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Cocculus.

Botanical name:

The seeds of Anamirta paniculata, Colebrooke (Nat. Ord. Menispermaceae.) East India.
Common Names: Fishberries, Indian Berries. Synonym: Cocculus Indicus.

Principal Constituent.—Picrotoxin, a neutral and extremely poisonous principle.
Preparation.—Unguentum Cocculi, Ointment of Cocculus Indicus. (Cocculus, crushed, 1 ounce; benzoinated lard, 8 ounces; fractionally added until well incorporated.)

Action and Therapy.—External. A violent, poisonous parasiticide for animal and vegetable parasites, to destroy head lice and the itch mite, and relieve scald head, sycosis barbae, trichophytosis, tinea versicolor and other parasitic skin diseases. Included in this book chiefly because of the possibility of meeting with cases of poisoning by it, as the berries, in ointment or whisky tincture, are often used by the laity for the destruction of lice. It must not be used on abraded surfaces, nor in any considerable quantity.

Internal. Homeopaths use an attenuation of the tincture of cocculus as a remedy to prevent nausea and sickness incident to travel by rail or upon water (meralgia or sea sickness).

Cocculus is said to be used by the natives of the East Indies to stupefy fish, so as to readily catch them, and it is asserted to be in use among brewers to add bitterness to beer and other malt beverages.


The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.



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