CISSAM'PELOS (Gk. KuraciarfX0(, kissampc /os, from K10"0"11c, kissos, ivy + Ciy7eXof, am pclos, vine). A genus of plants of the natural order .Alenispermace:c, of which some of the species possess valuable medicinal properties, particu larly rissam pelf's l'areira. a native of the West Indies and South America, the root of which was formerly thought to be that called Pareira brava. The plant is called velvetleaf in the West Indies, from the peculiar and beautiful ap pearance of the leaves. It is a climbing shrub, With round leaves, raeemes of small, yellow flow ers, and small, hairy, scarlet berries. The root of Cissampelos appears in commerce in pieces of 2 or :3 feet long, varying from I!. to :tj inch in diameter, tough, but so porous that air can be blown from end to end of it. It is dark-brown externally and light-yellow within. It has a sweetish, afterwards nauseous, taste; is used as a tonic and diuretic,appears to exercise a specific influence over the mucous meinbrane of the urinary passages, and is administered with ad vantage in chronic inflammation of the bladder. Formerly this plant was supposed to yield all of the Pareira brava on the market ; hul now it is rare, its place being supplied by the roots of Chottodcw/ron tomcntosum, a plant of the same order found in Brazil, Peru, and elsewhere in South America. The root of this species. as
found in the market., is of a grayish color, pale. brown within, and with a waxy appearance when freshly cut. The roots vary from inch to 3 inches in diameter, are longitudinally furrowed. and in sections show eoneent rie markings. An other kind is also found in the American mar ket, which greatly resembles Cissa tupelos Pareira, but its exact botanical origin is not known.
The properties of 4111 are the same. They con tain a bitter extractive and an alkaloid, pelosine or eissampeline, said to be identical with be beerine and buxine Pareira brava was intro duced into European medicine in the latter part of the seventeenth century. In Brazil, in addi tion to its other uses, it is eniployed as a remedy for snake-bites, a vinous infusion being taken in ternally. while the bruised leaves are bound over the wound.