Eriodictyon consists of the dried leaves of Eriodictyon californicum (Hooker and Arnott), Greene (N.O. Hydrophyllaceae), a low, evergreen shrub which grows abundantly on dry hills in California. The drug is official in the U.S.P. It occurs usually in fragments, but the entire leaves are oblong-lanceolate, 5 to 15 centimetres long, 1 to 3 centimetres broad, acute at the apex, narrowed below into a short, broad petiole, the margin more or less incurved, entire or irregularly serrate, or crenate-dentate. The upper surface of the leaves is yellowish-green, smooth, and covered with a brownish resin; the lower surface is whitish or yellowish-white, reticulated, and densely tomentose. Though brittle when dry, the leaves are flexible in a damp and warm atmosphere. Odour, somewhat aromatic; taste, balsamic and sweetish.
Constituents.—The chief constituents of eriodictyon are five bodies of a phenolic nature: eriodictyol, C15H12O6; homoeriodictyol (eriodictyonon), C16H14O6; chrysoeriol, C16H12O6; xanthoeridol, C18H14O7, and eridonol, C19H18O7 + H2O. Homoeriodictyol is isomeric with hesperetin. The drug also contains triacontane, pentatriacontane, free formic, acetic, cerotic, and other acids, some glycerides of fatty acids, a phytosterol, a yellow volatile oil, much resinoid matter, and some glucose.
Action and Uses.—Eriodictyon is used as a bitter tonic and as a stimulating expectorant. It has been given in asthma, phthisis, chronic bronchitis, and chronic inflammation of the genito-urinary tract. The drug is best administered in the form of fluidextract, but is sometimes smoked in cases of asthma. It is said to have a remarkable power of disguising the taste of quinine, the fluidextract being mixed with an aromatic syrup for this purpose.
Dose.—1 to 4 grammes (15 to 60 grains).
- Fluidextractum Eriodictyi, U.S.P.—FLUIDEXTRACT OF ERIODICTYON. Syn.—Extractum Eriodictyi Fluidum.
- Eriodictyon, in No. 60 powder, is exhausted with alcohol (95 per cent.) mixed with one-fourth its volume of water, and 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).