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Prinos. Black alder, Winterberry, Feverbush. Ilex verticillata.

Botanical name:

Prinos. Black Alder. Winterberry. Feverbush. Prinos, Fr., G.—The U. S. P. formerly recognized under this name the bark of Ilex verticillata (L.) A. Gray (Prinos verticillatus L.) (Fam. Aquifoliaceae). This shrub, of which there are 3 well recognized varieties, grows in the United States from Canada to Florida, and west to Missouri and Wisconsin, frequenting low, wet places. The berries, which have a bitter, sweetish, somewhat acrid taste, are sometimes used medicinally for the same purposes as the bark. The dried bark occurs in "thin, slender fragments, about 1 Mm. thick, fragile, outer surface brownish ash-colored, with whitish patches and blackish dots and lines, the corky layer easily separating from the green tissue; inner surface pale greenish or yellowish; fracture short, tangentially striate; nearly inodorous, bitter, slightly astringent." U. S., 1S80. It has no odor, but a bitter and slightly astringent taste. Boiling water extracts its virtues. William J. Lerch failed to find berberine in it. (A. J. P., 1873, 251.)

Black alder has been considered tonic and astringent, and has been used in diarrhea and as a substitute for Peruvian bark, but has no anti-periodic properties. In cases of flabby or ill-conditioned ulcers it is popularly used both locally and internally in decoction (two ounces in three pints of water boiled to a quart); dose, from two to three fluidounces (60-90 mils).


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



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