Melaleuca Cajuputi. Cajeput.
Description: Natural Order, Myrtaceae. A small tree, native to the East India Islands, with a crooked stem and numerous drooping branches. Leaves alternate, lanceolate, three to five inches long, dark green, smooth, quite aromatic. Flowers small, white; calyx five-parted, half superior; corolla five-stamened; stamens forty or more, the long filaments united into five bodies.
Properties and Uses: The leaves of this tree yield a small quantity of volatile oil, which is very fluid, transparent, of a beautiful emerald-green color, a strong and persistent odor, and a very pungent taste. If its green color is too deep, the article probably contains some oxide of copper, which may be precipitated with a weak solution of yellow prussiate of potash.
This oil is a powerful and very diffusive stimulant and relaxant. The chief use made of it is outwardly in liniments of the highly stimulating grade, designed for rheumatic and gouty patients, and for use in cholera and over the seat of deep inflammations. The better mode of using it is by adding a drachm of it to four ounces of olive oil; though there is no objection to adding it to tincture of lobelia or other relaxant. Its internal use is sometimes commended, especially in chronic rheumatism, cholera, painter's colic, and palsy. Given by the stomach, it is intensely heating, soon causing fullness of the pulse and a strong outward determination of blood; but it is scarcely employed thus, though doses of one or two drops may be given, in extreme cases of prostration, with an ounce of some good mucilage, but not alone nor as an essence. Used alone, or combined with oil of cloves, it may be used in carious aching teeth. When used in liniments, half a drachm to eight ounces of tincture is usually sufficient.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com