White pine bark. N. P. IV. Pinus alba.
White Pine Bark. N. P. IV. Pinus Alba—"The dried inner bark of Pinus Strobus Linné (Fam. Pinaceae)." N. F. "In flat pieces of variable size and from 1 to 3 mm. in thickness; outer surface varying from a pale pinkish-white when fresh, to a light or rather deep yellowish-brown on keeping, occasionally with small patches of the gray-brown periderm adhering; more or less cottony, and often showing small scattered pits; inner surface either lighter or darker than the outer, finely striate; fracture tough, fibrous; transverse section showing an outer yellowish and an inner whitish band. Odor slight, terebinthinate; taste slightly mucilaginous, bitter, sweet and astringent.
The powdered drug, when examined under the microscope, exhibits numerous rounded or oval, simple starch grains, up to 0.03 mm. in diameter, some having a cleft or fissure through the center; few monoclinic prisms of calcium oxalate about 0.02 mm. in diameter; resin in reddish-brown, angular masses; thin-walled parenchyma cells, iso-diametric to elongated, many containing starch grains; tracheids very few or absent. White Pine Bark yields not more than 3 per cent. of ash." N. F. IV.
This bark was introduced into the N. F. IV for the purpose of making Compound Syrup of White Pine and Compound Syrup of White Pine with Morphine. The differentiation of these two syrups was a wise step in the last revision; but in our opinion it would have been wiser to have dropped white pine and all of the preparations; the syrup containing morphine has long been used and has no doubt contributed its share towards cultivating the morphine habit.