Simaruba amara. Mountain damson. N. O. Simarubaceae. Tincture of the dried root-bark.
Clinical.-Diarrhoea. Dysentery. Snake-bite. Worms.
Characteristics.-Simaruba is a native of the West Indies and tropical America. "Simaruba bark" is used as a bitter tonic and as a local remedy for dysentery and diarrhoea. The part used is the "bark," which is really the rind of the root, of which, domestically, a decoction is made. "In large doses," says Treas. of Botany, "it is said to act as an emetic, purgative and diaphoretic." S. versicolor, a Brazilian species, has similar properties. The fruits and bark are used as anthelmintics; an infusion of the latter is employed in cases of snake-bite. The plant is so bitter that insects will not attack it, on which account the powdered root has been used to kill vermin. S. glauca, a native of Cuba, furnishes a glutinous juice which is employed in certain cases of skin-disease." This very well sums up the place and properties of Simaruba. And it is well to remember that Cedron, which is "Simaba Cedron," belongs to the same order. My first practical acquaintance with Simb. as a homoeopathic remedy was in the case of a much-travelling patient who suffered from a chronic tendency to looseness of the bowels. He had stools like yellow ochre, for which Gamboge had been very helpful. When in the South of France he consulted a homoeopathic practitioner, whose name has escaped my memory, and he prescribed Simaruba with excellent effect. Since then I have used it in similar cases. H. H. Beamish (H. W., April 1925) says that on the Zambesi for dysentery the Simaruba bark is boiled, and, by way of strengthening the astringent effect, Alum is added to the decoction. But Simaruba is the specific agent.
Relations.-Compare: (Botan.) Cedron, Ail., Chap. am., Quassia. Compare also: Vacc. myrt., Chi., Rheum, Gamb.