Sparteina. Sparteine.

Botanical name: 

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

C15H26N2 = 234.228.

Sparteine; C15H26N2, is a volatile, liquid alkaloid, obtained from broom, Cytisus Scoparius, Link. (N.O. Leguminosae). It may be prepared by extracting the plant with water acidified with sulphuric acid, concentrating the solution, and distilling with solution of sodium hydroxide until the distillate is no longer alkaline. The distillate is acidified with hydrochloric acid, evaporated to dryness on a water-bath, the residue moistened with water, and distilled with solid potassium hydroxide. Ammonia is first given off, and then the alkaloid, as a thick, oily liquid. The latter is freed from water by warming with sodium, and finally distilling in a current of hydrogen. Another method is to exhaust the powdered plant with 60 per cent. alcohol, distil off the alcohol, and take up the residue with tartaric acid. The acid solution is filtered, treated with potassium carbonate in excess, and shaken with ether. The ethereal solution is then extracted with solution of tartaric acid, the acid solution made alkaline with potassium carbonate, and again extracted with ether, from which, by evaporation, the pure sparteine is obtained. Sparteine occurs as a transparent, oily liquid, colourless when pure and freshly prepared, but absorbing oxygen, under the influence of air and light, and becoming yellowish to dark-brown in colour, and thicker; heavier than water, having a penetrating odour resembling aniline, and an intensely bitter taste. It is a strong base, and combines with acids to form crystallisable silts. The aqueous solution is strongly alkaline. Boiling-point, about 311°; rotation, -14.6°. Sparteine yields a white, curdy precipitate with cadmium iodide; with sodium phosphomolybdate a white precipitate soluble on heating. With silver nitrate there is no precipitation. Copper salts give a green precipitate, and platinum chloride a yellow, crystalline precipitate. Iodine in ethereal solution converts it into the periodide, which crystallises from alcohol in green needles.

Sparingly soluble in water; soluble in alcohol, ether, or chloroform; insoluble in benzin, benzene, or petroleum oils.

Action and Uses.—The action of sparteine is described under Sparteinae Sulphas. Pure sparteine is rarely employed in medicine. The periodide has been given in pill form, but the most commonly used salt of sparteine is the sulphate (see Sparteinae Sulphas).

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