(The Cypripediums are rare and endangered orchids. Don't use them unless you grow them yourself. -Henriette)
Synonyms.—American Valerian; Ladies' Slipper.
Cypripedium consists of the dried rhizome and roots of Cypripedium hirsutum, Miller, or of C. parviflorum, Salisbury (N.O. Orchidaceae), small plants found in woods in different parts of the United States. The drug is official in the U.S.P. The rhizome is of horizontal growth, orange-brown to dark brown, curved, 3 to 10 centimetres long, and 2 to 6 millimetres thick; numerous circular, cup-shaped scars occur on the upper surface, and simple wiry roots, from 3 to 15 centimetres long, on the lower surface. Fracture of rhizome short and white; that of roots, somewhat fibrous. Odour valerian-like; taste sweetish, bitter, and somewhat pungent.
Constituents.—Cypripedium contains a volatile oil, resinous matter, tannic acid, sugar, starch, etc. The oil is aromatic, and has a peculiar sweetish, bitter and somewhat pungent taste. The name cypripedin has been applied to a resinoid mixture obtained by precipitating a strong tincture of the drug with water.
Action and Uses.—Cypripedium resembles valerian in its action, but is less powerful. It is used as an antispasmodic, and has been recommended for neuralgia, hysteria, and hypochondriasis. The drug may be administered in powder, or in the form of infusion, or of fluidextract.
Dose.—1 gramme (15 grains) three times a day.
- Fluidextractum Cypripedii, U.S.P.—FLUIDEXTRACT OF CYPRIPEDIUM. Syn.—Extractum Cypripedii Fluidum.
- Cypripedium, in No. 60 powder, is exhausted with alcohol (49 per cent.), and the strength of the final product adjusted by evaporation, etc., so that the strength of the fluid extract shall be 1 in 1. Average dose.—1 mil (15 minims).