Active Ingredients. - The active elements of cascarilla bark are probably the neutral crystalline principle Cascarilline, and, in less degree, two resinoid extracts. Cascarilline forms white, six-sided needles; odorless, and of bitter taste; very insoluble in water, but soluble in alcohol and ether. It gives a blood-red color with concentrated sulphuric acid, and a violet-red with concentrated nitric acid.

Physiological Action. - No exact experiments have yet been made upon the physiological action of cascarilla or its crystalline principle. It is known, however, that a very strong infusion of the bark in considerable dose will cause nausea, vomiting, and even diarrhoea. It has even been said to produce narcotic effects in very susceptible subjects; but this statement appears open to doubt.

Therapeutic Action. - Cascarilla appears to have been first introduced into practice by J. N. Stisser, M.D., professor in the University of Juliers. This was in 1693; and the original employment of the drug was in arthritic and scorbutic cases. In 1719, an epidemic dysentery which raged in France was successfully treated with cascarilla; and soon after this it was extensively employed in every part of Germany.

The bitter-tonic qualities of this drug have recommended it as a substitute for cinchona; and although inferior to that medicine in tonic and febrifugal operation, it has the advantage of sitting easily upon the stomach, being not merely bitter, but aromatic. In irritable conditions of the alimentary canal, cinchona is apt to produce vomiting or purging; but neither of these results ensues upon the exhibition of cascarilla in anything like a moderate dose.

In England, cascarilla is chiefly employed in such forms of dyspepsia as require an aromatic stimulant and tonic.

It is also used in cases of debility generally; and in chronic bronchial affections, with a view to checking excessive secretion of mucus.

In Germany, where it is a favorite medicine, cascarilla has been used in many other affections, such as low nervous fevers, intermittents, dysentery, and the later stages of diarrhoea. Of late, however, it would seem that it has fallen much into disrepute.

Preparations and Dose. - Of the powdered bark: Pulvis Cascarillae, gr. x. - xxx. (.65 - 2.); Infusum cascarillae,

Cascarilla Bark Croton Eleuteria 14

- iss. (15. - 45.).