Preparation: Fluid Extract of Mangifera
The inner bark of the root and tree of Mangifera indica, Linné.
COMMON NAME: Mango.
ILLUSTRATION: Botanical Magazine, Plate 4510.
Botanical Source, History, Description, and Chemical Composition.—A tall tree, native of the East Indies, but cultivated in most parts of the tropics for its edible fruit. It has "become thoroughly naturalized in the West Indies, and is forming large groves in waste places in Jamaica, where negroes, horses, pigs, and fowls feed upon the fruit for nearly four months of the year" (D. Morris, Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1886, p. 444, from Gard. Chronicle). The leaves are alternate, lanceolate, entire, from 6 to 8 inches long, and one-quarter as wide. They are petioled, and borne in clusters near the end of the branches. The flowers are small, yellowish, and disposed in large, loose, terminal panicles. The calyx-lobes and petals are 5. The stamens are 5, alternate with the petals, and all but one abortive. The fruit is a reddish-yellow drupe, about the size of a quince, and kidney-shaped; it consists of a hard, fibrous nut, which is surrounded by edible flesh in a manner like the peach, and is known as "mango fruit." It is largely consumed in tropical countries, and forms one of the most highly esteemed fruits. The natives of India use the leaves and leaf-stalks to harden the gums; the wood, together with sandal wood, is used by the Hindus for burning their dead, and an infusion of the bark is employed for various skin diseases. When incisions are made into the bark of the tree, a soft, reddish-brown gum-resin exudes, which hardens by age, and resembles bdellium; this dissolves in spirits and partly in water, forming milky solutions; when chewed, it softens, adheres to the teeth, and gives a pungent and slightly bitter taste (Roxburgh).
Sir J. D. Hooker reports (Pharm. Jour. Trans., 1883, Vol. XIV, p. 601), that the yellow pigment known as piuri or Indian yellow (compare purree) is produced in India by evaporating the urine of cows which are fed exclusively on mango leaves. This is said to increase the secretion of the bile pigment, and to impart to the urine of the animal a bright yellow color; the yield of the pigment is 2 ounces a day, but the animal becomes very unhealthy under this treatment. There is another piuri, of mineral origin, but less valued.
In 1877, Dr. M. F. Linquist, New Haven, Conn., introduced the bark of the mango tree to the medical profession, having found it beneficial in a number of diseases. The bark was imported under the name "mango," for the purpose of removing incrustations from steam boilers, it having been stated that when a small amount of a strong solution of the bark is added to the water within the boiler, the saline deposit quickly separates. The bark is very astringent, and this property suggested to Dr. Linquist its appropriate application in a therapeutical sense. As found in market it is a coarse powder, of a deep brownish-red color, none of the bark, entire, having come under our observation. The odor is peculiar, being, in a very slight degree, terebintheous. The taste resembles that of rhatany. According to Dragendorff (Heilpflanzen d. versch. Völker u. Zeiten., 1898), the bark contains 16.7 per cent of tannic acid and an acrid oil; the fruit contains much sugar, citric acid, mucilage, and yellow coloring matter.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Mango bark has been recommended in the treatment of nasal catarrh, diarrhoea, dysentery, vaginitis, metritis, diphtheria, hemorrhages, etc. Dr. Linquist, in writing to me concerning its use, makes the following statement: "I have used it for upward of eight years, and have largely experimented with it. It is an astringent of peculiar power upon the mucous membrane. I first employed it in certain uterine diseases, with marked benefit. In catarrh, with the spray atomizer, I have used it with better success than any other agent. In diphtheria, and other malignant diseases of the throat, its effect has been truly marvelous. During last year I have had several cases of diphtheria, that I have treated exclusively with the fluid extract, penciling the fauces with it, of full strength, and also using it as a gargle in the proportion of 2 fluid drachms of the fluid extract to 4 fluid ounces of water. As an internal remedy in hemorrhages from the uterus, bowels, or lungs, or in muco-purulent discharges from either the bowels or uterus, I know of no agent equal to it. It appears to have the following advantages: The dose is small, is easily taken, has no disagreeable taste, does not derange the stomach, is rapid in its action, and more certain in its effects than other medicines." Prof. A. J. Howe, M. D., writes me as follows: "During the past year I have prescribed a tincture of Mangifera indica on many occasions; and I find it most useful in lessening leucorrhoeal discharges, and in diminishing too profuse menstrual evacuations. The agent exerts an astringent action, but not to the extent of constipating the bowels. It assuages catamenial pains to an appreciable degree, and corrects menstrual disorders in general. I consider the medicine a valuable adjutant to gynaecological therapeutics. I have also prescribed it in the treatment of chronic diarrhoea, and in obstinate gleet, and have obtained quite satisfactory results, though not better than from extract of logwood, or from pinus canadensis. In a case of albuminuria, the remedy, for a week or two, greatly lessened the amount of albumen discharged; yet it made no decided change for the better. The dose of the fluid extract is from 15 minims to 1 fluid drachm. Dr. Linquist adds from 2 to 4 fluid drachms of the fluid extract to 4 fluid ounces of water, and this mixture he administers in teaspoonful doses, repeated every hour or two (J. King). In Brazil, the flowers of the mango are used either in the form of tea or powder for catarrh of the bladder (G. Peckolt, Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1884, p. 622).
Specific Indications and Uses.—Feeble relaxed tissues; mucous profluvia; chronic dysentery with muco-purulent passages.