Grindelia, I.C.A. Grindelia.

Grindelia consists of the dried leaves and flowering tops of Grindelia camporum, Greene, G. robusta, Nuttall, or G. squarrosa, Dunal (N.O. Compositae), perennial herbs growing in the plains to the south-west of the Rocky Mountains. Grindelia is official in the Australasian and North American colonies; it is also official in the U.S.P. The leaves and tops are collected when the plants are flowering and fruiting, and dried. As seen in commerce, the drug consists of the branching yellow upper portions of the stem bearing the capitula and a few leaves; as the latter readily break away from the stem, the majority of them lie loose from the drug. The upper leaves, which are pale green, rigid and brittle, attain a length of about 5 centimetres, and are sessile or amplexicaul; they vary in shape from spathulate to broadly oval, the margin being coarsely serrate, and the surface glabrous and minutely dotted. Surrounding the capitula are several rows of acute recurved bracts, containing numerous compressed fruits, each of which is crowned by a pappus consisting of two stiff, thick bristles, and, when mature, is bi-auriculate or more rarely unidentate at the summit. The whole drug is remarkable for its extremely resinous nature, the resin being especially conspicuous in the capitula. It has a slight balsamic odour, and an aromatic bitter taste. The commercial drug is said to be obtained chiefly from G. camporum, Greene, a Californian species which closely resembles G. robusta. G. squarrosa is far more abundant than G. robusta, and is said to be distinguished by the conical urceolate shape of the capitulum, which is longer than it is broad, that of G. robusta being depressed urceolate and broader than it is long, although this character is too variable to be definite. Other species of Grindelia have also been employed medicinally, but those specified are sufficiently distinguished by the glabrous surface and pappus consisting of two or three bristles.

Constituents.—The chief constituents of the drug are amorphous resins, of which grindelia contains more than 20 per cent. Other constituents are hentriacontane, a crystalline phytosterol, various glycerides, l-glucose, tannin, colouring matter, and a trace of volatile oil. Glucosides belonging to the class of saponins and an alkaloid have been said to be present, but later researches have not confirmed this assertion.

Action and Uses.—Grindelia is a useful remedy in spasmodic asthma, whooping cough, bronchitis, and hay fever. Its action resembles that of atropine, and probably depends upon depression of sensory nerve endings. It is a feeble drug and its action has not been clearly defined. it is used in heart disease to slow and regulate the pulse, and has been strongly recommended in cystitis and catarrh of the urinary passages. Extractum Grindeliae Liquidum, is the most suitable preparation for internal use. The rather nauseous taste may be masked with emulsion of chloroform or glycerin. Grindelia is sometimes added to cigarettes for smoking in asthma. A lotion made by diluting the liquid extract (1 in 10) is used in the dermatitis caused by the poison oak (Rhus toxicodendron).


Extractum Grindeliae Liquidum, I.C.A.—LIQUID EXTRACT OF GRINDELIA.
Grindelia, in No. 40 powder, 100; sodium bicarbonate, 10; distilled water, 50 alcohol, sufficient to produce 100. Add 40 of the alcohol to the drug, allow to macerate for twenty-four hours, pack in a percolator, saturate with alcohol, and set aside for twenty-four hours; then exhaust by percolation, recover the alcohol, dissolve the residue in the water mixed with the sodium bicarbonate to neutralise acid resin, add water sufficient to make 75, and make up to the required volume with alcohol. Liquid extract of grindelia is official in the Australasian and North American Colonies, where the proportion of alcohol may be increased to one-fourth by weight if necessary. The extract is prescribed in mixtures containing one-sixteenth their volume of mucilage of gum acacia to prevent separation of resinous substances. The extract is incompatible with acids. its nauseous taste may be covered with spirit of chloroform, glycerin, or liquid extract of liquorice. Dose.—6 to 12 decimils (0.6 to 1.2 milliliters) (10 to 20 minims).
Fluidextractum Grindeliae U.S.P.—FLUIDEXTRACT OF GRINDELIA.
Grindelia, in No. 30 powder, 100; alcohol (71 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. Average Dose.—2 mils (30 minims).

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