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Colchici Cormus et Semen

Botanical name:

Colchicum (Colchicum autumnale) was known in very early days, Dioscorides (194) mentioning its poisonous properties. It was used as a rheumatic or gout remedy by the Arabians, as noted in the writings of Tragus (650), 1552, who warns his readers against its use in gout. It was employed empirically in these directions in domestic English medicine, but was, however, in disfavor with the medical profession, being called by them Colchicum perniciosum, and considered "very hurtfull to the stomacke." Wedel (672), in 1718, held colchicum in great disfavor, as indicated by the following quotation: "Velut in fame habitum et damnatum fuit colchicum, indignum habitum inter herbas medicas vel officinales."

Colchicum was mentioned in the London Pharmacopeia, second edition, 1618, and was given an occasional place in subsequent editions, but was altogether omitted in the editions between 1650 and 1788, after which, owing to the investigations of Storck (617), it was again given an authoritative place.


The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.



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