Eupatorium consists of the dried leaves and flowering tops of Eupatorium perfoliatum, Linn. (N.O. Compositae), a perennial herbaceous plant, indigenous to the United States. The drug is official in the U.S.P. It occurs usually in fragments, but the entire leaves are from 8 to 20 centimetres long and 1.5 to 5 centimetres broad, opposite and united at the base, tapering regularly from near the base to an acute apex, crenate-serrate, rugosely veined; rough and bright green above, yellowish-grey-green, tomentose, and resinous dotted below. The numerous flower-heads are small and corymbose, with a campanulate involucre of linear-lanceolate imbricated scales, and with ten to fifteen tubular yellowish-white florets, having a bristly pappus in a single rosy. Odour, faintly aromatic; taste, very bitter.
Constituents.—The active principle of eupatorium is said to be a substance named eupatorin, which can be obtained as a bitter yellow powder, and combines with nitric acid to form a crystalline body, C20H25O36HNO3. Other constituents of the drug are fat, resin, sugar, and inulin.
Action and Uses.—Eupatorium has bitter and diaphoretic effects, and is emetic and aperient in large doses, while an infusion is said to have proved useful in the expulsion of tape worm. It has been employed as an antiperiodic, and is administered in warm infusion (1 in 20) so as to induce vomiting or copious perspiration, at the onset of influenza, muscular rheumatism, or a general cold; as a tonic or simple bitter it is given in dyspepsia and general debility.
Dose.—1 to 3 grammes (15 to 45 grains).
- Fluidextractum Eupatorii, U.S.P.—FLUIDEXTRACT OF EUPATORIUM. Syn.—Extractum Eupatorii Fluidum.
- Eupatorium, in No. 40 powder, is exhausted with alcohol (49 per cent.), and the strength of the product adjusted so that 1 fluid part represents 1 part of the drug. Average dose.—2 mils (30 minims).