Frankenia.—Yerba Reuma.

Botanical name: 

The plant Frankenia grandifolia.
Nat. Ord
COMMON NAME: Yerba reuma.

Botanical Scarce and Chemical Composition.—This plant constitutes what is now known throughout the eastern United States as the drug "Yerba reuma." This is a small shrubby plant, with a prostrate, much-branched stem, about 6 inches long. It is a native of California, and is found in abundance in sandy localities near the coast. The leaves are opposite, entire, obovate, tapering at the base, and ending in a small, mucronate point. The flowers are sessile, between the forks of the branches, small, and of a bright-pink color. The calyx is tubular, 5-angled, 5-toothed, and hairy externally. The petals are 5, slightly longer than the calyx, and attenuated to slender claws. The stamens are 6 or 7, and about the length of the petals. The pistil consists of a 1-celled, many-seeded ovary, and 3 slender styles, united for about two-thirds of the way, and stigmatose along the inner surface. This plant is very salty to the taste, having an astringent after-taste. It contains tannin to the amount of about 6 per cent, as seen from an analysis of the plant by Carl Jungk in Pharmacology of the Newer Materia Medica, 1892. Yerba reuma was introduced by Dr. J. H. Bundy, of Colusa, Cal., through an article contributed to New Preparations, Vol. II, p. 2, 1878. Parke, Davis & Co., under whose auspices that journal was published, brought the fluid extract before the medical profession, and are entitled to the credit of its introduction (see New Preparations, 1877-78, and 1879).

Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—This plant has been recommended as a mild astringent, having a favorable action upon diseased mucous membranes, and is serviceable in diarrhoea, dysentery, vaginal leucorrhoea, gonorrhoea, gleet, and catarrh. The dose of the fluid extract is from 5 to 25 minims; when diluted with water, it may be applied locally by injection or spray.

King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.