A pharmaceutical study of hydrastis canadensis


Hirose, R.; Langenhan, H.A.

Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 19(4): 349-353

1930


April
1930
AMERICAN
PHARMACEUTICAL
ASSOCIATION
349
A
PHARMACEUTICAL
STUDY
OF
HYDRASTIS
CANADENSIS.•
BY
RUBY
HIROSE
AND
H.
A.
LANGENHAN.
HISTORY.
Hydrastis
canadensis
(1)
is
a
native
of
North
America
belonging
to
the
Ranun-
culacecv
family.
Once
abundant
in
the
thick
woodlands
of
the
territory
bordering
the
Ohio
River
from
Illinois
to
Virginia
and
in
Northern
Wisconsin,
it
is
now,
in
its
native
home,
practically
exterminated.
The
rhizome
of
this
plant
having
a
golden
yellow
color,
was
used
by
the
Indians
as
a
cuticle
stain,
and
also
as
a
dye
for
garments.
The
latter
application
was
adopted
by
the
early
settlers.
As
would
be
expected,
the
general
use
of
this
native
plant
in
trade
and
barter
resulted
in
a
host
of
names,
some
of
which
are
as
follows
(2):
Yellow
Puccoon,
Yellow
Root,
Indian
Dye,
Ground
Raspberry
(due
to
its
red
fruit),
Eye
Balm,
Ohio
Curcuma,
Indian
Paint,
Indian
Turmeric,
Yellow
Seal,
Yellow
Eye
Root,
Orange
Root,
Jaundice
Root,
Gelbes
Blutkraut
(German),
Sceau
d'Or
(French),
Warneria
canadensis
(Latin).
The
name
"Hydrastis"
(3)
is
derived
from
"hudor"
water
and
"drao"
to
act,
alluding
to
the
growth
of
the
plant
in
marshes
and
the
active
properties
of
the
juice.
The
name
(4)
"Hydrastis"
was
also
given
by
Linnaeus.
Peter
Kalm
collected
a
few
leaves
between
1749
and
1751,
which
were
sent
to
Linnaeus
(1753),
who
called
the
plant
Hydro-phyllum
verum
canadense.
In
1759,
he,
after
seeing
a
complete
specimen,
renamed
it
"Hydrastis."
The
Indians
not
only
used
the
plant
as
a
dye,
but
are
credited
with
its
use
in
medicine
and
introducing
such
use
to
the
settlers.
Mixed
with
grease
it
was
found
to
be
a
good
insecticide,
presumably
because
of
the
bitter
taste.
In
form
of
an
infusion
it
was
used
in
the
treatment
of
skin
diseases
and
for
sore
or
inflamed
eyes.
It
was
used
as
a
stimulant
for
indolent
ulcers
and
as
an
internal
tonic.
Many
others
uses
have
been
reported
as
having
been
employed
by
either
the
Indians
or
the
early
settlers.
The
drug
as
a
whole was
of
little
importance
commercially
until
introduced
to
the
medical
world
by
the
American
Eclectics
(1),
who
first
pre-
pared
the
alkaloidal
salts
for
medicinal
uses.
Then
in
1828
(5),
Martin
and
Re-
finesque
mentioned
the
drug
in
their
Materia
Medica.
Captain
Lewis
(6)
(1804)
included
among
the
herbarium
collected
by
the
Lewis
and
Clark
expeditioners
a
short
article
on
"Hydrastis
canadensis."
In
the
log,
Hydrastis
was
said
to
be
"a
sovereign
remedy
in
a
disorder
common
to
the
in-
habitants
of
that
locality."
The
preparation
and
application
of
this
remedy
is
given
as
follows:
Having
procured
sufficient
quantity
of
the
roots,
wash
them
clean
and
dry
them
in
the
shade,
break
the
roots
as
fine
as
possible
with
the
fingers,
place
them
in
a
glass
vessel
about
two-
thirds
full,
add
rain
or
river
water
until
the
vessel
is
filled,
shaking
it
frequently,
and
it
will
be
fit
for
use
in
the
course
of
six
hours.
