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.
The American Eclectic Dispensatory, 1854, was written by John King, M. D.