Gleanings in Materia Medica.


Buxus sempervirens, Lin.—G. A. Barbaglia has separated from the leaves and twigs of the box a fourth alkaloid, which he names parabuxinidine. It crystallizes in thin colorless prisms, is insoluble in water, soluble in ether, freely soluble in alcohol, colors turmeric paper deep red, and gives with an alcoholic solution of oxalic acid a heavy white precipitate consisting of minute colorless rhombic plates.—Ber. d. Chem. Ges., 1884, 2655.

Chaulmoogra Seed.—Dr. Jos. Moeller has examined the seeds of three species of Bixaceae, with the following results:

1. Gynocardia odorata, R. Brown. The seeds are about 3 Cm. long and 1-5 Cm. in their greatest breadth, elongated ovate, somewhat flattened and irregularly angular; the hilum is at the pointed end. The surface is dull yellowish gray, and somewhat scurfy to the touch from an adhering thin layer of pulp. The seeds weigh about 3 Gm., of which the integument is 0.8 Gm. The latter consists of an outer and inner layer of stone cells placed parallel to the surface, and between these two layers of two or three rows of stone cells, the long axes of which are nearly at right angles with the former cells. The inner surface of the sclerenchymatous tissue is covered with a delicate and partially broken layer of elongated parenchyma cells. The endosperm consists of tolerably thick-walled cells filled with solid colorless fat and large yellow spherical or irregularly rounded bodies, insoluble in alcohol and benzol; starch and tannin are absent; calcium oxalate crystals were not observed.

2. Hydnocarpus anthelmintica, Pierre. (See "Amer. Jour. Phar," 1884, p. 526.) The seeds are about 18.14 Mm. broad, little longer, resemble a small bulb in shape, weigh barely 2 Gm. (the albumen 0.6 Gm.), are brownish black, rough, hard, and have a large rayed hilum. The integument is 1.5 Mm., thick, and has a lighter colored inner layer, 0.15 Mm. thick, and consisting of tangentially arranged, and relatively little thickened, stone cells; the cells of the middle layer are placed at right angles to the surface; those of the exterior layer are tangentially arranged, and those of the adhering pulp are rather small and frequently interspersed with groups of stone cells. The cells of the endosperm are smaller than in Gynocardia, and do not contain the yellow bodies seen in the latter, but besides oil contain numerous colorless roundish albuminoid granules.

3. Hydnocarpus inebrians, Vahl. Some of the seeds resemble the preceding, but are flatter, whilst others are pointedly elliptical in shape. They attain a length of 3 Cm., a breadth of 15 Mm. and a thickness of 10 or 12 Mm. The hilum. is prominent and warty, the surface longitudinally wrinkled. The weight of the smaller seeds is about 1 Gm. (the integument one-third), of the larger seeds, about 2 Gm. The integument is 0.2 Mm. thick, and consists of three layers of stone cells, arranged as in the two preceding seeds, but the middle layer has only one, or at most two, rows of cells. The adhering pulp resembles that of H. anthelmintica. The endosperm is covered with a layer of thin-walled brownish red cells, but is itself colorless, and teems with fat and protein globules.—Phar. Jour. and Trans., October 25, 1884, p.321.

The American Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. 57, 1885, was edited by John M. Maisch.