The
water
must
be
decanted,
but
remaining
with
the
root
is
to
be
frequently
applied
by
wetting
a
piece
of
linen
and
touching
the
eye
gently
with
it.
Hydrastis
appears
in
the
1830
(N.
Y.)
revision
of
the
U.
S.
Pharmacopoeia,
then
again
in
the
secondary
list
of
the
1860
revision.
All
subsequent
revisions
of
the
U.
S.
P.
have
retained
it.
The
1870
revision
introduced
the
Fluidextract
and
Scientific
Section,
A.
PH.
A.,
Portland,
Me.
meeting,
1928.
350
JOURNAL
OF
THE
Vol.
XIX,
No.
4
the
1880
revision
added
the
Tincture.
In
1890
the
Glycerite
was
made
official
and
the
first
alkaloidal
salt,
Hydrastinine
Hydrochloride
was
added.
The
1900
revision
included
the
alkaloid
Hydrastin.
The
1910
revision
retained
all
of
the
above mentioned,
while
the
1920
revision
deleted
all
but
Hydrastis
and
the
Fluid-
extract.
The
Extract
of
Hydrastis,
the
Tincture
of
Hydrastis
and
the
alkaloidal
salt,
Hydrastine
Hydrochloride,
have
been
included
in
the
National
Formulary
(1920).
The
1910
revision
of
the
National
Formulary
introduced
two
galenicals,
Mistura
Rhei
Alkalina,
containing
some
fluidextract
and
Liquor
Hydrastinm
Compositus
containing
hydrastin
hydrochloride.
The
1920
revision
added
to
these
Elixir
Hydrastis
Compositus
containing
some
fluidextract.
The
table
which
follows
offers
a
summary
(7)
of
the
U.
S.
P.
and
N.
F.
history
of
Hydrastis
and
its
preparations.
The
numbers
at
the
top
of
the
columns
indicate
the
date
of
decennial
revisions.
In
the
case
of
the
1830
conventions
the
number
with
the
asterisk
indicates
the
Pharmacopoeia
published
by
the
New
York
Convention,
the
other
of
the
Phila-
delphia
Convention.
The
capitals
in
the
columns
stand
for
the
Latin
title
(L),
English
title
(E),
synonyms
(S)
and
official
abbreviation
(A).
U.
S.
Pharmacopoeia.
20.
30.
30.*40.
50
60.
70.
80.
90.
00.
10.
20.
EXTRACTUM
HYDRASTIS
Extract
of
Hydrastis
........................
Extract
of
Goldenseal
Powdered
Extract
of
Hydrastis
S
Ext
Hydrast
..............................
.
.
.
A
FLUIDEXTRACTUM
HYDRASTIS...........
L
L
L
Fluidextract
of
Hydrastis
E
E
E
EXTRACTUM
HYDRASTIS
FLUIDUM
LL
LS
Fluidextract
of
Hydrastis
E
E
E
.
S
Fluidextract
of
Goldenseal
S S
Fldext.
Hydrast.
. .
.
A
A
GLYCERITUM
HYDRASTIS
L L
Glycerite
of
Hydrastis
E
E
Glycerite
of
Goldenseal
S
Glycer.
Hydrast
.
..
A
HYDRASTINA
L
L
Hydrastine
................................
E E
HYDRASTIME
HYDROCHLORIDUM
......
L
Hydrastine
Hydrochloride
...................
.
E
Hydrastine
Chloride
........................
S
Hydrastin.
Hydrochl
. .
.
A
HYpRASTININ/E
HYDROCHLORIDUM...
L
L
Hydrastinine
Hydrochloride
E
E
HYDRASTININJE
HYDROCHLORAS
.......
L
S
Hydrastinine
Hydrochlorate
..................
E
Hydrastinine
Chloride
S
Hydrastinin.
Hydrochl
.......................
.
.
.
A
HYDRASTIS
LE
LE
LE
LE
LE
LE
LE
.
