Quassia. Quassia amara.

Synonym—Simaruba Excelsa.

Quassin. Dose, one-third of a grain.


Extractum Quassiae Fluidum, Fluid Extract of Quassia. Dose, from ten minims to one dram.
Tinctura Quassiae, Tincture of Quassia. Dose, from one-half dram to one dram.

Physiological Action—The taste of quassia is so intensely bitter that with some patients it acts as an emetic at once. It stimulates most positively the salivary, mucous, gastric and intestinal canal. It is an anthelmintic and parasiticide.

Specific Symptomatology—Extreme inactivity of the digestive and assimilating organs from debility—a cessation of function from lack of power, is an indication for the use of this remedy. The evidences are a broad, flabby tongue, pale, thick, indented with the teeth, sometimes heavily furred, coated with a dirty white or brownish coat, mucous membranes of the mouth pale, anorexia, general feebleness.

Therapy—It is one of the best of what is known as "stomach bitters." In debility of the stomach or intestinal structures, and inactivity of the secreting organs, the tonic effects of this agent are most pronounced. In convalescence from severe acute disease, the conditions there often existing are satisfactorily corrected with this remedy.

Many forms of dyspepsia depending purely upon atonicity, are cured by the use of quassia, either alone or in conjunction with some of the other remedies of this group which possess a similar action.

Quassia, by enema, will destroy ascarides. Pin or thread worms in large quantities may be removed by a single injection of a strong infusion of the bark.

As these worms infest almost the whole of the large intestine, it is advisable for their complete removal that the patient lie on the left side with the hips elevated, and that a large quantity of the infusion, not too strong in this case, but as warm as can be borne, be slowly introduced into the bowel from a fountain syringe. Tonic remedies internally are advised in conjunction if there is a persistent tendency to their reappearance.

Quassia in infusion will destroy small insects, ants, flies and lice of all kinds. The pediculus capitis and pediculus pubis are readily destroyed by frequent washing with a strong infusion of the drug.

The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.