Related entry: Lucuma
Monesia.—A South American vegetable extract, which is believed to be derived from the bark of Lucuma glycyphloea Mart. and Eichl. (Fam. Sapotaceae), a tree of moderate size, growing in the forests near Rio Janeiro and elsewhere in Brazil. (J. P. C., 3e ser., vi, 63.) The bark, which has also entered commerce, is in pieces, some of which are three or six mm. thick, is very compact and heavy, of a deep brown or chocolate color, contrasting strongly with the grayish color of the epidermis when this remains, and of smooth fracture. The extract is of a dark brown almost black color, very brittle, the fracture neither very dull nor very shining, and of a taste at first sweet, then astringent, and ultimately acrid, the acridity being very persistent, and especially felt in the fauces. It is entirely soluble in water. The bark contains, according to Peckolt (A. J. P., 1884, 626), monesia-tannic acid, which gives a black coloration with iron salts, gallic acid, monesin, an acrid, amorphous body, lucumin, a body crystallizing in silky needles, a bitter substance, glycyrrhizin, tartaric and citric acids, wax, etc. Monesin, which is considered as identical with saponin, C32H54O18, was obtained by treating the bark or extract with alcohol, adding to the tincture an excess of calcium hydroxide in fine powder, filtering, evaporating the clear liquor to dryness, treating the residue with water and animal charcoal, filtering, and again evaporating to dryness. Thus procured it was in transparent, yellowish scales, which were easily pulverized, forming a white powder. It was uncrystallizable, readily soluble in alcohol and water, to the latter of which it gave the property of frothing, and insoluble in ether. It had no power to saturate acids, was without odor, but had a slightly bitterish taste, followed by a decided and permanent acrimony in the posterior mouth and fauces. Monesia owes its activity prob. ably to this principle and to tannic acid.
Monesia is stomachic and feebly astringent, and has been used with asserted advantage in diarrhea, hemoptysis, menorrhagia, scrofula, scurvy, also as a local remedy in leucorrhea, ulcerations of the mouth and fauces, and ulcers. It is applied to ulcers either by being sprinkled in powder upon the surface or in the form of ointment made with one part of the extract and seven parts of simple ointment. The dose of the extract is from two to ... (remaining bit missing. -Henriette)