Strychnos potatorum. Cleaning nuts.
Strychnos Potatorum L. Chilbinj. Cleaning Nuts. Indian Gum Nuts. (Fam. Loganiaceae.)—The nuts of this species of Strychnos are very largely used in some parts of India for clearing muddy water, and are stated to have found their way into American commerce. (A. J. P., 1871.) The fruit is also employed by the native practitioners of Hindostan, under the name of nirmali, as an emetic and in dysentery. They do not contain strychnine. In clearing water, one of the dried nuts is rubbed hard for a short time around the inside of the earthen water pot; on settling, the water is left pure and tasteless. The seeds contain a large quantity of an albuminous principle, upon which their virtues probably depend. The tree, which grows to a very large size, produces a shining, black, one-seeded berry (that of the nux vomica being many-seeded). The seeds are described (P. J., 1871, 44) as broadly lenticular, about half an inch in diameter and a quarter of an inch in thickness, of a dirty whitish-gray color, and covered with a thick coating of delicate appressed hairs. These are so small that the seed to the naked eye looks mealy. Under the microscope the hairs are seen to be agglutinated in groups of from three to six, and to consist each of a single pointed cylindrical cell.