Resina Caulophylli.—Resin of Caulophyllum.
Related entry: Caulophyllum (U. S. P.)—Caulophyllum
Preparation.—Take of strong tincture of blue cohosh root, 1 pint; water, 1 gallon. Distill off the alcohol, and pour the syrupy residue into the water, allow the mixture to stand for 24 hours, or until there is no further precipitate, collect the precipitate on a filter, and then allow it to dry in a moderately warm place.
History, Description, and Chemical Composition.—As blue cohosh root contains but very little resin, this preparation is not deserving the name of resin, but as it has been heretofore considered the resinous principle of the root, I give it a place, for the present, among the resins. Mr. W. S. Merrell first manufactured this article. Mr. A. E. Ebert found it to consist of two resins, both soluble in alcohol, but one only of them soluble in ether, and an extractive body analogous to saponin, which, when shaken with water, produced a very thick and persistent froth, was freely soluble in alcohol and in alkaline solutions, and the aqueous solution of which reddened litmus (Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1864, p. 206).
Dr. T. L. A. Greve states in relation to this agent: "Caulophyllin is the name given by our pharmaceutists to the dried and powdered alcoholic extract of blue cohosh root. It can hardly be termed a resinoid, as the root contains but little, if any, resin, nor would it be proper to name it the active principle in the sense that this term is applied to strychnine, santonin, and other proximate principles of a definite chemical constitution. It is simply a concentrated medicine, representing the medicinal activity of the crude drug in a condensed and convenient form." It will be seen from these remarks, coming from a reliable source, that the article now prepared for the profession as "Caulophyllin," is simply the dry alcoholic extract of the root (J. King).
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Resin of caulophyllum appears to exert a direct influence upon the uterus, acting as an alterative, uterine tonic, and parturient, according to the periods in which it is employed. In the more common unhealthy conditions of this organ and its appendages, known as amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, passive menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, congested cervix, etc., it is equal to, if not surpassing, the resin of black cohosh. A combination of equal parts of resins of blue and black cohosh, and carbonate of ammonium, will be found especially valuable, not only in the above-named affections, but likewise in epilepsy, hysteria, in which diseases it is recommended as an antispasmodic, and in rheumatism and dropsy. This resin may also be advantageously combined with alcoholic extract of aletris, oleoresins of asclepias, senecio, etc., in many forms of disease of the female generative organs. It has been spoken of as a parturient, but we have no personal knowledge of its influence as such, though we are aware that the root from which it is prepared does exert a parturient effect. Added to resin of podophyllum, or other active purgatives, it prevents tormina, and is, probably, the best agent that can be employed for this purpose. I have found it of decided benefit in severe after-pains, neuralgic dysmenorrhoea, and in several derangements of the menstrual function. The ordinary dose is from 1/4 to 1 grain, 2, 3, or 4 times a day. As a parturient, it should be given in doses of from 2 to 4 grains, and repeated at intervals of 15 to 30 or 60 minutes, after actual labor has commenced. Resin of caulophyllum may be advantageously combined with extract of dioscorea in bilious colic and flatulence. With resin of podophyllum and chloride of ammonium, it forms an excellent combination for some nephritic diseases, accompanied with pains of a spasmodic character (J. King). It is but little used at the present time.