Chemical formula of Cypripedin?

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Abgeschickt von Bonaventure Magrys am 02 April, 2008 um 00:09:16

From "A Text-book of Alkaloidal Therapeutics" By William Francis Waugh, Wallace C. Abbott, Ephraim Menahhem Epstein:

Standard granule—Gr. 1-12, gm. .005.

Cypripedin is a concentration from Cypripedium pubescens, the ladies' slipper. No active principle has been found in this plant. Scudder terms cypripedium tonic, stimulant, diaphoretic and antispasmodic. Its chief value is as a nerve stimulant in atonic cases, improving the circulation and nutrition of the nerve centers. Felter and Lloyd enumerate as its uses, allaying nervous excitability or irritation unconnected with organic lesions, lessening pain, producing a calm and cheerful state of mind and thus favoring sleep ; hysteria, chorea, nervous headache, wakefulness, prostration in low fevers, epilepsy, all morbid irritabilities of the nervous system from non-organic causes ; nervousness, hypochondria and mental depression of deranged digestion, especially in females; joint pains following scarlet fever. Specific Indications.—Insomnia, nervous irritability, neuralgia, delirium, all from atony ; menstrual irregularities with despondency ; tendency to dementia at climacteric; mental depression from self-abuse. Ellingwood says the virtues of this plant are lost by drying, and only fresh root preparations should be employed. Large doses are requisite. He advises it in nervous conditions from genitourinary disorders ; mental depression from sexual causes ; it allays cerebral irritation from teething; typhoid vigilance and jactitation with vital  depression, and that from dyspepsia. 

These quotations show the place of cypripedin to be close to that formerly filled by valerian. Neither is a powerful remedy, but for them there is a large class of cases that do not require a very strong remedy. It is the little ailments that wear out the endurance, as bankruptcy is more easily borne than the continual nagging of a nervous, fretful wife. Cypripedin relieves the minor ailments that cause nervousness, and leaves a sense of comfort and well-being, somewhat resembling the euphoria of morphine. Possibly cypripedin may prove of value in treating the withdrawal symptoms of this and other habit drugs. The writer has employed cypripedin largely to relieve sexual erethism, with satisfaction. It soothes the sexual organs and quiets the irritability that leads to the exhaustion of the forces by constant discharges of energy. The patient must be warned that the effect will be a lessening of sexual desire, or else he will think it is de- priving him of his powers. Explain that the energy is simply stored up by cypripedin instead of being uselessly discharged, and he will be satisfied. This result has followed the use of cypripedin in both sexes.

The dose most effective has been a grain four times a day, and the drug should be continued for a month. It is often wise to give cypripedin for a month and then follow with cornin for a similar period. Cypripedin is one of the remedies lost to the old therapist by the uselessness of the preparations in the shops. While a freshly-made infusion probably excels, the writer has found cypripedin quite active."

Now, granyed some of this is a real hoot, 19th century medical thinking and all (may still be believed in some parts of the world) but from my searches the compound cypripedin has not been put to modern laboratory analysis. I'd like to get the chemical formula for it to study it, but until then don't no one go smokin' any Cyp roots!

Bonaventure Magrys
Research Assistant III
New Jersey Neuroscience Institute
JFK Medical Center
Edison, NJ 08817


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