Active Ingredients. - The analyses of Reinsch show that when the clear pale yellow resin extracted by ether from sumbul root is treated with alcohol (of 75 per cent.), and the solution evaporated, a balsam-like body is left which contains much angelic and much valerianic acid. According to Sommer, the dry distillation of this substance brings over a blue volatile oil containing umbelliferine, C6H4O2, a substance which crystallizes in transparent, silky needles destitute of taste or smell, and subliming at a high temperature. Its solution in boiling water is remarkable for possessing a blue fluorescence. Umbelliferine is readily soluble in alcohol, ether, and chloroform.

Physiological Action. - Upon this subject it is to be regretted that we as yet possess no information beyond the very general idea that, sumbul acts on the brain and on the spinal centres with a calming and antispasmodic influence.

Therapeutic Action. - Sumbul is a drug of which we probably as yet only very partially know the value. In Russia it is used in low fevers of a typhoid type; also in asthenic cases of dysentery and diarrhoea; and it has even been said to have proved successful in cholera. It is considered by Thielmann, of St. Petersburg, the most trustworthy remedy in delirium tremens. Dr. Granville, who introduced it into England, recommends it in cases of gastric spasm, hysteria, dysmenorrhoea, epilepsy, and nervous disorders. Mr. Murawieff, a Russian physician, recommends it in chronic bronchitis, moist asthma occurring in old anaemic and scorbutic subjects, in atonic dyspepsia, leucorrhoea, hypochondriasis, and hysteria. I can bear witness to its decided efficacy in chronic bronchitis, and in certain stages of phthisis.

As a Remedy for Neuralgia of a certain type, sumbul has probably more value than any other known drug. It is somestimes very surprising to observe the rapidity with which a severe facial, sciatic, or ovarian neuralgia will yield to a few doses of sumbul, though it had resisted very powerful remedies. It is difficult to say exactly what are the characteristics of the neuralgias which prove thus amenable to sumbul, but certainly this kind of pain is most frequently found in women, particularly those of a quick and lively nervous constitution. On the other hand, the dull migraine of hysterical women who have a phlegmatic constitution, and a great tendency to obstinate constipation, does not yield readily, if at all, to sumbul.

In the restlessness of pregnancy, an affection which is exceedingly distressing to some women, though others do not suffer from it, sumbul is often invaluable; a draught of 30 to 40 minims of the tincture, with a little chloric ether, giving quiet nights for a long time together without losing its power.

In the Insomnia of Chronic Alcoholism sumbul often serves a similar purpose very efficiently.

Preparation and Dose. - Tinctura Sumbul (B. Ph.), m x. - 3 j. (.60 - 4.).