Materia Medica of the New Mexican Pharmacopoeia. Part 5.

Related entries: M. Ph. Materia Medica: part 1 - part 2 - part 3 - part 4 - part 5 - part 6 - part 7 - part 8 -
Related entries: M. Ph. Pharmaceutical preparations part 1 - part 2 - part 3 - part 4.
Other tomes: King's ( - King's (preparations)


Cardo santo, Cirsium mexicanum, De Cand.; Compositae. The leaves and flowers are used in place of the European blessed thistle, and possess stomachic, febrifuge and sudorific properties; the flowers also that of coagulating milk.

Carrizo, Arundo Donax, Lin.; Graminaceae; grows in Mexico and other countries. The rhizome is sudorific and diuretic.

Cascalote, Caesalpinia coriaria, Willdenow; Leguminosae; in hot and humid regions of the western slope of the Mexican Cordillera. The fruit, which, according to P. Alcocer, of Mexico, contains 30 per cent. of tannin and 17 per cent. of gallic acid, is used for tanning, and in medicine as an astringent.

Cebadilla de Tierra caliente, Veratrum officinale, Schlechtendal (Asagraea tenuifolia, Martius el Galeoti). The capsules are three-celled, papyraceous, light reddish gray, the cells several seeded, and the seeds blackish, sword-shaped, rugose, sharp-pointed, of a bitter and acrid taste, and produce a copious flow of the saliva.

Cebadilla del Interior, Veratrum Sabadilla, Retzius (V. virescens, Mart. el Gat.). The fruit differs from the preceding in being more rounded and like the seeds of a darker color.

Cebadilla del Valle de México, Veratrum frigidum, Schlechtendal. The capsules are much larger and longer, and of a lighter color, like the seeds, which assume a yellowish tint and are collected before completely ripened.

The bulbs of the three plants are known in Mexico as cebolleja, cebolleta or cintul, are used like the fruit, and are believed to possess identical properties, but they have not been analyzed. The fruit is. rarely employed internally; the powder is used as an insecticide and errhine, and the tincture as a stimulating embrocation. The capsules, of Pentstemon barbatum and other species, known as chilpantlacol, are sometimes fraudulently substituted for the former, but are easily distinguished by the grayish yellow color, a somewhat horny texture, and the numerous seeds, which are not sword-shaped. The more important botanical distinctions between the two fruits are as follows: The capsules of the veratrums become three-lobed, and separate into three carpels, opening by their ventral sutures, while the capsules of pentstemon are two-celled, have a central placenta, and open by four valves.

Cedro colorado, Cedrela odorata, Lin.; Meliaceae; in hot localities of Mexico. The bark is very bitter, and is reputed to be febrifuge and anti-epileptic; the decoction of the leaves is used for curing toothache, and the resin is employed in bronchitis.

Cedron, Lippia citriodora, Kunth. See July.

Ceiba, Ceibo, Eriodendron (Bombax) anfractuosum, De Cand.; Bombaceae; in Tamaulipas, Yucatan and other hot and damp regions of the Republic. The cotton investing the seeds is used for stuffing cushions, etc.

Cera de Campeche is obtained from different Mexican bees of the genus Melipona; particularly from M. domestica, commonly known as Abeja alazana, etc. It is seen in commerce in lumps of several kilos in weight, or in oblong cakes, wrapped in maize leaves, and weighing not over 500 grams. It is opaque, yellowish, or after exposure to the air gray, internally of a much lighter yellow and fallow tint; though of a rather soft consistence, it preserves its shape, but may be moulded between the fingers and becomes adherent; it has a peculiar odor and aromatic taste, melts at 53°C., and burns with a bright and sooty flame. Ether dissolves from this wax, besides the aromatic principle, a yellow substance, which is softer, more adhesive, and more readily fusible than the wax; the residue insoluble in ether is waxy, white, bard, brittle and less readily fusible. The wax is adulterated with suet, acquiring thereby a lower melting point and greater adhesiveness; and with resinous substances, which increase the melting point, render thin layers of the wax brittle, and are mostly soluble in alcohol. The wax is used in ointments and plasters.

