Notes on some Saps and Secretions used in Pharmacy, cont'd.
Kino. Under this common name is known as an astringent and resinous deposit, being the dried sap of several trees of India, Africa and Australia.
The best Kino, which contains about 75 per cent. of tannic acid, exudes from the sap of Pterocarpus marsupium, DeC., in India, and dries in angular pea-like grains in the course of a day or two. Another kind which was originally brought from Africa, under the native name of Kano, is the sap of Pterocarpus erinaceus, Poir.
Nearly all the Australian Eucalypti exude astringent gum resins in considerable quantity, resembling Kino in appearance and property.
The red juice which flows from fissures in the barks of the Indian creepers, Butea superba and B. frondosa, Roxb., yields some of the Indian Kinos. Kino is commonly used in medicine as a powerful astringent, especially in diarrhoea, chronic dysentery and other such cases, and as an injection in leucorrhoea, and as an application to ulcers.
The tincture of Kino, although used medicinally, has an inconvenience, which is found to arise from its changing to the gelatinous form.
Kino resin is dearer than it has ever been within living memory, £20 per cwt. being now the nominal quotation.
The British imports are very small, only averaging 15 or 16 packages now, whereas they were 98 in 1884, and 73 in 1888.
Lactuca species. From several species of Lettuca—L. virosa, L scariola, L. altissima and L. sativa—the drug known as "Lactucarium" is obtained. It is the hardened, milky juice which exudes from the cut stems in Germany, France and Austria. The average yield from each plant is only from 40 to 50 grains. It occurs in commerce in the form of angular pieces of a brownish color, internally opaque and wax-like. It possesses slightly narcotic properties and is useful in coughs.
Laurus gigantea.—"Caparrapi balsam" is referred to this tree. It is so named from the village of Caparrapi, in the province of Cudinamarca, Colombia, where it is prepared. It may probably be derived from Oreodaphne opifera, Nees. The seed is oily and has a burning taste like capsicum. The balsam has an aromatic odor and resembles balsam of Tolu, but is more fluid.
In medicine it is used by the natives as a stimulant in catarrhal complaints, and is also employed by them in the treatment of snake bites and the stings of poisonous insects.
Liquidambar orientale, Miller; L. imberbe, Aiton. A balsamic gum-resin, prepared from the bark, is known as liquid Storax, and in the East as "Rose Malloes." It is stimulant and detergent and similar in action to the balsams of Peru and Tolu.
Another species, L. styraciflua, Lin., exudes a sweet gum through cracks in the bark and wounds in the trunk, during all seasons of the year, which hardens on exposure to the air. It is much esteemed by children for chewing and is soluble in water. This gum yields a balsam more terebinthine in odor, but almost as pleasant as Tolu balsam. This syrup is produced in the Southern States of America. It is transparent, amber-yellow, has the consistence of a thick oil, and an aromatic, bitter taste. It has been used in the form of ointment for healing indolent ulcers, and for cutaneous diseases.
A syrup of Liquidambar is used for the diarrhoea of infants. It is largely exported from Bombay to China, where it has for many centuries been used as a medicine. The dried and compressed residual bark, after boiling for the storax, constitutes the fragrant cakes formerly common and well known in Europe, under the name of Cortex Thymiamatis.
Liquidambar altingia, Blume, also yields the fragrant balsam known as liquid storax. It is vanilla-scented, containing much styrol and styracin, and is often used for imparting scent to some sorts of tobacco and cigars, and also for keeping moths from clothing. Its use in medicine is more limited than in perfumery. The solid exudation known as storax is from the stem of Styrax officinale.
Moringa pterygosperma, Gaertn. This small tree yields a gum which is white as it exudes, but gradually turns to a mahogany or claret color as it dries. This is one of the balsa Tragacanths which are used in native medicine.
Musa paradisiaca, Lin. The sap has medicinal properties; it is used in San Domingo to stop internal and external hemorrhage, as tannin is in other countries. At the Philippines it is used to heal a species of venereal disease, very common in the province of Biscayas.