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Coscinium, I.C.A. Coscinium.

Botanical name:

Related entry: Calumba - Tinospora

Coscinium consists of the dried stem of Coscinium fenestratum, Colebr. (N.O. Menispermaceae), a native of India and Ceylon. The drug occurs in large woody, cylindrical, straight pieces, some times as much as 10 centimetres in diameter. Externally it is yellowish-brown in colour, and longitudinally fissured, with smaller transverse fissures at intervals. Internally it is yellow, a transverse section exhibiting a large, yellow, conspicuously radiate wood, porous wood-bundles alternating with dense medullary rays, which are continued through the bast, the latter tissue being lacunous from shrinkage. The fracture is short. The drug has no odour, but a bitter taste.

Constituents.—The chief constituent of coscinium is the yellow crystalline alkaloid, berberine; it also contains a saponin.

Action and Uses.—Coscinium is a bitter, used in India and the Eastern Colonies as an equivalent of calumba. It is occasionally imported into London under the name of Ceylon calumba. An infusion, tincture, and concentrated liquor are prepared.


Coscinium, thinly sliced, 5; distilled water, boiling, 100. Infuse the drug in the water for thirty minutes, in a covered vessel, and strain. Infusion of coscinium is official in India and the Eastern Colonies, where it is used as a bitter. Dose.—15 to 30 mils (1/2 to 1 fluid ounce).
Coscinium, in No. 5 powder, 50; alcohol, 40; distilled water, sufficient to produce 100. This solution is prepared in the same way as Liquor Calumbae Concentratus, but the proportion of water used in macerating may be varied according to the condition of the powder, provided the drug is fairly exhausted and that the final product measures 100. Concentrated solution of coscinium is official in India and the Eastern Colonies, where it is used as an equivalent of the corresponding preparation of calumba. Its action is that of a simple bitter. Dose.—2 to 4 mils (1/2 to 1 fluid drachm).
Tinctura Coscinii, I.C.A.—TINCTURE OF COSCINIUM.
Coscinium, in No. 20 powder, 10; alcohol (60 per cent.), 100. Prepared by the maceration process. Tincture of coscinium is official in India and the Eastern Colonies for use as a bitter. Dose.—2 to 4 mils (1/2 to 1 fluid drachm).

The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

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