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Extractum Phytolaccae.—Extract of Poke. Extractum Phytolaccae Radicis Fluidum (U. S. P.)—Flu

Botanical name:

Extractum Phytolaccae.—Extract of Poke.

Related entry: Phytolacca.—Phytolacca

Preparation.—Exhaust the recently dried leaves of poke, in coarse powder, with diluted alcohol, a sufficient quantity, proceeding in the same manner as explained for the preparation of Alcoholic Extracts, on page 758. Extract of poke prepared in this manner, is superior to that prepared in the ordinary way with water. The leaves employed in the preparation of the extract should be gathered immediately previous to the ripening of the berries, at which period they are the most active. An extract is prepared from the poke-root in the same manner. An extract formed by evaporating the expressed juice of the recent ripe berries is frequently employed, and has been recently highly lauded as an antifat.

Medical Uses and Dosage.—These various extracts of poke are emetic and purgative in large doses; in medicinal doses they are alterative, and are especially useful in syphilitic, mercurio-syphilitic, and rheumatic diseases, and particularly in the osteocopic pains of mercurio-syphilis. They lose their virtues by age, and should be freshly prepared every year. The dose is from 1 to 5 grains, or more, 3 times a day. The inspissated juice of poke-berries (Succus inspissatus phytolaccae baccae), is frequently employed as a valuable agent in rheumatism; it is milder than the extract prepared from the root or leaves. The dose, both as an antifat and in rheumatism, is from 2 to 5 grains 3 times daily. Since, so far as we know, all advertised antifat remedies are given by specialists in connection with heavy doses of cathartics, the inference is that the cathartic deserves the credit for the loss of flesh.


Extractum Phytolaccae Radicis Fluidum (U. S. P.)—Fluid Extract of Phytolacca Root.

SYNONYM: Fluid extract of poke-root.

Preparation.—"Phytolacca root, in No. 60 powder, one thousand grammes (1000 Gm.) [2 lbs. av., 3 ozs., 120 grs.]; alcohol, water, each, a sufficient quantity to make one thousand cubic centimeters (1000 Cc.) [33 fl℥, 391♏]. Mix six hundred cubic centimeters (600 Cc.) [20 fl℥, 138♏] of alcohol with three hundred cubic centimeters (300 Cc.) [10 fl℥, 69♏] of water, and, having moistened the powder with four hundred cubic centimeters (400 Cc.) [13 fl℥, 252♏] of the mixture, pack it firmly in a cylindrical percolator; then add enough menstruum to saturate the powder, and leave a stratum above it. When the liquid begins to drop from the percolator, close the lower orifice, and having closely covered the percolator, macerate for 48 hours. Then allow the percolation to proceed, gradually adding menstruum, using the same proportions of alcohol and water as before until the phytolacca root is exhausted. Reserve the first eight hundred cubic centimeters (800 Cc.) [27 fl℥, 25♏] of the percolate, and evaporate the remainder, at a temperature not exceeding 50° C. (122° F.), to a soft extract; dissolve this in the reserved portion, and add enough menstruum to make the fluid extract measure one thousand cubic. centimeters (1000 Cc.) [33 fl℥, 391♏]"—(U. S. P.).

Medical Uses and Dosage.—As poke-root is of little value unless fresh, it is very probable that this preparation will be of little value in therapy. Dose, from 5 to 10 minims, 3 or 4 times a day.


King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.



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