United States Dispensatory 1926 Part II
Boericke�s Homoeopathic Materia Medica
Compiled by Ivor Hughes

USD 1926
Tobacco. Tabacum. U. S. 1890. Nicotians Tabacum L
. (Fam. Solanaceae.) � This ii the commonly cultivated tobacco plant of the United States, Cuba and the Philippines. It is an annual in the; U. S., but in the tropics becomes bi- or triennial. It has a large, fibrous root, and an erect, round, hairy, viscid stem, which branches near the top, and rises from three to six feet in height. The leaves are numerous, alternate, sessile, and somewhat decurrent, very large, ovate-lanceolate, pointed, entire, slightly viscid, of a pale green color, and have a narcotic odor. The flowers appear in panicles or racemes and vary from pink to red in color.There is good reason to believe that this plant is a native of tropical America. Columbus, upon landing at St. Domingo in 1492, found the natives smoking cylinders of tobacco leaves. Tobacco is at present cultivated in most parts of the world, and nowhere more abundantly than within the limits of the United States. The young shoots, produced from seeds thickly sown in beds, are transplanted into the fields during the month of May, and set in rows with an interval of three or four feet between the plants. Through the whole period of its growth the crop requires constant attention. The development of the leaves is promoted by removing the top of each plant and thus preventing it from running into flower and seed.

The harvest is in August. The ripe plants, having been cut off above their roots, are dried under cover, and then stripped of their leaves, which are tied in bundles and packed in hogsheads. While hung up in the drying houses, they undergo a curing process, consisting in exposure to a considerable degree of heat, through which they become moist, or, in other words, are said to sweat, after which they are dried for packing.

Other species also of Nicotiana are cultivated, especially N. rustica L., which yields the Turkish tobacco and is said to have been the first introduced into Europe. This species was cultivated by all of the North American Indian tribes from the Mississippi eastward to Atlantic Ocean. It is naturalized near the borders of some of our small northern lakes. The N. quadrivalvis of Pursh affords tobacco to the Indians of the Missouri and Columbia Kivers; and N. fruticosa, a native of China, was probably cultivated in Asia before the discovery of this continent by Columbus. Besides these there are N. Persica Lindl., cultivated in Persia, and is the source of Persian tobacco; N. repanda WilkL, cultivated in central and southern North America; N. Bigelovii Wats., of North America. It is very doubtful, however, whether these plants furnish any large part of the commercial tobacco. Latakia tobacco seems to be the product of the N. Tabacum, and Senator Vidal asserts that N. repanda is not found in Cuba, N. Tabacum being the only species there cultivated. (P. J., viii, 710.) Again, the Persian and Turkish tobacco sold under the name of tumleki, which has been variously attributed to If. Persica and to N. rustica, is in all probability the product of N. Tabacum. (Kew Bulletin, April, 1891.)

Tobacco, as it occurs in commerce, is of a yellowish-brown color, a strong narcotic penetrating odor which is wanting in the fresh leaves, and a bitter, nauseous, and acrid taste. These properties are imparted to water and alcohol. They are injured by long boiling, and the extract is, therefore, relatively feeble. The most important constituent is the liquid alkaloid, nicotine, discovered by Posselt and Reimann in 1828. This is easily extracted from tobacco by means of alcohol or water as a malate, from which the alkaloid can be separated by shaking it with caustic soda solution and ether. The ether is then expelled by warming the liquid, which finally has to be mixed with slaked lime and distilled in a stream of hydrogen, when the nicotine begins to come over at about 200� C. The percentage of nicotine in tobacco varies considerably � from 1.62 per cent, in Havana tobacco and 2 per cent, in Maryland tobacco to 6 per cent, in Virginia tobacco and 8 per cent, in Kentucky tobacco. For modes of estimating the proportion of nicotine in'tobacco, see Harrison and Self, P. J., June 1, 1912 and Thomsen, Chem. Ztg., 1917, xli, 476.