Ciprés comun, Cupressus sempervirens, Lin., and Ciprés de México, Cupr. Bentbami, Gordon. The astringent cones are, incorrectly called "agallas" (nutgalls) and enter into several pharmaceutical preparations.

Ciruelillo, Bunchosia lanceolata, Bolleri; Malpighiaceae; in the State of Vera Cruz. The root bark yields an astringent extract resembling kino.

Ciruelo agrio, Spondias Mombin, Lin.; Anacardaceae; in hot regions of Mexico. The comestible fruit has an acidulous and resinous taste.

Ciruelo de México, Spondias purpurea, Lin. The fruit is smaller than the preceding, and has a sweet, somewhat acidulous, resinous and balsamic taste; comestible.

Clavillo, Juliana (Amphipterygium) caryophyllata, La Llave; Anacardaceae (Julianaceae); in Tlalpam and other localities. The leaves are stimulant.

Coclearia, Cochlearia officinalis, Lin.; Cruciferae. In its place, Lepidium latifolium, Lin., is used in Mexico as an antiscorbutic, the expressed juice being given in doses of 60 to 150 Gm. a day.

Coco, Cocos nucifera, Lin.; Palmae; in hot districts of Mexico. The roots are used in diarrhoeas for their astringent properties, the pith and terminal bud for food, the flowers for their pectoral properties, and the green fruit as a hemostatic; the fermented juice furnishes a very agreeable liquor. The uses of the cocoa nut and of the oil are well known.

Colchicum alpinum, De Cand.; is met, with in Mexico, according to Oliva, and appears to have the same properties as Colch. autumnale.

Colorin, Erythrina coralloides, Flor. Mex. ined.; Leguminosae; in Mexico and South America. The seeds are elliptic, smooth, glossy, coral-red, with a salient longitudinal line on the back, and with a white hilum, surrounded with a black border. The analysis by Rio de la Loza showed these seeds to contain 13.35 solid and liquid fat, 0.32 resin soluble in ether, 13.47 resin soluble in alcohol, 1.61 erythrococalloidine, an alkaloid, 5.60 albumen, 0.83 gum, 1.55 sugar, 0.42 organic acid, 15.87 starch, 7.15 moisture and 39.15 inorganic matter (and cellulose?). The seeds are very poisonous. The flowers are used for food and the white wood for bungs, and in San Luis Potos' for making various figures.

Colorin chiquito, Rhynchosia precatoria, H. B. K.; Leguminosae; in Cuernavaca and other hot districts. The seeds are reniform, somewhat compressed at the base, and from the hilum partly red and partly black. They are popularly supposed to act upon the brain, producing loss of memory; but, according to Dr. Altamirano, of Mexico, who experimented with the alcoholic extract, this belief is unfounded, although toxic principles appear to exist in these seeds.

Colorin de peces, Piscidia Erythrina, Lin.; in the State of Guerrero. The tincture of the root bark is recommended for toothache. The practice of stupefying fish by means of this plant should be prohibited.

Cominos rústicos, the fruit of a Mexican umbelliferous plant; aromatic and resembling fennel. It is referred to Thapsia Asclepium, Lin. (?); but Oliva regards as identical with it the fruit which in Jalisco is called acocote, and is derived from Pentacripta (Arracacia) atropurpurea.

Contrayerba, Dorstenia Contrayerva and D. Houstoni, Lin.; Moraceae. The former grows in the State of Vera Cruz and other localities, and is known as barbudilla; the latter is found in Campeachy and seems to be Drake's root. Both roots are stimulant, diaphoretic and antiperiodic. The root of Asclepias sestosa, Bentham, is known as Contrayerba de Julimes, and, according to Cal, possesses the same properties and even appears to be superior to the preceding.

