated involucral scales, with a green midrib enclosing four or five tubular flowers; strong odour, bitter camphoraceous taste.
Prop. & Comp. Santonica contains traces of volatile oil and a crystallizable substance santonin, which occurs in brilliant, white, four-sided, flat prisms, tasteless, or feebly bitter, odourless; scarcely soluble in cold water, sparingly in boiling water, but abundantly in chloroform, and boiling rectified spirit; soluble also in ether; not dissolved by dilute mineral acids; fusible, and sublimes at a moderate heat; the crystals become yellow by exposure to light; it has the nature of a crystalline resin with slight acid properties; nitric acid converts it into succinic acid, formula C30Hl8O6.
Prep. Santonin is prepared by boiling bruised santonica for some time with water and lime, straining and reducing the bulk of the solution by evaporation. To this, while still hot, hydrochloric acid is added, until the liquid becomes slightly and permanently acid, and it is then set aside for the precipitate which forms to subside. The oily matter floating on the surface is removed by skimming, and the fluid decanted off from the precipitate, which is collected on filtering paper, washed first with cold distilled water, then with solution of ammonia, and again with water, till the washings are colourless. The precipitate is then dried at a gentle heat; purified by redissolving in boiling spirit with a little animal charcoal, filtering, and setting aside the liquid in a dark place to allow crystals of santonin to deposit.
Therapeutics. The action is anthelmintic, and it forms a pleasant vermifuge for children. It is stated to be especially useful in the treatment of the lumbricus, or round worm.
Dose. Of santonica or worm seed, from 60 gr. to 120 gr. Seldom used in this form. The dose of santonin is from 1 gr. to 3 gr. for a child; 3 gr. to 6 gr. or more for an adult.
Anthemis. The flower of Anthemis nobilis, or Common Chamomile; Lin. Syst., Syngenesia superflua; indigenous, growing in pastures on gravel, and cultivated.
Anthemidis Oleum. English oil of Chamomile. The oil distilled in England from the flower.
Description. The flowers may be either single or double, consisting of a yellow convex disk and white rays; the florets of the ray are numerous, white and three-toothed; those of the disk, yellow; by cultivation many of the latter are converted into white ray florets, and the flower is then said to be double. The single variety consists of yellow tubular and white strap-shaped florets; the double, of white strap-shaped florets only.
Prop. & Comp. The flowers contain a volatile oil, and a bitter extractive matter. The oil is of a pale blue or greenish colour, becoming yellowish by age; it has the peculiar odour and aromatic taste of the flowers; sp. gr. 0.91; it probably is a mixture of a hydrocarbon (C20 H16), the real volatile oil, with an oxidized substance, which when treated with potash is converted into angelate of potash (KO, C10 H7 O3),