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Jeffersonia. Jeffersonia diphylla. Twinleaf, Rheumatism root.

Botanical name:

Jeffersonia. Twinleaf. Rheumatism Root. Jeffersonia diphylla (L.) Pers. Twinleaf. (Fam. Berberidaceae.)—This herbaceous perennial is found in woods from New York to Wisconsin, extending southward. The rhizome, which, with the rootlets attached, is the part used, has a brownish-yellow color, and a bitter, acrid taste, which resides in its cortical part, the inner portion being nearly tasteless. E. S. Wayne of Cincinnati, found it to contain albumen, gum, tannic acid, starch, pectin, a fatty resin, hard resin, sugar, lignin, and a peculiar acrid principle having acid properties and resembling polygalic acid. The root is said to be emetic in large doses, tonic and expectorant in smaller doses and not unlike senega, as a substitute for which it is sometimes used. (A. J. P., xxvii, 1.) According to Mayer, of New York, the rhizome of this plant contains a small quantity of berberine and a second white alkaloid. The pectin of Wayne he considers to be saponin. (A. J. P., 1863, 99.) A. W. Flexor proved the absence of berberine from the root. (Am. Drug., 1884.) Gordin has since confirmed this view (1902).


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



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