Copal, Goma de limon, from Bursera copalliferum, Flor. Mex. ined.; Burseraceae; in the hot regions of the western part of the republic. The resin is obtained by incisions made on the shrub, and is met with in commerce in semicylindrical pieces, brittle, glossy, transparent on the flat side, opaque on the convex side, and covered with earth; it has a balsamic odor and an aromatic taste, softens between the teeth like mastic, melts at 74°C., and gradually loses its transparency and becomes yellow. It has the balsamic properties of similar resins, but is not used in medicine except as a substitute for elemi in ointments.

Copalchi, the bitter bark of various trees, generally called campanillo. The bark most commonly met with is that of Croton niveum, Jacquin, s. C. Pseudochina, Schiede, which grows in Oaxaca, Plan del Rio, Tampico, Tehuantepec, between the Laguna verde and Actopan (where it is known as quina blanca, according to Schiede), in the Sierra de San Pedro, etc. Also C. reflexifolium, H. B. K., which grows in Acapulco, Huasteca, Paso del Correo, on the river Teculata, etc., and is often confounded with the preceding species. Another larger and more bitter bark has been referred to Croton suberosum, Kunth. According to Oliva, Coutarea lateriflora, De Cand., Rubiaceae, is known in Autlan as campanillo, and its bark is the copalchi of Guadalajara; and Jimenez states that Hedwigia (Tetragastrus) balsamifera, Swartz, is called copalchi in Orizaba.

Corteza de Drimis. Drymis mexicana, De Cand., grows in hot regions of the western slope of the Mexican cordillera; Dr. granatensis, De Cand., in Nueva, Granada. The bark is stimulant, tonic and aromatic. Dose, in powder, 1 to 8 Gm.; the infusion, 8 Gm. to a liter of water; the tincture, 10 Gm.

Costomate, Capuli, Physalis Costomatl, Mociño et Sessé; Solanaceae; in temperate sections of Mexico. The fruit is comestible, and the leaves are diuretic.

Crameria. Besides the Peruvian Krameria triandra, the two Mexican species Kr. pauciflora and secundiflora, Ft. Hex. ined., are mentioned as the principal sources of this drug, which, however, is not described.

Cuajilote, Parmentiera edulis, De Cand.; Bignoniaceae; in Yautepec and other hot districts. According to Oliva the root is diuretic, and a decoction of the leaves is useful in external otitis.

Cuajiote, Rhus perniciosa, H. B. K.; Anacardaceae; in Tepecacuilco, and other hot districts. The gum resin, which exudes spontaneously, is commonly known as goma archipin. It is seen in globular masses, in tears or in irregular fragments, and varies in color between milk white, yellowish, reddish-yellow and brown, sometimes with greenish or bluish green spots; fracture glassy; spec. grav. at 18°C. 0.9383; inodorous, persistently bitter; readily emulsionized with water; when thrown in the fire, decrepitates and gives a slight smoke. Rio de la Loza found it to contain 34 gum and 44 bitter resin soluble in alcohol and ether, the remainder consisting of moisture, salts of calcium and magnesium and of extraneous matter. It is used as a purgative and diuretic (dose?) and the thick emulsion as a cement for ivory, glass, porcelain, etc.

Cuasia. Quassia amara, Lin., and Picraena excelsa, Lindley, are used, but the wood of Rhus Metopium is also sold under this name and is distinguished by its gray color with black spots, and by the precipitate of its aqueous infusion with sulphate of iron.

Cuautecomate, Crescentia alata, H. B. K.; Bignoniaceae; in Colima, Autlan, Acapulco and other hot districts. The fruit is a round, woody, smooth berry, marked with a circular sear from the peduncle, one celled, many-seeded, and filled with a pulp which in the fresh state is greenish white, but after drying is black, and then resembles the pulp of cassia fistula; it contains much sugar, a notable quantity of gum, tannin and woody fibres. The pulp is recommended as an excellent remedy for allaying cough and in contusions. The leaves are astringent, and are used in diarrheas, also for promoting the growth of the hair and preventing its falling out.

Cuauchalata, Rajania subsamarata, Ft. Hex. ined.; Dioscoreaceae; in Matamoras, etc. The bark is astringent.

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