Online Encyclopedia

EUPHORBIUM

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 894 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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EUPHORBIUM, an acrid dull-yellow or brown resin, consisting of the concreted milky juice of several species of Euphorbia, cactus-like perennial plants indigenous to Morocco. It dissolves in alcohol, ether and turpentine; in water it is only slightly soluble. It consists of two or more resins and a substanceeuphorbone, C20H36O or C15H24O. Pliny states that the name of the drug was given to it in honour of Euphorbus, the physician of Juba II., king of Mauretania. In former times euphorbium was valued in medicine for its drastic, purgative and emetic properties.
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