Nicotine (Nicotina or Nicotia.) C10H14N2 - β-pyridyl-o-n-methyl-pyrrolidine. � This is a colorless, laevorotary, fluid, of the sp. gr. 1.010, boiling at 247� C., and not solidifying at -10� C.; having a faint odor when cold; of an exceedingly acrid, burning taste, even when largely diluted; entirely volatilizable, and, in the state of vapor, very irritant to the nostrils, with an odor recalling that of tobacco; inflammable; very soluble in water, alcohol, ether, the fixed oils, and oil of turpentine; strongly alkaline in its reaction, and capable of forming crystallizable salts with the acids. These salts are deliquescent, 'having a burning and acrid taste, and, like the salts of ammonia, lose a portion of their base by heat. It has been prepared synthetically by Pictet. On treatment with oxidizing agents, nicotine yields nicotinic or β-pyridinecarboxylic acid, C5H4NCOOH. In its action on the animal system it is one of the most virulent poisons known. A drop of it, in the state of concentrated solution, is sufficient to destroy a dog, and small birds perish at the approach of a tube containing it. Tannin forms with it a compound of but slight solubility, and might be employed as an antidote. Nicotine has been found in the seeds, and, in very small proportion, in the root. Nicotine has the remarkable property of resisting decomposition amid the decaying tissues of the body, and was detected by Orfila in the bodies of animals destroyed by it two or three months after their death.

Although Thorns (A. J.. P., 1.900, p. 227) - was unable to detect any nicotine in tobacco smoke, there is no room for doubt that it is present in sufficient amount to be injurious. Lehmann (P. J., Sept. 18, 1909) finds that about 95 per cent, of the nicotine in tobacco passes over into the smoke, and Toth (Chem. Ztg., 1909, p. 866) has shown that the large proportion of nicotine exists in the smoke in uncombined state. Baumberger (J. P. Ex. T., 1923, xxi, p. 23) as a result of his own studies and an extensive review of the literature, reaches the conclusion that in continuous smoking from 27 to 36 milligrammes of nicotine are absorbed per hour.

Nicotimine, isomeric with nicotine, nicoteine C10H12N2 and nicotelline O10H8N2 are other alkaloids present in tobacco. The bases pyrrolidine C4H9N and methyl pyrroline C5H9N are also said to be present.

When distilled at a temperature above that of boiling water, tobacco affords an empyreumatic oil, which was official in the U. S. P., 1870, under the name of Oleum Tabaci: Oil of Tobacco. It is highly poisonous, probably from containing nicotine. For further information on the chemistry of nicotine and related alkaloids, see the papers of Pictet and co-workers (B. Chem. Q., 1895, xxviiij 1904, xxxvii; A. Pharm., 1906, ccxlix.

It is quite certain that tobacco leaves undergo considerable chemical changes during the processes of curing and preparation for use. Thus, the characteristic odor of ordinary tobacco is entirely different from that of the fresh leaves, and must be owing to the generation of a new volatile principle. The proportion of nicotine is probably slightly diminished by the process of "curing."

Tobacco is locally irritant. Snuffed up the nostrils, it excites violent sneezing, and a copious secretion of mucous; chewed, it irritates the mucous membrane of the mouth and increases the flow of saliva; when injected into the rectum, it sometimes operates as a cathartic; and the alkaloid nicotine injected into the cellular tissue of animals evidently produces much pain. In large doses, or in persons unaccustomed to it, tobacco produces severe nausea, sometimes vomiting, accompanied with profuse perspiration, .and great muscular weakness. The alkaloid nicotine is a virulent poison. It primarily excites, and secondarily paralyzes, the ganglia upon the sympathetic nerves, stimulates the intestinal muscles, and, in sufficient quantities, has a paralytic action upon the motor nerves. As a result of its action upon the sympathetic ganglia, it causes contraction of the blood-vessels with marked increase: in the blood pressure, followed, after large doses, with vascular dilatation and fall .of pressure. The pulse rate is at first decreased, later � becomes rapid. There is primary increase in the secretion, of the salivary and probably of the other glands, followed, after large doses, by paralysis of secretion.

The use of tobacco was adopted by the Spaniards from the American Indians. In the year 1560 it was introduced into France by the ambassador of that country at the court of Lisbon, whose name � Nicot has been perpetuated in the generic title of the plant. Sir Walter Raleigh is said to have introduced the practice of smoking into England. In the various modes of smoking, chewing, and snuffing, the drug is now largely consumed in every country on the globe. It must have properties peculiarly adapted to the propensities of our nature to have thus surmounted the first repugnance to its odor and taste and to have become the passion of so many millions. Whether or not nicotine plays any part in the pleasurable effects of tobacco is, despite considerable research and discussion, unsettled, but it is generally agreed that the evil effects of excessive indulgence are due to this alkaloid. The most important disturbances produced are in the digestive and circulatory organs. As a result of the disturbed innervation of the heart, palpitation and cardiac irregularities are common, and the vascular contraction is generally regarded as one of the causes of arterial degenerations.