Golden
Seal
S
S
S S
HYDRASTIS
RADIX
Yellow
Root
Yellow
Puccoon
April
1930
AMERICAN
PHARMACEUTICAL
ASSOCIATION
351
U.
S.
Pharmacopoeia.
20.
30.
30.*40.
50.
80.
70.
80.
90.
00.
10.
20.
TINCTURA
HYDRASTIS
L
L
L L
Tincture
of
Hydrastis
E
E
E
E
Tincture
of
Golden
Seal
.....................
.
.
S
Tr.
Hydrast
A
National
Formulary.
20.
30.
30.*40.
50.
80.
70.
80.
90.
00.
10.
20.
'MUIR
HYDRASTIS
COMPOSITUM
.
Compound
Elixir
of
Hydrastis
................
.
E
Alkaline
Elixir
Elix.
Hydrast.
Co
...........................
. .
...
A
EXTRACTUM
HYDRASTIS
L
Extract
of
Hydrastis
.........................
.
.
E
Powdered
Extract
of
Hydrastis
...............
.
.
S
Ext.
Hydrast
.
..
A
LIQUOR
HYDRASTIN/E
COMPOSITUS...
L
L
Compound
Solution
of
Hydrastine
.............
E
Colorless
Hydrastine
Solution
................
S
S
Liq.
Hydrast.
Co
A A
TINCTURA
HYDRASTIS
...................
.
.
L
Tincture
of
Hydrastis
Tincture
of
Goldenseal
......................
.
.
S
Tr.
Hydrast
................................
. .
...
A
HYDRASTINIE
HYDROCHLORIDUM
......
.
.
L
Hydrastine
Hydrochloride
...................
. .
.
Hydrastine
Chloride
........................
S
Hydrastin.
Hydrochl
.
..
A
MISTURS
RHEI
ALKALINA
................
.
.
L
L
Alkaline
Mixture
of
Rhubarb
.................
E
E
Neutralizing
Cordial
........................
.
.
S
S
Mist.
Rhei.
Alk.
A
A
REFERENCES.
(1)
Lloyd,
"Origin
and
History
of
Vegetable
Drugs,"
Vol.
1.
(2)
Culbreth,
"Materia
Medics
and
Pharmacology."
(3)
"Homeopathic
Pharmacopoeia
of
the
U.
S.,"
3rd
Edition
(1914).
"U.
S.
Dispensa-
tory,"
21st
Edition
(1926).
(4)
Pharmaceutical
Era,
46
(1913),
67.
(5)
YEARBOOK,
A.
PH.
A.,
1
(1912),
115.
(6)
Journal
of
Pharmacy,
6
(1834),
201.
(7)
Langenhan,
"A
Century
of
the
U.
S.
P.
1820-1920."
"Titles,
Synonyms
and
Abbrev."
(1923).
(7)
Langenhan,
"A
Half-century
of
the
N.
F.
Titles,
Synonyms
and
Abbrev."
(1927).
CULTIVATION
OP
HYDRASTIS
CANADENSIS.
Since
the
first
appearance
of
Hydrastis
into
medicine
in
1828,
the
drug
plant
has
become
scarce.
In
1860,
a
commercial
demand
was
created.
In
1880,
the
prices
ranged
from
18
cents
per
pound
to
12
cents
per
pound.
These
prices
were
based
on
the
cost
of
collecting
the
drug
and
curing
it.
In
1890,
the
coming
scarcity
of
the
drug
plant
caused
an
increase
in
prices,
and
at
the
end
of
ten
years
the
price
had
advanced
to
58
cents
per
pound.
In
1904,
Hydrastis
brought
$1.00
per
pound,
gradually
advancing
to
$1.35
to
$1.50
per
pound
at
the
close
of
the
year
(1).
352
JOURNAL
OF
THE
Vol.
XIX,
No.
4
Up
to
1912,
the
prices
did
not
fluctuate
to
any
great
extent
and
the
prices
paid
to
collectors
ranged
from
$3.00
to
$4.25
per
pound.
