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The Coptis family is closely linked to that of the Hellebores.
---Constituents---Its bitterness is imparted to both water and alcohol, but more readily to the latter. As there is neither tannic nor gallic acid, the activity is due to berberia or berberine, which is associated with another alkaloid called Coptine or Coptina, resembling hydrastia. It also contains albumen, fixed oil, colouring matter, lignin, extractive, and sugar. Authorities differ as to the presence of resin.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---It may be used as other pure bitters. In New England it is valued as a local application in thrush, for children.
It is stated to be good for dyspepsia, and combined with other drugs is regarded as helpful in combating the drink habit.
---Dosage---Of powder, 10 to 30 grains. Of tincture of 1 OZ. of root to a pint of diluted alcohol, 1 fluid drachm. Of fluid extract, 30 minims.
---Other Species and Substitutes---
Coptis Teeta, or Coptidis Rhizoma, Coptidis Radix, Mahmira, Tita, Mishmi Bitter, Mishmi Tita, Hwang-lien, Honglane, Chuen-lien, Chonlin, Mu-lien, is official in the Pharmacopoeia of India. It grows in the Mishmi Mountains, East Assam, is imported into Bengal in little rattan bags, and is thus sold in the Indian bazaars. Large quantities have been sold in London. It contains a higher percentage of berberia than any other drug, and is much used as a tonic in India and China, especially for the stomach, and in Scind for inflammation of the eyes.
The Chinese and Japanese variations (var. chinensis and C. anemonaefolia) imported into Bombay are thinner and duller than the Assam rhizomes. In Japan, the last variety is used for intestinal catarrh.
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