Cucurbita. Citrullus vulgaris Schrad. Watermelon.—The seeds of the watermelon are employed, to a considerable extent, as a domestic remedy in strangury and other affections of the urinary passages. Power and Salway (P. J., lxxxiv, 760) found in watermelon seeds a fixed oil very similar to that which is found in pumpkin seeds. The Russian peasants are said to employ watermelon in the treatment of dropsy, urino-genital affections, chronic hepatic congestion, and chronic intestinal catarrh. Manassein (Vratch, Nov., 1881), found that the melon honey acts upon the lower animals as a very powerful diuretic, and causes, when in sufficient dose, fall of the arterial pressure, rapid pulse, and death from cardiac paralysis. A resin, extracted in the amount of 0.3 per cent. from the press cake of watermelon seed, when administered to a dog in doses of 1 gramme exhibited no physiological activity. A chemical examination of this resin led, however, to some results of interest, inasmuch as it yielded, besides a little phytosterol, a new crystalline alcohol, C24H40O4, which has been designated cucurbitol.
The pulp of the root of Lagendaria vulgaris, or gourd, is said by Chapin to be a powerful and even drastic purgative, and to be used by the natives of the Sandwich Islands successfully in the treatment of dropsy. (See N. Y. Journal of Med., 1855, 203.)
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.