Fragrant Sumac uses

Fragrant sumac flowers provide

Preparations: Fluid Extract of Rhus Aromatica
Related entries: Rhus Glabra (U. S. P.)—Rhus Glabra - Rhus Toxicodendron (U. S. P.)—Rhus Toxicodendron

The bark of the root of Rhus aromatica, Aiton.
Nat. Ord.—Anacardiaceae.
COMMON NAME: Fragrant sumach, Sweet sumach.
ILLUSTRATION: Gray's Genera, Plate 160.

Botanical Source.—This is a small, bushy shrub, growing from 2 to 6 feet high, and found in clumps throughout sections of the eastern United States, in rocky situations. The leaves are trifoliate, and on stalks about 1 inch in length. The 3 leaflets are sessile, and covered with a short velvety pubescence when young. The terminal leaflet is considerably larger than the lateral leaflets, from 1 to 2 inches in length, and about two-thirds as wide. They are entire and tapering at the base, acute, and have 8 or 10 crenate teeth at the apex. The flowers are small, greenish-yellow, and open in April before the leaves; they are in stalked, spiked, ament-like clusters, and, before flowering, have the appearance of an unexpanded catkin. The sepals, petals, and stamens are in fives, and the pistil is a 1-ovuled ovary, with 3 short styles. The fruit is a small red drupe, about the size of a pea, covered with dense, white pubescence. They are produced in clusters of about a dozen, and are on stalks about 1/2 inch long; each one contains a single flattened seed. A variety (var. trilobiata, Gray. with small, smooth leaflets, generally less than an inch in length, is common throughout Texas and the western states and territories.

History, Description, and Chemical Composition.—The part employed in medicine is the root, or the bark of the root. It has attained some little local reputation heretofore, but was unknown to the medical profession until introduced by Dr. McClanahan, in 1879. When dry, the root is from 1/4 to 1 inch in diameter, and appears in the market in pieces of from 6 inches to 2 feet in length. The bark is of a dark, rusty-brown color externally, and a pink or walnut color below the cork. It is about 1/8 of an inch in thickness, and throughout the inner bark of a prime article are little cavities containing a transparent balsam, somewhat resembling balsam of fir. The wood is white or yellowish. When fresh, the wounded bark exudes a turpentine-like balsam, or solution of a resin in some volatile oil, which dries to a glossy tear or layer. The bark is astringent, but, undoubtedly, the turpentine-like balsam likewise possesses considerable medicinal value. Alcohol extracts this substance, and the addition of water to the tincture produces a milkiness. In making the tincture of either the fresh or dry bark, alcohol alone should be used, and any addition of water is objectionable. Quantitative analysis of the drug by H. W. Harper (Amer. Jour. Pharm.) showed the presence of volatile and fixed oils, several resins and wax, butyric acid, tannin, glucose, gum, starch, oxalates, etc., and 13.8 per cent of ash. The berries were examined for acids by Edo Claassen (Pharm. Rundschau, 1890, p. 262), and yielded 10.65 per cent of citric and a small quantity of malic acids.


Part 2

2012-11-13 08:39:45 by Nurseryman75

In North America, the Smooth Sumac (R. glabra) and the Staghorn Sumac (R. typhina) are sometimes used to make a beverage termed "sumac-ade," "Indian lemonade" or "rhus juice". This drink is made by soaking the drupes in cool water, rubbing them to extract the essence, straining the liquid through a cotton cloth and sweetening it. Native Americans also used the leaves and drupes of the Smooth and Staghorn Sumacs combined with tobacco in traditional smoking mixtures.
Species including the Fragrant Sumac (R. aromatica), the Littleleaf Sumac (R. microphylla), the Skunkbush Sumac (R. trilobata), the Smooth Sumac and the Staghorn Sumac are grown for ornament, either as the wild types or as cultivars


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