Cucurbita. Citrullus vulgaris Schrad. Watermelon.—The seeds of the watermelon are employed, to a considerable extent, as a domestic remedy in strangury and other affections of the urinary passages. Power and Salway (P. J., lxxxiv, 760) found in watermelon seeds a fixed oil very similar to that which is found in pumpkin seeds. The Russian peasants are said to employ watermelon in the treatment of dropsy, urino-genital affections, chronic hepatic congestion, and chronic intestinal catarrh. Manassein (Vratch, Nov., 1881), found that the melon honey acts upon the lower animals as a very powerful diuretic, and causes, when in sufficient dose, fall of the arterial pressure, rapid pulse, and death from cardiac paralysis. A resin, extracted in the amount of 0.3 per cent. from the press cake of watermelon seed, when administered to a dog in doses of 1 gramme exhibited no physiological activity. A chemical examination of this resin led, however, to some results of interest, inasmuch as it yielded, besides a little phytosterol, a new crystalline alcohol, C24H40O4, which has been designated cucurbitol.
The pulp of the root of Lagendaria vulgaris, or gourd, is said by Chapin to be a powerful and even drastic purgative, and to be used by the natives of the Sandwich Islands successfully in the treatment of dropsy. (See N. Y. Journal of Med., 1855, 203.)