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Cydonium

Botanical name:

Cydonium. U. S. 1880. Quince Seed. Semen Cydonus. Semeneces (Pepins) de Coing, Fr. Quittenkerne, Quittensamen, Gr. Semi di Cotogno, It. Simiente de Membrillo, Sp.—Cydonia vulgaris, Pers. (Fam. Rosaceae), or common quince tree, has been under cultivation since very remote times. It is supposed to be a native of Crete, but grows wild in Austria, on the banks of the Danube, and in Northern Africa, is extensively cultivated for its fruit. The fruit is yellow, downy, of an agreeable odor, and a rough, astringent, acidulous taste, and in each of its five cells contains from eight to fourteen seeds. Though not eaten raw, it forms a very pleasant confection, and a syrup prepared from it may be used as a grateful addition to drinks in sickness, especially in looseness of the bowels, which it is supposed to restrain by its astringency. The seeds, which were formerly official, are ovate, angled, reddish-brown externally, white within, inodorous, and nearly insipid, being slightly bitter when. long chewed. Their coriaceous envelope abounds in mucilage, which is extracted by boiling water. They were officially described as follows: " About 6 mm. in length, oval, or oblong, triangularly compressed, brown, covered with a whitish, mucilaginous epithelium, causing the seeds of each cell to adhere. With water the seeds swell up, and form a mucilaginous mass. The unbroken seeds have an insipid taste." U. S., 1880. The seeds which are still extensively imported and used in the preparation of Bandoline and cosmetic lotions are frequently adulterated with fragments of bark or other vegetable tissue of the same size and color as the seeds and only detected by a close examination of the drug. Two drachms of the seeds will render a pint of water thick and ropy. (A. J. P., 1876, 35.) It has been proposed to evaporate the decoction to dryness, and powder the residue. Three grains of this powder form a sufficiently consistent mucilage with an ounce of water. According to Garot, one part communicates to a thousand parts of water a semi-syrupy consistence. (J. P. C; 3e ser., iii, 298.) Pereira considers the mucilage as peculiar, and proposes to call it cydonin. It differs from arabin in not yielding a precipitate with potassium silicate, and from bassorin and cerasin in being soluble in water both hot and cold. Tollens and Kirchner (Ann. Ch. Phys., clxxv, 205-226) assign to it the formula C18H28O14, regarding it as a compound of gum, C12H20O10) and cellulose, C6H10O5. less one molecule of water. Quince mucilage (Mucilago Cydonii, U. S., 1880) may be used for the same purposes as other mucilaginous liquids. The U. S. P., 1880, gave the following formula for its preparation. " Cydonium, two parts [or thirty-six grains]; Distilled Water, one hundred parts [or four fluidounces]. Macerate the Cydonium for half an hour, in a covered vessel, with Distilled Water, frequently agitating. Then drain the liquid through muslin, without pressure. This preparation should be freshly made, when required for use." U. S., 1880.


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



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