Extractum Colocynthidis Compositum (U. S. P.)—Compound Extract of Colocynth.
Preparation.—"Extract of colocynth, one hundred and sixty grammes (160 Gm.) [5 ozs. av., 282 grs.]; purified aloes, five hundred grammes (500 Gm.) [1 lb. av., 1 oz., 279 grs.]; cardamom, in No. 60 powder, sixty grammes (60 Gm.) [2 ozs. av., 51 grs.]; resin of scammony, in fine powder, one hundred and forty grammes (140 Gm.) [4 ozs. av., 411 grs.]; soap, dried and in coarse powder, one hundred and forty grammes (140 Gm.) [4 ozs. av., 411 grs.]; alcohol, one hundred cubic centimeters (100 Cc.) [3 fl℥, 183♏]. Heat the aloes, contained in a suitable vessel, on a water-bath, until it is completely melted; then add the alcohol, soap, extract of colocynth, and resin of scammony, and heat the mixture at a temperature not exceeding 120° C. (248° F.), until it is perfectly homogeneous, and a thread taken from the mass becomes brittle when cool. Then withdraw the heat, thoroughly incorporate the cardamom with the mixture, and cover the vessel until the contents are cold. Finally, reduce the product to a fine powder. Compound extract of colocynth should be kept in well-stoppered bottles"—(U. S. P.). This is the standard cathartic of tradition and authority. Devised before the discovery of resin of podophyllum, the expensive drug scammony, was introduced into it. Experience seems to demonstrate that not only may it be economically replaced by this resin, but with advantage to the effectiveness of the resultant extract.
Medical Uses and Dosage.—Compound extract of colocynth is an active cathartic, and may be employed in all cases where catharsis is indicated. From the difficulty with which pure scammony can be obtained in this country, I would suggest as a substitute for it in the above formula, resin of podophyllum, in powder, one-fourth the amount of scammony resin named, and which, by no means, lessens the value or efficiency of the preparation. If a little good extract of hyoscyamus or one part of capsicum, or of oil of cloves, be added to the formula, it will tend very much to prevent any griping or other unpleasant action. This compound extract may be especially used in constipation, torpor of the liver, headache, etc., in doses varying from 3 to 20 grains (J. King).