Formerly much used as a relaxant, tobacco has been superseded by safer and more efficacious remedies, so that it is at present never employed in medicine, except occasionally in chronic asthma. It should always be borne in mind that its active principle is absorbed readily by the skin, and that serious or even fatal poisoning may result from its too free application to the surface of the body. A case of death is on record, occurring in a child eight years old, in consequence of the application of the expressed juice of the leaves to the head, for the cure of tinea capitis. Death has also been produced by the inhalation of the smoke.

From five to six grains (0.32-0.4 Gm.) of powdered tobacco will generally act as an emetic; but should never be used for this purpose.

Boericke�s Homoeopathic Materia Medica.
TABACUM (Tobacco)
The symptomatology of Tabacum is exceedingly well marked. The nausea, giddiness, death-like pallor, vomiting, icy coldness, and sweat, with the intermittent pulse, are all most characteristic. Has marked antiseptic qualities, antidotal to cholera germs. Complete prostration of the entire muscular system. Collapse. Gastralgia, enteralgia, seasickness, cholera infantum; cold, but wants abdomen uncovered. Vigorous peristaltic activity, diarrhoea. Produces high tension and arteriosclerosis of the coronary arteries. Should prove the most homoeopathic drug for angina pectoris, with coronaritis and high tension (Cartier). Constriction of throat, chest, bladder, rectum. Pallor, breathlessness, hard-cordlike pulse.

Mind .� Sensation of excessive wretchedness. Very despondent. Forgetful. Discontented.

Head .� Vertigo on opening eyes; sick headache, with deathly nausea; periodical. Tight feeling as from a band. Sudden pain, as if struck by a hammer. Nervous deafness. Secretion from eyes, nose and mouth increased.

Eyes .� Dim sight; sees as through a veil; strabismus. Amaurosis; muscae volitantes. Central scotoma. Rapid blindness without lesion, followed by venous hyperasmia and atrophy of optic nerve.

Face .� Pale, blue, pinched, sunken, collapsed, covered with cold sweat. [Ars.; Verat.] Freckles.

Throat. � Nasopharyngitis and tracheitis, hemming, morning cough, sometimes with vomiting. Hoarseness of public speakers.

Stomach � Incessant nausea; worse, smell of tobacco smoke [Phos.]; vomiting on least motion, sometimes of fecal matter. during pregnancy with much spitting. Seasickness; terrible faint, sinking feeling at pit of stomach. Sense of relaxation of stomach, with nausea. [Ipec.] Gastralgia; pain from cardiac end extending to left arm.

Abdomen. � Cold. Wants abdomen uncovered. It lessens the nausea and vomiting. Painful distension. Incarcerated hernia.

Rectum � Constipation; rectum paralyzed, prolapsed. Diarrhoea, sudden, watery, with nausea and vomiting, prostration, and cold sweat; discharges look like sour milk, thick, curdled, watery. Eectal tenesmus.

Urinary. � Renal colic; violent pain along ureter, left side.

Heart. � Palpitation when lying on left side. Pulse intermits, feeble, imperceptible. Angina pectoris, pain in prascordial region. Pain radiates from center of sternum. Tachycardia. Bradycardia. Acute dilatation caused by shock or violent physical exertion (Royal).

Respiratory. � Difficult, violent constriction of chest. Pras-cordial oppression, with palpitation and pain between shoulders. Cough followed by hiccough. Cough dry, teasing, must take a swallow of cold water [Canst.; Phos.]. Dysposna, with tingling down left arm when lying on left side.

Extremities. � Legs and hands icy cold; limbs tremble. Paralysis following apoplexy. [Plumb.] Gait shuffling, unsteady. Feebleness of arms.

Sleep. � Insomnia with dilated heart, with cold, clammy skin and anxiety.

Fever. � Chills, with cold sweat.

Modalities. � Worse, opening eyes; evening; extremes of heat and cold. Better, uncovering, open fresh air.

Relationship. � Compare: Hydrobromicacid; Camph.; Verat.; Ars. Compare: Nicotinum (Alternate tonic and clonic spasms, followed by general relaxation and trembling; nausea, cold sweat, and speedy collapse; head drawn back, contraction of eyelids and masseter muscles; muscles of neck and back rigid; hissing respiration from spasm of laryngeal and bronchial muscles).

Antidote: Vinegar; sour apples. Camphor in the physiological antagonist. Ars. (chewing tobacco); Ign.; (smoking); Sep. (neuralgia and dyspepsia); Lycop. (impotency); Nux (bad taste due to tobacco); Calad. and Plantag. (cause aversion to tobacco); Phosph. (tobacco heart, sexual weakness).

Dose. � Third to thirtieth and higher potencies.

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