Extractum Taraxaci (U. S. P.)—Extract of Taraxacum.
Related entry: Taraxacum (U. S. P.)—Taraxacum
SYNONYM: Extract of dandelion.
Preparation.—"Taraxacum, freshly gathered in autumn, a convenient quantity; water, a sufficient quantity. Slice the taraxacum, and bruise it in a stone mortar, sprinkling water over it from time to time, until it is reduced to a pulp; then express and strain the juice, and evaporate it in a vacuum apparatus, or in a shallow porcelain dish, by means of a water-bath, to a pilular consistence. Keep the extract in a close vessel, and cover its surface with a cloth, which ought to be moistened occasionally with a little ether or chloroform"—(U. S. P.).
Description, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Dandelion root, for the above purpose, should be collected in September, October, or November. The juice procured by the above method should be evaporated in shallow vessels, by means of steam heat; but the best extract is obtained by evaporation in vacuo. In the process of the British Pharmacopoeia, the clear liquid obtained by expressing the crushed fresh root is directed to be heated to 100° C. (212° F.), and maintained at that point for 10 minutes. This is a wise provision, as the albumen contained in the juice is thereby coagulated, and may subsequently be removed by straining. In the evaporation of this extract, too much heat or too long an exposure to the air will spoil it. When the extract is good, it is brownish, not blackish, bitter and aromatic, and not sweet. A blackish-sweet extract is more or less impaired. The extract should be renewed annually, as it loses its virtues by age and exposure.
Extract of dandelion is tonic, diuretic, and aperient. It is much recommended in affections of the liver, spleen, and kidneys, in dropsical diseases, etc. I have made much use of various preparations of dandelion, and the effects are far from being so decided and beneficial as the testimony of writers led me to suppose; we have several agents vastly superior to it in medicinal efficacy, in the diseases for which it is prescribed. The dose of the extract is from 10 to 60 grains, 3 times a day (J. King).