Materia Medica of the New Mexican Pharmacopeia. Part 3.
BY THE EDITOR.
Angélica, the root of Angelica Archangelica, Lin. Dose, in powder, 5 to 10 gm.; the infusion, 15 gm. to one liter of water.
Angostura verdadera, the bark of Galipea officinalis, Hancock, etc. Dose of powder, 2 to 4 gm.; of extract, 0.5 to 1.0 gm.; little employed.
Anís comun and Anís estrellado are Anise and Star-anise.
Anisillo cimarron, Schkuhria abrotanoides, Roth, a Mexican composite, is antispasmodic.
Anona reticulata and A. glabra, Lin., Mexican custard apple. The fruit is edible; the decoction of the bark, leaves and green fruit is reputed to be astringent and used in diarrheas; the infusion of the leaves is anti-spasmodic; the powder of the seed is employed as an insecticide and is dangerous.
Añil, Indigo, is little used medicinally.
Apio, Parsley, is aperitive and used in infusion of 15 to 30 gm, to the liter.
Árbol de la cera, Myrica jalapensis, Kunth, nat. ord. Myricaceae, is indigenous to the sierra of Huauchinango. The wax obtained from the fruit by boiling with water is green or yellow, according to the method. of extraction, more brittle and unctuous than bees' wax, has a feeble odor, a slightly bitter taste and a density nearly equal to that of water and melts at 43°; but on exposure the fusing point rises to 47.5°. It is wholly soluble in boiling ether, insoluble in water, sparingly soluble in cold alcohol and dissolves in 20 parts of boiling alcohol, depositing the greater part on cooling; alkalies saponify it readily. It has probably the same composition as myrtle wax from Myrica cerifera. It is given internally in powder against diarrhea and jaundice, and is used for making candles, for adulterating bees' wax and as a substitute for the latter in pharmaceutical preparations. The bark of the root is acrid and astringent, and in larger doses emetic.
Árbol de los manitas, Cheirostemon platanoides, Humb. et Bonpl., nat. ord. Bombaceae, indigenous to Mexico. The flowers are used internally in epilepsy, and as an emollient in ophthalmia.
Árbol del Perú, Schinus Molle, Lin., nat. ord. Anacardaceae, grows in various parts of Mexico. The leaves, masticated, serve as a remedy for loose teeth and atonic ulcers of the mouth. The fruit, known as Pimienta de América, is stomachic, stimulant and diuretic; it contains a notable quantity of sugar and may be used for the production of alcohol and vinegar. The bark has astringent and balsamic properties. The gum-resin was examined by Manuel C. Jimenex, of Mexico; it forms milk-white tears, varying in size and becoming gradually reddish yellow, softens on mastication, has a bitter and sharp taste with an aftertaste resembling that of cubeb, and a disagreeable odor, becomes soft at 35° and melts at 40° giving off white fumes and an odor like frankincense. Its powder is dingy white and is easily emulsionized with water. It is composed of 40 gum, 60 resin and a small quantity of volatile oil. Two or three drops of the concentrated emulsion are used for the removal of spots on the cornea.
Aristoloquia larga and A. redonda, the rhizomes of the European Aristolochia longa and A. rotunda, Lin., are rarely employed as tonics and stimulants.
Arnica montana, Lin. The root, leaves and flowers are employed; however, Heterotheca inuloides, Cassini, is frequently substituted for the former. The ray florets are pistillate, the receptacle flat and alveolate, the involucral. scales imbricate and linear, the akenes of the ray oblong and smooth, those of the disk cuneiform and downy, the lower leaves petiolate oval and dentate, and the upper ones sessile, lanceolate and entire. The chemical constituents and the therapeutic action of this plant have not been investigated.
Aro, Richardia (Zantedeschia) aethiopica, Kunth, nat. ord. Araceae. The plant is very acrid in the fresh state, the juice caustic, the leaves and root vesicating.
Aroma, Acacia Farnesiana, Willd., nat. ord. Leguminosae; indigenous to Yucatan. The fruit is astringent and yields an extract known as jugo de acacia and having the same properties as catechu. The flowers are very fragrant, have anti-spasmodic properties and are much used in perfumery under the name of casia or cassie.
Arrayan, Myrtus Arrayan, Kunth; indigenous to Mexico. The leaves contain a volatile oil and are used as a perfume; they are astringent and, like the bark, are used for tanning.
Arrowroot (the fecula of different plants), Arroz (rice), Artemisia vulgar (mugwort), Asafetida, Asfalto (asphaltum), Azafrán (saffron), Azafrancillo (safflower), Azúcar de caña (cane sugar) are enumerated.
Artemisia del país, Ambrosia artemisiaefolia, Lin., the hog-weed or rag-weed, common also in the United States, is used as a stimulant and emmenagogue, and is reputed to be febrifuge and anthelmintic. Dose, in powder, 2 gm.; of the extract, 0.5 to 1.0 gm.
Atlanchana, Cuphea lanceolata, Kunth, nat. ord. Lythraceae; indigenous to Mexico. The stem is herbaceous, striate, pubescent and viscous; the leaves are opposite, short-stalked, lanceolate and somewhat downy. In Puebla the plant is used by midwives as a corroborant after childbirth. The bruised fresh herb or the tincture of the dry plant is employed, after baths, as an embrocation of the back and hips. The drug is considered to be mildly astringent and anti-dysenteric.
Azafrancillo de Mexico, Escobedia scabrifolia, Humboldt, nat. ord. Scrophulariaceae, grows in the State of Guerrero. According to Dr. Altamirano (La Naturaleza, III, 390), the root contains the crystalline principle escobedin and the resinous coloring matter azafranin, the latter producing with sulphuric acid a blue color, changing to violet. It is used for coloring.
Bálsamo de liquidámbar, Sweet gum, from Liquidambar styraciflua, Lin., growing in the State of Vera Cruz and other parts of Mexico. The crude balsam has the consistence of turpentine, is of a gray color mixed with darker pieces arid with white tears, has a strong, not unpleasant odor and a bitter warm and acrid taste, and contains fragments of bark and other impurities. It is purified by warming and straining and is then more or less transparent, whitish gray or yellowish and becomes thicker and darker on keeping. In regard to its composition, the older investigations by Bonastre, Hanbury and Creecy are mentioned, but not the more recent ones by Harrison and Flückiger. The balsam is sometimes adulterated with turpentine, and an inferior, dark colored and opaque balsam is prepared by boiling the branches with water. It is used as a balsamic stimulant in doses of 0.5 to 2.0 gm.
Bálsamo negro, Balsam of Peru. It is stated that Myrospermum Pereirae, Royle, grows in Pánuco, Huajicori, Cuautla de Morelos and in other warm sections of the Republic as well as in Central America, and that the fruit and bark of the indigenous tree are also employed. The fruit, which we have seen in 1876 and of which we have recently received specimens from Prof. Alfonso Herrera, resembles that of Toluifera Balsamum, Lin., as figured by Bentley and Trimen, and differs in shape from that named above; of the latter we have specimens from the late Prof. Carson, which he received from Dr. Dorat, and these agree with Bentley and Trimen's figure of the same species. It is known that Prof. Baillon considers these plants as one variable species. The tree does not appear to be used in Mexico for the production of balsam.
Bálsamo de Tolú (Tolu balsam), Bardana (Burdock), Bedelio (bdellium), Beleño blanco and B. negro (hyoscyamus), Belladona (belladonna), Benjuí (benzoin), Bistorta (bistort), Bol de Armenia (Armenian bole), Brusco (butcher's broom), Buchu, and Buglosa (Anchusa officinalis) are enumerated among the drugs.