C4H8N2O3,H2O = 150.1.
Synonyms.—Althein; Aminosuccinamic Acid.
Asparagin, HOOCNH2HC.CH2CONH2,H2O, is the amide of aspartic or aminosuccinic acid, and is found in the cell sap of plants in two isomeric forms, laevo- and dextro-asparagin, the former existing in asparagus, beet-root, wheat, and many seeds. It forms colourless crystals, which are sweet in the case of dextro-asparagin, while laevo-asparagin has a disagreeable and cooling taste. The crystals have a slightly acid reaction.
Soluble in water (1 in So), acids, or alkalies; insoluble in alcohol or ether.
Action and Uses.—Asparagin has diuretic properties and has been given in cardiac dropsy, Bright's disease, and gout; it is, however, of doubtful physiological activity. Its solutions dissolve freshly precipitated mercuric oxide, and preparations of mercury amino-succinamate have been used for hypodermic injection in syphilis.
Dose.—3 to 6 decigrams (5 to 10 grains).