Oleum Chenopodii. Chenopodium Oil.

Botanical name: 

Related entries: Chenopodium

Synonym.—American Wormseed Oil.

Chenopodium oil is obtained by distillation from the crushed fruits of Chenopodium ambrosioides, var. anthelminticum, Gray (N.O. Chenopodiacae), a native of the West Indies and Central America. It is official in the U.S.P. It occurs as a colourless or yellow, thin liquid, having a disagreeable, penetrating, camphor-like odour, and a bitter, burning taste. Specific gravity, 0.970 to 0.990; rotation, between -1° and -6°. Adulteration with American turpentine oil causes lowering of the specific gravity, slight dextrorotation, and insolubility in alcohol (70 per cent.). To prove adulteration with turpentine oil, however, pinene must be shown to be present, as this latter body is not a constituent of the genuine oil. The oil distilled from the herb has an odour somewhat resembling that of trimethylamine.

Soluble in 70 per cent. alcohol (1 in 10).

Constituents.—The oil contains a high percentage (60 to 65 per cent.) of ascaridol, an unstable alcohol readily decomposed on heating, with the production of a hydrocarbon. It also contains para-cymene and possibly sylvestrene.

Action and Uses.—Chenopodium oil is employed as an anthelmintic, especially to expel round worms. The dose is given at bedtime, on an empty stomach, and followed by an aperient. A dose of 6 decimils (0.6 milliliters) (10 minims) is recommended for a child of ten.

Dose.—1/4 to 6 decimils (0.025 to 0.6 milliliters) (1 to 10 minims).

The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.