P. E.—Bark of root.
N. H.—West Indies.
Properties: Hypnotic, soporific, sudorific.
Physiological action: In medium doses it induces sleep, diminishes sensation, increases flow of saliva and favors perspiration. In poisonous doses the heart's action is at first increased, then lessened. Causes dyspnea, first contracts then dilates pupils. Convulsions and tetanic spasm if present, result from overstimulation of the spinal cord, paralysis and death following in severe cases.
Use: A nerve sedative which overcomes nervous excitability and reflex irritability. Produces quiet and restful sleep. Controls pain to some extent and does not suppress secretion as morphine or opium do. For persons susceptible to this drug it is a valuable remedy to alleviate pain and produce sleep.