Jalap has been known in Europe since the beginning of the 17th century, and derives its name from the city of Jalapa in Mexico, near which it grows, but its botanical source was not accurately determined until 1829, when Dr. J.
Jalap has been cultivated for many years in India, chiefly at Ootacamund, and grows there as easily as a yam, often producing clusters of tubers weighing over 9 lb; but these, as they differ in appearance from the commercial article, have not as yet obtained a place in the English market.
Besides Mexican or Vera Cruz jalap, a drug called Tampico jalap has been imported for some years in considerable quantity.
It has a much more shrivelled appearance and paler colour than ordinary jalap, and lacks the small transverse scars present in the true drug.
A few medicated soaps are prepared for internal use, among which are croton soap and jalap soap, both gentler cathartics than the uncompounded medicinal principles.
Several members of the order are used medicinally for the strong purging properties of the milky juice (latex) which they contain; scammony is the dried latex from the underground stem of Convolvulus Scarnmonia, a native of the Levant, while jalap is the product of the tubercles of Exogonium Purga, a native of Mexico.
JALAP, a cathartic drug consisting of the tuberous roots of Ipomaea Purga, a convolvulaceous plant growing on the eastern declivities of the Mexican Andes at an elevation of 5000 to 8000 ft.
The jalap plant has slender herbaceous twining stems, with alternately placed heart-shaped pointed leaves and salver-shaped deep purplish-pink flowers.
The ordinary drug is distinguished in commerce as Vera Cruz jalap, from the name of the port whence it is shipped.
This kind of jalap, the Purga de Sierra Gorda of the Mexicans, was traced by Hanbury to I pomaea simulans.
, Jalap (Ipomaea Purga); about half natural size.
A third variety of jalap known as woody jalap, male jalap, or Orizaba root, or by the Mexicans as Purgo macho, is derived from Ipomaea orizabensis, a plant of Orizaba.
The dose of jalap is from five to twenty grains, the British Pharmacopeia directing that it must contain from 9 to II% of the resin, which is given in doses of two to five grains.
The chief constituents of jalap resin are two glucosides - convol- vulin.
Jalap is a typical hydragogue purgative, causing the excretion of more fluid than scammony, but producing less stimulation of the muscular wall of the bowel.
Among the well-known forest products of this zone are arnotto, jalap, ipecacuanha, sarsaparilla, rubber, orchids and a great variety of gums.
The natural and forest products of Mexico include the agave and yucca (ixtle) fibres already mentioned; the " ceibon " fibre derived from the silk-cotton tree (Bombax pentandria); rubber and vanilla in addition to the cultivated products; palm oil; castor beans; ginger; chicle, the gum extracted from the " chico-zapote " tree (Achras sapota); logwood and other dye-woods; mahogany, rosewood, ebony, cedar and other valuable woods; " cascalote " or divi-divi; jalap root (Ipomaea); sarsaparilla (Smilax); nuts and fruits.
Aipi), peanuts, pineapple, guava, chirimoya (Anona cherimolia), pawpaw (Carica papaya), ipecacuanha (Cephaelis), sarsaparilla, vanilla, false jalap (Mirabilis jalapa), copaiba, tolu (Myroxylon toluiferum), rubber-producing trees, dyewoods, cotton and a great number of beautiful hardwoods, such as jacaranda, mahogany, rosewood, quebracho, colo, cedar, walnut, &c. Among the fruits many of the most common are exotics, as the orange, lemon, lime, fig, date, grape, &c., while others, as the banana, caju or cashew (Anacardium occidentale) and aguacate avocado or alligator pear, have a disputed origin.