400. Sumbul.—Musk Root.

Botanical name: 

The rhizomes and roots of Feru'la sum'bul (Kauffmann) Hooker filius.

BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS.—Root fusiform; perennial stem 8 to 10 feet high. Fruit oblong-ovate, monocarpous. When punctured, the branches yield an angelica-flavored milk-juice.

HABITAT.—Regions north and east of British India.

DESCRIPTION OF DRUG.—Transverse segments about 10 to 50 mm. 2/5 to 2 in.) long, and 25 mm- (1 in.) thick. They have a dusky-brown, wrinkled bark, just beneath which is a whitish, spongy, parenchymatous layer, under the microscope dotted with brown, translucent, resinous exudations from large resin-ducts. The brownish-yellow interior is a spongy mass consisting of coarse fibers, easily separable, and indiscriminately mixed and twisted with the medullary rays; fracture short and fibrous. Odor musk-like; taste sweetish at first, becoming bitter and balsamic, and leaving a sensation, of warmth in the mouth and throat. E. M. Holmes recommends that the true root be cultivated, which he thinks possible in temperate and mountainous districts in the colonies or in ordinary gardens and fields of England. The true root has a strong, persistent, musky odor.

Powder.—Characteristic elements: See Part iv, Chap. I, B.

CONSTITUENTS.—Sumbulic or angelic acid, C5H8O2, a small quantity of valerianic acid, C5H10O2, and a small percentage of bluish volatile oil, to which, however, its odor is not due, but to two balsamic resins, or probably to some principle connected with them not yet isolated. The oil contains umbelliferone, C9H6O3.

ACTION AND USES.—Antispasmodic (due to the angelic and valerianic acids contained), stimulant, and tonic. Dose: 15 to 30 gr. (1 to 2 Gm.).


Fluidextractum Sumbul Dose: 30 drops (2 Mils).
Extractum Sumbul 5 to 15 gr. (0.3 to 1 Gm.).

A Manual of Organic Materia Medica and Pharmacognosy, 1917, was written by Lucius E. Sayre, B.S. Ph. M.