Source and Composition. It is the rhizome of Sanguinaria Canadensis, (nat. ord. Papaveraceae) and contains 3 alkaloids,—Sanguinarine (identical with Chelerythrine, from Chelidonium Majus), Porphyroxine and Puccine,—combined with Chelidonic and Sanguinarinic Acids; also a Resin, Gum, Albumen, Sugar, etc. The salts of its alkaloids are of brilliant red and orange colors, and are all soluble in water.
- Extractum Sanguinariae Fluidum,—Dose, ♏j-v, as expectorant and stimulant; ♏x-xl as emetic, cautiously.
- Tinctura Sanguinariae,—strength 15 p.c. Dose, ♏v-ʒss, as expectorant and stimulant; ʒj-iij as emetic.
- *Sanguinarina, Sanguinarine,—Dose, gr. 1/12-1/8.
Physiological Action. Sanguinaria is sternutatory, sialogogue, and a systemic emetic; also an expectorant, an emmenagogue, a cardiac paralyzer, a violent irritant, an acro-narcotic, and an alterative.
Its taste is bitter and acrid. It causes violent sneezing, increases secretion by irritating the secretory organs as it is eliminated, and produces salivation, catharsis, and emesis with great depression. Full doses are violently irritant, the heart's action being first increased, then depressed, and finally paralyzed by stimulation of its inhibition. It decreases the reflexes by paralysis of the spinal centres, causes dilatation of the pupils, lowered temperature, cold sweats, great thirst, collapse, and death by paralysis of the cardiac and respiratory centres, frequently preceded by convulsions. Locally it is a feeble escharotic.
- Therapeutics. Sanguinaria is well employed in—
- Chronic Nasal Catarrh,—gtt. x of tinct. ter die, also the powder locally.
- Acute Bronchitis and Asthma,—as an expectorant, with Lobelia, etc.
- Chronic Bronchitis,—Sanguinaria is a most serviceable remedy.
- Catarrhs of the duodenum and biliary ducts,—it is very useful.
- Atonic Dyspepsia,—gtt. ij-iij of the Tincture, or gr. 1/12 of Sanguinarine.
- Functional Impotence from irritability ,—combined with Stillingia.
- Amenorrhoea of functional character, in non-plethoric subjects.
- Croup,—in which many authorities rank it a specific remedy.
- Pneunomia, of typhoid type,—after acute symptoms subside.
- Scarlatina,—the decoction, as a gargle for the sore throat, is very efficient.
- Nasal Polypi, after their removal,—Sanguinaria by insufflation.
- Hypertrophy of the nasal mucous membrane,—Sanguinaria by insufflation.
- Ulcers and fungous granulations,—the powdered drug, locally.
- Strumous and Syphilitic Affections ,—it is a good alterative.
A Compend of Materia Medica, Therapeutics, and Prescription Writing, 1902, by Sam'l O. L. Potter, M.D., M.R.C.P.L.