558. Lappa, N.F.—Lappa. Burdock Root. 559. Lappae Fructus.—Burdock Fruit.
The dried root of Arc'tium lappa Linné, and possibly of other species of Arctium, collected from plants of the first year's growth.
BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS. —Root biennial, fusiform; stem 1 to 3 feet high. Leaves strong-smelling, ovate, with cordate and crenate base, or lanceolate, with cuneate base. Involucre composed of imbricated coriaceous scales, the stiff, needle-like points of which are hooked. Heads solitary or clustered; flowers white or light purple, all tubular. Akenes oblong, flattened.
DESCRIPTION OF DRUG.—A fusiform, fleshy root several inches in length and about 25 mm. (1 in.) thick, sometimes sliced longitudinally; grayish-brown, longitudinally wrinkled from drying, and having withered scales near the top; internally lighter colored, spongy, a cross-section showing a thick bark (in young roots, thin in old), the inner layer of which, and the meditullium, is traversed by broad medullary rays. Fracture horny. It has a slight unpleasant odor, and a sweetish, somewhat bitter taste.
Powder.—Brownish-gray. Characteristic elements: Parenchyma of cortex, thin-walled, elongated with glassy masses and sphaero-crystals of inulin; ducts large and small, with reticulate, simple pores; wood fibers and resin ducts, few.
CONSTITUENTS.—Mucilage, sugar, fat, a little tannin, a bitter glucoside, and inulin.
ACTION AND USES.—Diuretic, diaphoretic, and alterative. Dose: ½ to 2 dr. (2 to 8 Gm.). Fluidextractum Lappae, Dose: ½ to 2 fl. dr. (2 to 8 mils).
559. LAPPAE FRUCTUS.—BURDOCK FRUIT. A somewhat angular fruit, about 6 mm. (¼ in.) long, rough and wrinkled, and covered with short, stiff hairs, which are easily rubbed off. Very bitter. A tincture is used in psoriasis and other skin diseases.