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Baptisia.

Botanical name:

Baptisia. N. F. IV. Wild Indigo. Indigo sauvage, Fr. Baptisie, G.—"The dried roots of Baptisia tinctoria (Linne) R. Brown (Fam. Leguminosae), without the presence of more than 10 per cent. of the crown and stem or other foreign matter." N. F. This is an indigenous perennial plant, abundant throughout the Eastern United States, in woods and dry barren uplands. The roots are "fleshy, from 0.5 to 4 cm. in thickness, usually cut into elongated cylindrical pieces; the crown from 5 to 8 cm. in thickness, more or less warty and marked by stem scars; outer surface dark-brown; usually longitudinally wrinkled, transversely warty, or the thicker pieces covered with a soft and friable corky layer, bearing few branching rootlets; fracture tough, the fractured surface whitish; bark section radially striate, wood-section inconspicuously radiate, porous. Nearly odorless; the bark bitter and acrid, the wood nearly tasteless. The powdered drug is light-grayish and, when examined with the microscope, shows numerous, rounded, simple, or two-to four-compound starch grains up to 0.016 mm. in diameter, the larger grains sometimes with a cleft through the center; tracheae with bordered pores up to 0.085 mm. in diameter; numerous sclerenchyma cells, long, thick-walled, non-porous, more or less lignified and up to 0.024 mm. in width; fragments of medullary-ray tissue composed of cells with lignified walls and numerous simple pores; groups of parenchyma, many of the cells filled with starch; few epidermal and cork cells with brownish walls. Baptisia yields not more than 5 per cent. of ash." N. F. It contains a glucoside, baptism, an alkaloid, baptitoxine, and a coloring principle which has been used as a substitute for indigo, but which is greatly inferior. It is not often used in medicine. For further information concerning this drug, see U. S. D., 19th ed., p. 1406 and A. Pharm., 245, 1907, No. 8, 561-572.


The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.



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