Cassia canella. See Cassia lignea.
Cassia caryophyllata. called also piper tavasci, -aryophillus aromaticus fructu rotundo, garyophillon Plinii, amomum, clove berry tree, sweet scented Jamaica pepper tree. The bark is called cortex ca-ryophylloidce, clove bark, and cassiae cortex, cassia bark. Myrtus caryophyllata Lin Sp. Pi. 675.
The bark is produced in Jamaica, Cuba, and other of the West Indian islands. It is rolled like cinnamon, but is rather thinner, rougher on the outside, and of a dark brown colour. Cassia bark is warm and aromatic, resembles the smell of cloves, though weaker, and mixt with the flavour of cinnamon; agreeing with cloves in the solubility and volatility of its active principles. Spirit of wine takes up all its aroma, but carries very little of it in distillation. Water takes up its smell, though imperfectly its taste: and, distilled with water, a small portion of an essential oil arises, which resembles that of cloves, but is more pungent.
A similar bark is brought from the East Indies, un-c!er the name of culiltawan or culilawan, a compound Malabarian word, which is translated into the Latin by cortex caryophylloides, or clove bark. That distinguished in Europe by the name of culilawan is thicker than the other, and more of a cinnamon colour, but scarcely differs in smell or taste. The carabacium of Baglivi is probably not very different, and supposed to be a species of laurus. Rumphius observes, that the outer and inner barks of different parts of the tree differ in colour and taste from one another; whence,probably, the differences observed in those brought under different names into Europe.
The unripe fruit is the Jamaica pepper. See Piper
The cassia fistula is the hard woody cylindrical pod of a tree called pudding pipe-tree, which resemble*-the walnut tree: it grows spontaneously in Egypt and the wanner part of the East Indies, and hath been from thence introduced into the West, and is brought to us from the Brasils. The pods are about an inch in diameter, and a foot or more in length; externally of a dark brown colour, somewhat wrinkled, with a large seam running the whole length upon one side, and another, less visible, on the opposite side, internally of a pale yellowish colour, divided by thin transverse woody plates, in a number of little cells, containing each a flat-tish oval seed, with a soft black pulp.
The pulp is called by some medulla; cassia cribra-tra; cassia atramentum,extractum,andfios; by others: wild honey, because of its sweet taste, which is followed by an ungrateful kind of acrimony; that from the East Indies has a more agreeable sweetness and less acrimony than the West Indian kind. The best pulp is of a shining black colour, sweet taste, with a slight degree of acidity.
The oriental pods are also smaller, smoother, and thinner rinded than the occidental, and its pulp is more shining and of a deeper colour. The dry pods, in which the seed rattles, are generally rejected; but Neumann thinks that they are scarcely worse than the other, as their humidity only is wasted, and it is thus secured from being mouldy or sour. The best sort, if gathered before it is fully ripe, grows mouldy, and becomes sour or harsh.
The pulp of cassia dissolves very readily in water, whether it is moist or dry, but not so readily in spirit of wine. It is usually extracted by boiling the bruised pods in water, and evaporating the strained solution to a proper consistence: the exhaling vapour carries nothing off. The pulp soon turns sour, so that it should be only extracted in small quantities.
Cassia was first used by the Arabians. Where irritating purges would injure, it may be safely employed: in doses of a few drachms it is generally laxative, and particularly useful in costive habits and inflammatory cases. According to Geoffroy, it is peculiarly beneficial in those tensions of the belly which attend an imprudent use of antimonials: as a cathartic, two ounces are required, so that it is seldom used; and, indeed, at present it is rarely given by itself, except to children, or pregnant delicate women. The pulp of prunes is recommended to supply its place, as almost equally pleasant and safe.
It is sometimes quickened by stronger purgatives, or with tartrited antimony, which it decomposes; so that four grains or more of emetic tartar may be taken in a decoction of cassia by those, who, without it, can scarcely bear one quarter of the dose. It is supposed to enhance the purgative virtue of manna: a mixture of half an ounce of cassia with two drachms of manna, is said to purge more than three times the quantity of cassia by itself, or than a yet greater quantity of manna when alone.
Cassia, if repeatedly taken, is said to tinge the urine of a yellow, green, or brown colour, according to the quantity given. Bergius, however, informs us, that an ounce was taken for three successive mornings without such effect.
The London college directs the following preparation:
Electuarium e Cassia.-take of syrup of roses, the pulp of cassia, fresh extracted, of each half a pound; of manna, two ounces; of the pulp of tamarinds, one ounce. Beat the manna, and, with a slow fire, dissolve it in the syrup; then add the other ingredients; continue the heat; and reduce the whole to a proper consistence.
This electuary was formerly called diacassia: the tamarinds render the taste of it very agreeable, and do not subject it to turn sour. Two or three drachms will prove gently laxative. See Lewis's Mat. Med. Neumann's Chemical Works. Cullen's Mat. Med.
Cassia lignea; called also cassia lignca Malabar-ica, xylo-cassia, canella Malabarica et Javensis, karva, canella Cubana, arbor Jucadice, cassia canella, canel-lifera Malabarica, cortex crassior, cinamomum Mala-baricum, carva, calihacha, and by the ancients canela, Wild Cinnamon Tree Malabar Cinnamon Tree, or cassia lignea tree.
The leaves of this tree are, by way of eminence, called Folium, which see. The bark is called cassia lignea, and is brought from the East Indies. This tree is of the cinnamon kind. It is the laurus cassia Lin. Sp. Pi. 528; the cassia, or wild cinnamon tree. Curtis, in his Catalogue of Medicinal Plants, in the London Botanic Garden, calls it laurus Malabathrum. This bark (the best species of which are styled daphnitis) resembles cinnamon in appearance, but is distinguishable by its breaking short or smooth, while the fracture of cinnamon is fibrous: and by chewing, when the cassia becomes mucilaginous, but the cinnamon austere and dry. It resembles cinnamon in flavour, but is weaker: it contains a mucilage, of which cinnamon does not sensibly partake; if powdered, and boiled in water, the water becomes glutinous, so as to concrete, on cooling, into a jelly. Of the bark, choose that which is small, purplish, easily broken, fragrant, pungent, sweetish, and mucilaginous when chewed.
Spirit of wine extracts the aroma, and water extracts the mucilage. By distillation in water it yields a small portion of oil, which differs not from that of cinnamon; and if care is taken in distilling it with water, no difference can be discovered from what it produces, and that which is drawn from true cinnamon; but if too much heat is continued at the end of the operation, it occa-. sions an empyreumatic flavour, because of the mucilage, which is very apt to burn. As a cordial, it is equal to cinnamon, if twice the quantity is allowed for a dose; but to astringent powers it has no pretension. See Neumann's Chem. Works. Lewis's Mat. Med. Cullen's Mat. Med.
Cassia poetica lobellii, cassia Latinorum, cassia lignea Monspeliensium, and cassia Monspeliensium. See Osyris.
Cassia lignea Jamaicensis. See Canella alba.
Cassiae. atramentum et extractum. See Cassia Fistularis.
Cassiae cortex. See Cassia caryophyllata. Cassiana. See Cassine. Cassibor. See Coriandrum.