Mucuna. Mucuna pruriens. Cowhage, Cowage.

Botanical name: 

Related entry: Cali Nut

Mucuna. Mucuna pruriens De Cand. Cowhage. Cowage. Setae Siliquae Hirsutae. Pois veins, Pois a gratter, Fr. Kratzbohnen, Kuhkratze, G.—This is a leguminous climbing plant which grows in the West Indies and tropical countries of both hemispheres. The fruit is a coriaceous pod, shaped like the Italic letter f, about four inches long, and covered with brown bristly hairs, which easily separate, and when handled stick in the fingers, producing an intense itching sensation.

The spicula are said to be very destructive to the round worm, acting mechanically by penetrating their bodies. Neither the tincture nor the decoction is effective. Cowhage is efficient, but so disagreeable that it has passed out of vogue. The usual mode of preparing it is to dip the pods into syrup or molasses, and scrape off the hairs with the liquid, which is in a proper state for administration when it has attained the consistence of thick honey. The dose of this preparation is a tablespoonful (15 mils) for an adult, a teaspoonful (3.75 mils) for a child three or four years old, to be given every morning for three days, and then followed by a brisk cathartic.

The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.