Related entry: Kinkeliba
Combretum. Jungle-weed.—The roasted leaves and stalks of the Combretum sundaicum (Miquel) have been used in China in the treatment of the opium habit. Harrison (P. J., lxxx, 52) was unable to find any alkaloid or glucoside in the plant, and Stanislaus (J. A. Ph. A., 1912) confirmed the absence of active principle, but found a considerable proportion of tannic acid. The method of taking is as follows: Fifty Gm. of the dried herb is macerated with 4 liters of water, the filtrate evaporated to 1 liter. To one-half of this is added the accustomed daily dose of opium. Of this mixture the patient is given one fluidounce (30 mils) every three or four hours, the equivalent amount of combretum decoction being added after each dose is removed.
Heffner has reported favorably upon its use, but H. C. Wood, ,Jr., (J. A. Ph. A., 1912), was unable to note any beneficial action from it which might not be justly ascribed to the tannic acid which it contains.
The Combretum Raimbauiltii is a shrub native to West Africa, where it is known under the name of Kinkelibah and is used by the natives in the treatment of black-water fever and was introduced a number of years ago into Europe by a missionary, Father Raimbault. Dammermann has reported favorably on its value in this condition (D. M. W., 1906, p. 921), but Heckel was unable to find any active constituent except a tannin. (Jahresber. d. Pharm., 1891, p. 64.) Other species of the combretum appear also to have been used for the same purpose, notably the C. Altum Guill. et Perr. (C. micranthum, G. Don).