Rhamnus Catharticus. (Buckthorn.)
Two preparations of this agent may he used. Prepare a tincture from the fresh bark in the proportion of ℥viij. to Alcohol 50° Oj. Dose, gtts. vj to gtts. xxx. Prepare a tincture from the berries, in the proportion of . ℥viij. to Alcohol 76° Oj. Dose, from the fraction of a drop to two to five drops, largely diluted with water.
Buckthorn berries have been employed as a cathartic, but their activity, attended with nausea, dryness of the throat, thirst and tormina, made their use limited. The tincture of the berries in small doses may be tested for its influence on the digestive apparatus, in diseases of the nose, throat, and respiratory organs, and as a stimulant to the vegetative processes.
It is claimed that a preparation from the bark gives one of the most efficient alteratives of the Materia Medica. Dr. William Goltry claimed that a tea made of the bark or berries would cure cancer and scrofulous diseases generally. Dr. William S. Knight writes, "I have been using the Rhamnus Catharticus in all forms of scrofulous disease for the last two years (1866) with good effect. I make an infusion from the bark and let the patient drink as much as he well can during the day, so as not to act too much upon the bowels."