506. Scopola.—Scopola, U.S.P. VIII.
The dried rhizome of Scopola Carniolica Jacquin, yielding by former U.S.P. process not less than 0.5 per cent. of its alkaloids.
DESCRIPTION OF DRUG.—From 25 to 100 mm. (1 to 4 in.) long and from 10 to 20 mm. (2/5 to 4/5 in.) thick, frequently sliced. The upper surface is beset with cup-shaped stem scars; externally, yellowish-brown to dark brown; wrinkled longitudinally, obscurely annulate, rough and nodular; fracture short, showing a yellowish-white bark, its corky layer dark-brown or pale brown, indistinctly radiate wood; pith rather hard, but becoming soft and spongy when macerated in water. As compared to belladonna root, Coblentz concludes that scopola rhizome is more constant in alkaloidal content; that it is to be preferred to belladonna root in securing preparations of uniform standard.
ACTION AND USE.—The action of scopola is about the same as that of belladonna, but preparations of the rhizome have not been professionally recognized until recently. The extract has been used as a substitute for the extract of belladonna in making of plasters. It has been stated that scopola costs about forty dollars per ton, while belladonna costs three hundred dollars per ton.