A gum-resin obtained from Garcinia hanburii.—India.
Dose.—From one-half grain to five grains. It is better to give it in small doses, frequently repeated.
Therapeutic Action.—Gamboge is one of our most powerful drastic, hydragogue cathartics; it often produces nausea and vomiting, violent tormina, and frequently irritation, or even dangerous inflammation of the gastro-intestinal mucous membrane. Its harsh and drastic properties may be lessened by combining it with other cathartics less harsh, and its beneficial effects still secured; or it may be united with demulcents which counteract the violence of its action, still securing its active operation upon the system. It should rarely or never be given alone as a cathartic, though it is extensively used variously combined, forming the base of many of the popular pills of the day.
The cases in which Gamboge is mostly used are, obstinate constipation of the bowels, hepatic torpor, dropsy, coma, phrenitis, apoplexy, cerebral congestions, etc., whenever a strong revulsive impression is desirable. The remarks made upon Colocynth in the same or similar cases, are applicable to Gamboge, though this is still more efficient than that agent. In torpor of the liver it may be combined with Sanguinaria and Podophyllin with great advantage; the compound extract of Colocynth is also a valuable addition. These articles made into pills, qualified by the addition of aromatics and stimulants, will be found very useful in all cases where active cathartics are desirable, and where a deobstruant is indicated.