Umbellularia. California Laurel, Spice Tree.
Related entries: Oreodaphene
Umbellularia. Umbellularia californica (Arn.) Nutt. California Laurel. California Sassafras. Spice Tree. (Fam. Lauraceae).—The leaves of this California tree are employed in neuralgic headaches, and in intestinal colic and atonic diarrhea; also externally as a mild counter-irritant. Stillman and O'Neill (N. R., 1883) obtained from the seeds a new acid, umbellulic acid. The leaves are said also to contain about 4 per cent. of a volatile oil, having a specific gravity of 0.936, a warm camphoraceous taste, and a strong pungent odor. Burse has separated from the oil by fractional distillation umbillol, an oil having the formula C8H12O, which dissolves in concentrated sulphuric acid with red color, and is narcotic. (Ap. Ztg., xi.) According to Schimmel & Co. (Schim. Rep., April, 1897), it also contained cineol, C10H18O. It is probable that the volatile oil is a strong local anesthetic, as it has been found to act rapidly when brought in contact with exposed pulp or sensitive dentine. The fluidextract has been used in doses of from ten to thirty minims (0.6-1.8 mils).
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.