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Confectio Sennae. Br. Confection of Senna.

Related entry: Senna - Coriander - Tamarind

Electuarium Sennae Compositum, Electuarium Lenitivum; Electuaire de Sene compose, Fr. Cod.; Electuaire lenitif, Fr.; Electuarium e Senna, P. G.; Sennalatwerge, G.; Elettuario lenitivu. It.

Confection of Senna was improperly dropped from the U. S. P. IX, but the National Formulary IV introduced the U. S. P. VIII preparation.

"Senna Leaves, in powder, 100 grammes; Coriander Fruit, in powder, 40 grammes; Figs of commerce, 160 grammes; Tamarinds, 120 grammes; Cassia Pulp, 120 grammes; Prunes of commerce, 80 grammes; Extract of Liquorice, 15 grammes; Refined Sugar, 400 grammes; Distilled Water sufficient to produce 1000 grammes. Boil the figs and prunes gently with three hundred and fifty grammes of Distilled Water in a covered vessel for four hours; add more Distilled Water to make up the quantity to its original weight, and then incorporate the Tamarinds and Cassia Pulp; digest for two hours; rub the softened pulp of the fruits through a hair sieve, rejecting the seeds and other hard parts; to the pulp thus obtained add the Refined Sugar and Extract of Liquorice, dissolving them by the aid of gentle heat; while the mixture is still warm, add to it gradually the mixed Senna and Coriander powders; mix the whole thoroughly; make the weight of the resulting Confection one thousand grammes, either by evaporation or by the addition of more Distilled Water." Br.

"Senna, in No. 60 powder, one hundred grammes [or 3 ounces av., 231 grains]; Cassia Fistula, bruised, one hundred and sixty grammes [or 5 ounces av., 282 grains]; Tamarind, one hundred grammes [or 3 ounces av., 231 grains]; Prune, sliced, seventy grammes [or 2 ounces av., 205 grains]; Fig, bruised, one hundred and twenty grammes [or 4 ounces av., 102 grains]; Sugar, in fine powder, five hundred and fifty-five grammes [or 19 ounces av., 252 grains]; Oil of Coriander, five grammes [or 77 grains]; Water, a sufficient quantity, to make one thousand grammes [or 35 ounces av., 120 grains]. Digest the Cassia Fistula, Tamarind, Prune and Fig with five hundred cubic centimeters [or 17 fluid-ounces] of Water in a covered vessel, by means of a water-bath, for three hours. Separate the coarser portions and rub the pulpy mass, first through a coarse hair sieve, and then through a muslin cloth. Mix the residue with one hundred and fifty cubic centimeters [or 5 fluidounces] of Water, and, having digested the mixture for a short time, treat it as before, and add the product to the pulpy mass first obtained. Then, by means of a water-bath, dissolve the Sugar in the pulpy liquid, and evaporate the whole in a tared vessel, until it weighs eight hundred and ninety-five grammes [or 31 ounces av., 250 grains]. Lastly, add the Senna and the Oil of Coriander, and incorporate them thoroughly with the other ingredients while they are yet warm." U. S. VIII.

Confection of Senna, when correctly made, is an elegant preparation, and keeps well if properly protected. The U. S. P. VIII process differed from that of 1860 in preparing the pulps, as suggested in former editions of this Dispensatory, instead of taking them already prepared. An improvement was made in the process of the U. S. P. 1890 by replacing the coriander seed of the former Pharmacopoeias with oil of coriander; it is almost impossible to powder coriander fine enough to avoid hard particles except by drying it to such an extent as to deprive it injuriously of its volatile oil, and the plan of using the oil directly has therefore been adopted. The oil of coriander should be dropped upon a portion of the powdered senna contained in a mortar or suitable vessel and this lightly triturated with the rest of the powdered senna so as to distribute it uniformly; the mixture should then be added to the pulpy mass and the official directions then carried out. It was formerly not uncommon to omit the cassia pulp in this preparation, as the pods were not always to be found in the market; but, as this is next to the senna the most active ingredient, the omission was to be regretted. Cassia fistula is now readily procured in commerce, and there can be no excuse for its omission. It has also been proposed to substitute the fluidextract of senna for the crude drug (A. J. P., xliii, 123); but, as the fluidextract is of such uncertain quality, the leaves themselves are preferable.

A very good, pleasant laxative, admirably adapted to cases of habitual costiveness, especially in pregnant women, and in persons affected with piles.

Dose, one to two drachms (3.9-7.7 Gm.), at bedtime.


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



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