The bark of Rhamnus californica, Eschscholtz (Frangula californica, Gray), (Nat. Ord. Rhamnaceae). Sparingly in northern California and more abundant southerly in the Sierras, and easterly, especially in Mexico and Arizona.
Common Names: California Buckthorn, California Coffee Tree.
Principal Constituents.—Probably similar to those of Cascara Sagrada.
Preparations.—1. Specific Medicine Rhamnus Californica. Dose, 10 to 30 drops.
2. Decoctum Rhamni Californici, Decoction of Rhamnus Californica (1/2 ounce to 16 fluidounces). Dose, 3 to 6 fluidrachms every 3 or 4 hours.
Action and Therapy.—Rhamnus californica is cathartic and antirheumatic. It sometimes is indiscriminately gathered with cascara sagrada (Rhamnus Purshiana. and is known to coast dealers as "thin cascara bark." As a domestic medicine it has long been used in rheumatic disorders, and its introduction into Eclectic medicine for that purpose is due to Webster, who regards it as one of the best of antirheumatics. Given short of producing a laxative effect, he employs it (in the decoction, tincture, and the specific medicine) as the most positive remedy he has ever used for rheumatism and muscular pain of rheumatoid character. He also advises it in longstanding and obstinate dysmenorrhea, not requiring surgical rectification. The remedy may be administered for months, provided it is used short of catharsis.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.