Atherosperma. Atherosperma moschatum Labill. Australian Sassafras. (Fam. Monimiaceae.]—The bark of this tree, a native of Southern Australia, is said to have been long used by the aborigines, and later by the settlers, in rheumatism and in secondary syphilis, and has been highly commended by Grooves (L. L., 1862) in acute bronchitis. It has been stated that both the bark and the volatile oil are powerful poisons, and Zeyer (Vierteljahrschr. f. Pract. Pharm., x, 504) obtained from the drug an alkaloid, atherospermine (C30H20NO5); see also Wittstein's Organic Constituents of Plants, 20. The abundant volatile oil is light yellow, and has a pleasant aromatic odor and taste, resembling those of oil of sassafras. Scott obtained from the leaves 1.7 to 2.65 per cent. of volatile oil. (J. Chem. S., 101, 1912, 1612.) Ralph Stockman (Lab. Rep. Royal Coll. Phys., vi, 1897) found it to resemble in its physiological action oil of sassafras and other allied volatile oils. He took repeatedly ten minims (0.6 mil) without any pronounced effect, and one fluidrachm (3.75 mils) given to a rabbit caused only temporary stupor, with slowing of the respiration, but not of the pulse. Three fluidrachms (11.25 mils) caused in the rabbit marked depression of the heart and of the respiration, coma, and death in twelve hours by asphyxia.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.