Parallel
to
this
steady
advance
in
price
came
the
gradual
extermination
of
the
natural
grown
plant
and
at
the
same
time
its
increasing
use
in
the
medical
field.
The
collectors
had
diminished
the
natural
supply
(2)
by
careless
harvesting.
As
a
result,
the
Bureau
of
Plant
Industry
in
the
Department
of
Agriculture
in
1911
introduced
a
campaign
to
induce
artificial
cultivation.
In
1912
(3),
Lloyd
visual-
ized
the
danger
in
Hydrastis
shortage,
took
steps
to
protect
the
popular
drug
plant.
He
experimented
(6)
in
the
culture
by
transplanting
the
fresh
green
Hydrastis
collected
from
various
parts
of
Kentucky.
One
lot
was
planted
in
rows,
about
two
feet
apart,
the
plant
separated
from
each
other
about
six
inches
in
the
row.
All
grew
that
season.
These
plants
were
set
out
the
first
part
of
May.
Small
number
of
plants
were
set
out
a
little
later
to
prove
whether
the
time
of
transplanting
had
any
effect
on
the
thriftiness
and
hardiness
of
the
plants.
The
experiment
showed
that
early
planting
is
better.
Next,
five
lots
were
planted
in
a
woodland
with
a
southeast
exposure,
the
thicket
so
dense
as
to
prevent
the
hot
sun
shining
upon
them
during
the
summer.
At
the
same
time
fresh
roots
were
cut
up
into
pieces,
each
bearing
one
or
more
reserve
buds
and
these
were
planted.
In
both
cases
the
plants
developed
successfully.
The
experiments
demonstrated
that
Hy-
drastis
is
a
plant
easily
propagated
by
transplanting
the
entire
roots,
or
even
cuttings.
At
the
beginning
of
the
experiment,
Hydrastis
was
said
to
grow
best
in
its
natural
habitat
(7),
but
further
investigation
proved
that
it
will
grow
in
most
any
climate
provided
proper
care
is
given.
Hydrastis
has
been
grown
successfully
in
Russia
(4)
and
Austria
(5).
The
artificial
condition
for
cultivation
must
be
made
as
near
as
possible
to
the
natural
habitat
since
the
plant
is
very
sensitive
to
any
disturbance
(8).
A
light
rich
soil
is
best,
and
either
clay
or
sand
will
do,
if
the
ground
is
manured
well
to
give
the
right
lightness
and
fertility.
Humus
should
be
worked
into
the
ground
six
to
eight
inches
in
depth
to
assure
the
lightness
and
moisture
retaining
the
property
resembling
that
of
the
natural
soil.
Manure
and
straw
will
do,
but
leaf
mold
is
recommended.
The
ground
should
be
mulched
every
fall;
this
also
prevents
the
weeds
from
growing
(7).
All
stones,
lumps
and
grass
must
be
re-
moved.
Good
drainage
is
required
in
the
successful
growing
of
Hydrastis
(9).
The
soil
cannot
be
made
too
rich,
for
Hydrastis
is
a
hardy
plant
and
depletes
it
readily.
The
soil
is
best
prepared
in
the
summer
and
the
plants
set
out
in
the
fall,
so
that
by
spring
they
will
be
growing
well.
The
plants
are
more
vigorous
during
the
succeeding
year
(6).
When
the
plants
were
numerous
in
the
wilds,
the
growers
collected
the
green
plants
in
the
early
spring
(10)
and
transplanted
them,
preferring
this
to
seed
plant-
ing.
Very
frequently
the
birds
feast
on
the
seeds
and
the
development
requires
a
long
time
before
marketing,
whereas,
three
to
four
years
is
the
time
required
for
plants
grown
from
cuttings
or
buds,
and
five
or
more
years,
from
the
seed.
The
plant
is
best
propagated
(7)
by
division
of
the
rhizome
for
continuous
growth;
by
transplanting
the
entire
root;
or
by
buds,
having
a
good
fibrous
root
attached
(9).
