IPECAC, or IPECACUANHA, a South American plant of the order Rubiacece vari ously called by botanists Cephcelis ipecacuanha and Psychotria ipecacuanha. The plant, which is found mainly in moist shady forests in Brazil, is a creeping herb or sub-shrub with mostly bare stems, only the extremities pro ducing leaves. The small white blossoms, which are borne in heads with long stalks, are fol lowed by dark purple berries. The rather fleshy more or less divided roots were in medicinal repute among the South American Indians, and gradually found their way into European medi cine under the name They have been considered emetic, nauseant, diaphoretic and expectorant, and in large doses are poison ous. They appear in commerce in various grades (gray, brown and red), which are de pendent mainly upon the season at which they are gathered, the way they are dried, the age of the plants, etc. The chief supplies are col lected during January, February and March by the Indians. Owing to the slow growth of the plant and the low .price the roots command,
ipecac is not cultivated commercially; it has, however, been successfully grbwn in' various parts of the world. It is a constittiebt. of Dover's powder. The roots of several other plants are substituted for those of true ipecac among the best known being those of Tylophora, asthmatic° and Sarcostemma gicsucum (Vene zuelan ipecac), both of the natural Asclepiacece. Other species of Psychotria and certain species of Richardsonia are simi larly but unofficially employed.
Wild or American ipecac (Gillenia stipu lacea) of the rose family, is a common plant in the southeastern United States and as far north as western New York. It is a perennial herb about three feet tall, bearing paniculate corymbs of white or pale rose colored flowers. It is hardy, of simplest culture and being graceful is frequently planted for ornament in flower bor ders where the soil is of good quality.