Cissampelos, I.C.A.

Related entry: Pareira

Cissampelos consists of the dried root of Cissampelos Pareira, Linn. (N.O. Menispermaceae), a woody creeper, common in the hedges of the West Indies, and growing also in India and Ceylon. The drug occurs in long, greyish-brown pieces, varying usually from 10 to 15 millimetres in thickness. The bark is moderately thick and marked with longitudinal, slightly spiral furrows, and sometimes with small transverse cracks. Here and there it is easily removable from the wood, disclosing separated wood-bundles.

Constituents.—The chief constituent of cissampelos is the crystalline alkaloid beberine, C18H21NO3, which was formerly called pelosine, and is distinct from buxine, with which it was long supposed to be identical. A small quantity of a crystalline substance, deyamettin, is also present in the drug.

Action and Uses.—Cissampelos has similar properties to pareira root, and is used in India and the Eastern Colonies as an equivalent of pareira root, being administered in the form of Decoctum Cissampeli and Extractum Cissampeli Liquidum.


Cissampelos, thinly sliced, 12.5; distilled water, sufficient to produce 100. Add the sliced drug to 120 of the water, boil for fifteen minutes, strain, and make up to the required volume, if necessary, by passing distilled water through the strainer. Decoction of cissampelos is official in India and the Eastern Colonies, where it is used as an equivalent of decoction of pareira. Dose.—15 to 60 mils (½ to 2 fluid ounces).
Extractum Cissampeli Liquidum, I.C.A.—LIQUID EXTRACT OF CISSAMPELOS.
Cissampelos, in No. 40 powder, 100; distilled water, boiling, a sufficient quantity; alcohol, a sufficient quantity. Mix the drug with about 120 of the boiling water, allow to macerate for twenty-four hours, then pack in a percolator, and percolate with boiling water till exhausted. Determine the proportion of extractive matter in the percolate, evaporate the latter until it contains one-third its weight of extractive, and add sufficient alcohol to increase the volume of product by one-third, afterwards filtering if necessary. Liquid extract of cissampelos has similar properties to liquid extract of pareira. It is official in India and the Eastern Colonies, where the proportion of alcohol may be increased to one-fourth by weight of the finished product in order to prevent fermentation. Dose.—2 to 8 mils (½ to 2 fluid drachms).

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