April
1930
AMERICAN
PHARMACEUTICAL
ASSOCIATION
353
The
cuttings
will
thrive
best
if
they
are
planted
an
inch
below
the
surface,
a
few
inches
apart
in
rows
to
afford
access
to
plants
in
the
weeding
and
the
tilling
of
the
soil.
When
the
plants
commence
to
peep
out
from
the
soil
they
are
ready
for
transplanting
to
a
new
bed.
In
a
few
months,
all
of
the
plants
will
be
growing
well
(11).
The
beds
must
be
protected
from
the
hot
sun,
hence
artificial
shade
must
be
provided.
This
is
done
by
erecting
a
lattice
framework
(8),
which
is
better
than
trees
or
vines,
as
the
latter
draw
their
share
of
the
food
from
the
soil.
Late
in
the
fall,
the
beds
should
be
covered
with
forest
leaves
or
straw
to
the
depth
of
two
or
three
inches
to
protect
the
plants
from
the
extreme
cold;
too
deep
a
covering
is
harmful,
because
it
invites
the
field
mice
to
infest
the
field
(9).
In
four
to
six
years,
and
after
the
leaves
are
all
withered,
the
rhizome
should
be
dug
out
and
three-fourths
of
it
cut
off;
the
growing
and
carrying
the
terminal
bud,
being
replaced
in
the
earth,
to
continue
the
growth.
Small
plants
that
thrive
from
the
mother
plant
can
be
transplanted
to
a
new
place
for
another
(3)
crop.
Successful
growers
have
an
output
of
about
two
thousand
pounds
of
dried
root
per
acre
after
five
years
of
growth
from
seed
(1)
and
similar
returns
from
the
cuttings.
The
above
summary
represents
the
information
on
Hydrastis
cultivation
ob-
tained
from
available
literature.
It
will
be
noted
that
no
references
are
given
later
than
1913.
During
the
last
decade
much
has
been
done
on
improved
methods
of
cultivation
by
private
growers.
However,
little
information
is
available
as
to
these
improvements.
Unquestionably
the
climatic
conditions
influence
the
tech-
nique
of
cultivation
and
collection.
There
can
be
no
doubt
but
that
the
pro-
cedure
of
the
growers
of
the
Wisconsin
and
Ohio
differs
from
that
of
the
Puget
Sound
area,
because
of
the
difference
in
the
climate.
The
question
of
spring
digging
versus
fall
digging
is
yet
unsettled.
The
value
of
September
digging
as
compared
to
November
digging
must
also
be
in-
vestigated.
Fortunately,
materials
can
be
obtained
from
the
Skagit
Valley
Golden
Seal
Farm
at
any
time,
and
as
time
passes
it
is
hoped
that
some
specific
data
may
be
obtained
that
will
clear
up
these
questions,
at
least
for
the
Puget
Sound
area.
REFERENCES.
(1)
U.
S.
Department
of
Agriculture,
Bulletin
No.
61.
(2)
Bulletin
of
Pharmacy,
25
(1911),
400.
(3)
YEARBOOK,
A.
PH.
A.,
1
(1912),
115.
(4)
Ibid.,
2
(1913),
211.
(5)
Ibid.,
8
(1919),
235.
(6)
PROC.
A.
PH.
A.,
53
(1905),
307.
(7)
Bulletin
Pharmacy,
19
(1905),
325.
(8)
Bureau
of
Plant
Industry,
Circular
No.
6.
(9)
A.
J.
P.,
85
(1913),
143.
(10)
Ibid.,
84
(1912),
299-300.
(11)
Jour.
A.
PH.
A.,
1
(1912),
5.
(To
be
continued)
"The
greatest
single
administrative
need
of
the
Public
Health
Service
is
uniformity
of
method
of
appointment
and
status
of
this
scientific
personnel."—The
Parker
Bill
was
signed
by
President
Hoover
on
April
9th,
it
is
a
step
in
progress
of
the
Service.