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Urechites. Urechites suberecta. Savannah Flower, Yellow-flowered Nightshade.

Botanical name:

Urechites. Urechites suberecta Jacq. Savannah Flower. Yellow-flowered Nightshade.—This is an apocynaceous plant, which grows abundantly in the West Indian Islands and to some extent in Florida, is said to be used in Jamaica by the negroes as a poison. The symptoms which it produces are violent vomiting and purging, with convulsions. J. J. Bowrey (J. Chem. S., June, 1878) has isolated from it two glucosides, urechitin and urechitoxin, having respectively the formula C28H42O8 and C13H20O5. Isaac Ott (T. G., 1880) finds the plant to be a powerful cardiac poison, first increasing and then depressing the arterial pressure, and finally, if the dose be large enough, killing by producing cardiac arrest. The results reached by Ott are in accord with those of Ralph Stockman (Laborat. Rep., Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, vol. iv, 1892), who finds that both of the glucosides are very active poisons belonging to the digitalis group. On the other hand, Vowinkie came to the conclusion that even small doses of the plant depress the heart, and experiments made upon man by Bowrey show that in large doses the drug produces nausea, vomiting, general depression, great perspiration, and slight swelling of the pulse. Stockman (Rev. de Clin. et de Ther., June 29, 1892) found that the leaves contain a toxic alkaloid, which he calls urechitine, C28H42O8 + H2O, and a glucoside, urechitonin, which is less toxic. In Jamaica the drug is said to have been used in the treatment of intermittent and other sthenic fevers. The dose of the fluidextract is from two to ten minims (0.12-0.6 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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