Andromeda. Oxydendrum arboreum (L.) DC., (Andromeda arboreum L.), Sour Wood, or Sorrel-tree, grows in the valleys of the Alleghanies, from Pennsylvania to Florida and west from Indiana to Louisiana. The decoction of the leaves was at one time used as a pleasantly acidulous drink in fevers. The powder of the leaves and buds of Leucothoe racemosa (L.) A. Gray (Andromeda racemosa L.) is said to be a powerful errhine.
J. F. Eykman, of Japan, found a poisonous glucoside, asebotoxin, in Andromeda (Pieris) japonica. (N. R., 1882, 290.) In 1883, Plugge separated from Andromeda japonica a colorless, crystallizable, poisonous principle, andrometoxin. Subsequently he found that various ericaceous plants contain it. (A. Pharm., xxvi; also A. J. P., 1889.) It exists in Azalea indica and Rhododendron maximum L., and has been found by De Zaayer (Chem. Ztg; July, 1887) in Rhododendron ponticum, and in Kalmia angustifolia L., and K. latifolia L.;also in Monotropa uniflora L., by A. J. M. Lasche (Ph. Rund., Sept., 1889). It occurs in acicular crystals, melting at from 228° to 229° C. (442°- 444° F.), soluble in alcohol, amyl alcohol, chloroform, ether, benzene, much more soluble in cold than in boiling water, yielding solutions of an alkaline reaction, but not precipitated by ordinary alkaloidal reagents nor by solutions of metallic salts. For further tests, see reference; also P. J., vol. xviii, 171. The poisonous honey of Xenophon, derived from the flowers of Rhododendron ponticum, probably owed its toxic properties to andrometoxin. (See also Ph. Z. R., 1883, xxii.) The oil of Andromeda Leschenaultii, of India, was found by J. Broughton to be methyl salicylate. (P. J., Oct., 1871.)