Scoparii Cacumina, B.P. Broom Tops.

Botanical name: 

Related entries: Broom Tops - Scoparin - Sparteine - Sparteine Sulphate

Broom tops (Scoparius, U.S.P.) are obtained from Cytisus scoparius, Link (N.O. Leguminosae), a shrub indigenous to England and temperate Europe. The trips are used both fresh and dried. The stem of the broom produces long, slender, glabrous, alternate branches which bear small, sessile leaves near the tips, but trifoliate stalked ones below. The flowers are yellow and papilionaceous; the fruits, flattened legumes with hairy margins. When dried, the drug often consists almost entirely of the slender branches. On incineration, it yields about 3 per cent. of ash. Taste, bitter and disagreeable; odour, slight.

Constituents.—The drug contains a liquid, volatile alkaloid, sparteine, in small proportion, together with a yellow, crystalline substance, scoparin, belonging to the quercetin group.

Action and Uses.—Broom tops are employed as a feeble diuretic, generally in dropsical complaints of Cardiac origin. This action is due to the scoparin; the sparteine present was formerly reputed to exert a tonic, action on the heart, in reality, however, its action is almost identical with that of coniine. In large doses sparteine weakens the heart, depresses nerve cells, and lowers blood pressure. It has been proposed to use sparteine to paralyse the vagus before the administration of chloroform, but atropine is much more satisfactory for this purpose. The drug is given usually in the form of decoction, often with squill and ammonium or potassium acetate.


Decoctum Scoparii, B.P. 1885.—DECOCTION OF BROOM.
Broom tops, dried, 5; distilled water, sufficient to produce 100. Add the broom tops to 100 of the water, boil for ten minutes, strain, and make up to the required volume, if necessary, by passing distilled water through the strainer. Decoction of broom is chiefly employed as a diuretic in dropsical conditions. Dose.—60 to 120 mils ( 2 to 4 fluid ounces).
Infusum Scoparii, B.P.—INFUSION OF BROOM.
Broom tops, dried and bruised, 10; distilled water, boiling, 100. Infuse the drug in the water for fifteen minutes , in a covered vessel, and strain. Infusion of broom is a vehicle for diuretics. Dose.—30 to 60 mils (1 to 2 fluid ounces).
Infusum Scoparii Concentration, B.P.C.—CONCENTRATED INFUSION OF BROOM.
A product closely resembling infusion of broom is obtained by diluting 1 part of this preparation with 7 parts of distilled water. Dose.—4 to 8 mils (1 to 2 fluid drachms).
Succus Scoparii, B.P.—JUICE OF BROOM.
Broom juice is prepared by subjecting the bruised, fresh broom tops to pressure, adding to the expressed juice one-third its volume of alcohol, allowing the mixture to stand for seven days. and filtering. This juice is of fairly constant strength, containing the equivalent of about 0.162 per cent. of alkaloid, reckoned as hydrochloride. Dose.—4 to 8 mils (1 to 2 fluid drachms).

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