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Celastrus.

Celastrus.—Various species of the Celastraceae have medicinal properties. In the East Indies the oil obtained from the seeds of Celastrus paniculatus Willd. is used as a powerful stimulant and diaphoretic in rheumatism, gout, and various fevers. The oil is said to be deep reddish-yellow, and to become thick and honey-like on keeping. It is sometimes known as oleum nigrum. In Abyssinia, according to Dragendorff, the leaves of C. serratus Hochst. (C. obscurus A. Rich.) are used as an antiperiodic under the name of Add-add. Dragendorff found in them tannic acid, a volatile oil, and a bitter principle, celastrine. (A. J. P., xxvi.) In North America the bark of Celastrus scandens L. (climbing staff tree, false bittersweet, fever twig) has been used in chronic affections of the liver and in secondary syphilis, and is said to be emetic, diaphoretic, and alterative. C. H. Bernhard found in the bark acid and neutral resin, starch, glucose, gum, a caoutchouc-like body, coloring matter, and volatile oil. (A. J. P., 1882, 1.) Wayne stated that he had isolated from C. scandens white minute crystals, to which he gave the name of celastrine. According to Ugolino Mosso (Rivista Clinica, 1891), celastrine arrests the frog's heart in systole; does not affect markedly the blood pressure in mammals, and influences the respiration only through its action on the vagus. The stimulant action is especially manifest on the brain and is not followed by a secondary depression. There is marked, persistent elevation of the temperature.


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



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