The Alkaline Principle of Barberry.
Preparation. — An alcoholic extract of the Berberis Vulgaris is prepared, to which water is added. This throws down a pulverulent brown substance ; the fluid is then poured off, and the substance dried ; it is then treated with alcohol, which takes up the Berberine, leaving a small portion undissolved. By evaporating the alcohol the berberine remains. It resembles an extract, and is of a brownish-yellow color, translucent, with the smell of the root, and a pure, bitter taste; it becomes soft in the air. It is soluble in alcohol. Berberine may be obtained in crystals.
Properties and Uses. — Tonic and laxative, operating similar to a combination of rhei and hydrastis. Used in the same cases as the root. Dose, two to ten or even twenty grains. This article is not sufficiently used by Eclectics.