Vegetable Laxatives. Martindale�s 24th
Part 1 of 5.
Compiled and edited by
Ivor Hughes

Cassia Fruit (B.P.C., Ind. P.). Cass. Fruct.; Cassia Pod. The ripe fruits of Cassia fistula (Leguminosae), containing not less than 28% of water-soluble extractive (Ind. P. not less than 30%).

Cassia Pulp (B.P.C., Ind. P.) Cass. Pulp.; Cassia. The aqueous percolate of cassia fruit evaporated to a soft extract. Dose: 4 to 8 g. (60 to 120 grains). Uses. It is laxative owing to its content of hydroxymethylanthraquinones, and is an ingredient of Confection of Senna. It is rarely used alone.

Rhubarb (B.P.). Rheum; Chinese Rhubarb; Rhubarb Rhizome; Rhabarber; Ruibarbo.
: 0.2 to 1 g. (3 to 15 grains).

Foreign Pharmacopoeias: In all pharmacopoeias examined except Ind. and U.S., but in U.S.N.F. The rhizome, deprived of most of its bark and dried, of Rheum palmatum and possibly other species and hybrids of Rheum (Polygonaceae), except R. rhaponticum, grown in China and Tibet. It is known in commerce as Shensi, Canton, or high-dried rhubarb. It contains not less than 35% of alcohol (45%)-soluble extractive. Protect from light and moisture. Uses. Rhubarb has a purgative action due to its irritant effect on the large intestine. It produces a motion about 6 to 10 hours after administration. Rhubarb differs from other anthraquinone purgatives in that the tannin present exerts an astringent action after purgation; with small doses the astringent action predominates and it is therefore used as an astringent bitter, and occasionally in the treatment of diarrhoea. The continued use of rhubarb in chronic constipation is not advisable.

PURGATIVE ACTIVITY. The purgative activity of anthraquinone-containing drugs such as cascara, rhubarb and Senna is mainly due to anthranol glycosides. The free anthranols are less active, and the free anthraquinones have much less activity. The activity of rhubarb is due to combined rhein-like compounds (possibly glycosides). Free rhein is almost devoid of purgative activity. J.W.Fairbairn et al., J. Pharm. Pharmacol, 1949,1, 683 ; idem, 1951, 3, 93.

Indian Rhubarb (U.S.N.F.). Rhubarb (Ind. P.); Himalayan Rhubarb.
0-2 to 1 g. (3 to 15 grains). The unpeeled or partly peeled dried rhizome and root of R. emodi, R. webbianum, or of some other related species of Rheum grown in India, Pakistan, or Nepal.

Dry Extract of Rhubarb (B.P.C.). Ext. Rhei Sice.
A dry alcoholic extract prepared with alcohol (60%). Protect from moisture in a cool place.
Dose: 120 to 500 mg. (2 to 8 grains).


Ext. Rhei Liq. (B.P.C. 1949). Liquid Extract of Rhubarb
. Rhubarb 1 in 1; prepared by percolation with alcohol (60%).
Dose: 0.6 to 2 ml. (10 to 30 minims).

Concentrated Infusion of Rhubarb (B.P.C.). Inf. Rhei Cone.
Rhubarb 1 in 2�; prepared by percolation with alcohol (25%).
Dose: 2 to 4 ml. (30 to 60 minims). Infusion of Rhubarb is prepared by diluting 1 vol. of this concentrated infusion to 8 vol. with water.

Inf. Rhei Rec. (B.P.C. 1949). Fresh Infusion of Rhubarb. Rhubarb 5 g. and boiling water 100 g. Infuse in a covered vessel for 15 minutes and strain.
Dose: 15 to 30ml. ( � to l fl. oz.).

Ammoniated Mixture of Rhubarb with Soda (B.P.C.). Mist. Rhei Ammon. c. Sod. (B.N.F.); Mist. Rhei c. Sod.
Rhubarb 4 gr., ammonium bicarbonate 3 gr., sodium bicarbonate 15 gr., peppermint water to � fl. oz. 
15 to 30 ml. (� to 1 fl. oz.).

Compound Mixture of Rhubarb (B.P.C.). Mist. Rhei Co. (B.N.F.). Compound tincture of rhubarb 15 m., light magnesium carbonate 10 gr., sodium bicarbonate 10 gr., strong tincture of ginger 5 m., chloroform water to � fl. oz.
Dose: 15 to 30 ml. � to 1 fl. oz.).

Compound Mixture of Rhubarb for Infants (B.P.C.). Mist. Rhei Co. pro Infant. Compound tincture of rhubarb 5 m., light magnesium carbonate l � gr., sodium bicarbonate 1 � gr., syrup of ginger 10 m., chloroform water to 60 m.
Dose: 4 to 8 ml. (60 to 120 minims).


Rhubarb and Soda Mixture (U.S.N.F.).
Rhubarb fluidextract 1-5 ml., ipecacuanha fluidextract 0.3 ml., sodium bicarbonate 3.5 g., peppermint spirit 3.5 ml., glycerin 20 ml., water to 100 ml. Usual dose: 4 ml. (60 minims).

Compound Pills of Rhubarb (B.P.C.). Pil. Rhei Co. (B.N.F.).
Each contains rhubarb 1 gr., aloes 0.8 gr., myrrh 0.5 gr., hard soap 0.5 gr., and peppermint oil 1/12 m., massed with syrup of liquid glucose.
Dose: 1 or 2 pills.

Compound Powder of Rhubarb (B.P.). Pulv. Rhei Co.; Gregory's Powder.
Rhubarb 25, heavy magnesium carbonate 32.5, light magnesium carbonate 32.5, ginger 10. 
Dose: 0.6 to 4g. (10 to 60 grains).

Syr. Rhei (B.P.C. 1949). Syrup of Rhubarb.
Liquid extract of rhubarb 7 ml., coriander oil 0-05 ml., syrup to 100 ml.
Dose: 2 to 8 ml. (30 to 120 minims).

Compound Tablets of Rhubarb (B.P.C.). Tab. Rhei Co. (B.N.F.); Tab. Aperiens.
Each contains rhubarb 1 gr., aloes 4/5 gr., myrrh � gr., hard soap � gr., and peppermint oil 1/12 m. They may be coated with sugar or other suitable material.
Dose: 1 or 2 tablets.

Tab. Rhei et Sod. Bicarb, pro Infant. (N.F. 1952). Rhubarb and Soda Tablets for Infants. Each contains rhubarb 1 gr., sodium bicarbonate l� gr., ginger � gr.

Tablets of Rhubarb and Sodium Bicarbonate (B.P.C.). Tab. Rhei et Sod. Bicarb.; Tablets of Rhubarb and Soda. Each contains rhubarb 3 gr., sodium bicarbonate l� gr., and ginger � gr.
Dose: 1 or 2 tablets.

Aromatic Rhubarb Tincture (U.S.N.F.).
Prepared from rhubarb 20 g., Saigon cinnamon 4 g., clove 4 g., and nutmeg 2 g., by maceration and percolation with glycerin, alcohol and water to produce 100 ml.
Usual dose: 4 ml. (60 minims).

Compound Tincture of Rhubarb (B.P.). Tinct. Rhei Co.
Prepared by percolation from rhubarb 10 g., cardamom seed 1.25 g., coriander 1.25 g., glycerin 10 ml., and alcohol (60%) to 100 ml.
Dose: 2 to 4 ml. (30 to 60 minims)

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