Semina Colchicum Autumnale

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Semina Colchicum Autumnale


Latin Name: Semina Colchicum Autumnale

Common Name: Bulb of autumn crocus, or meadowsaffron

Classification: Narcotic, diuretic, and diaphoretic

Isolated Drug/s: Colchicine

Medicinal Usage: Toxic and potent. The bulb of Colchicum Autumnale is used as an anodyne narcotic for gout or rheumatism, and a diuretic and diaphoretic in fever. Side effects include vomiting, bloody stools, severe abdominal pain, bradycardia, and stupor, as the dose increases. It is usually administered in repeated doses until the bowels are affected.

For the treatment of gout, Colchicum Autumnale is combined with epsom salt and magnesia and prepared in a solution. It can also be mixed with opium in treatment of the kidneys or skin. It can be given as a powder, wine or tincture.

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Specimen: Colchicum Autumnale L. Image courtesy of the New England Botanical Club.




“Semina Colchicum Autumnale,” OnView: Digital Collections & Exhibits, accessed March 21, 2019,

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