Corkwood is a tall glabrous shrub or small tree, flowers, axillary clusters, white with two-lipped calyx; corolla, funnel-shaped; limb, five parted; five stamens within the corolla (two long and two short); one rudimentary ovary, two many-ovalled compartments and fruit berry-like; leaves, inodorous and bitter taste.
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It has a thick and corky bark.The leaves are obovate to elliptic in shape, 4–15 cm long and 1–4 cm wide. The small white flowers are produced in clusters. This is followed by globose purple-black berries (not edible).
Another species, Duboisia Hoopwoodii, contains an acrid liquid alkaloid, Piturine, which is said to be identical with nicotine; it is largely used by the natives of Central Australia rather in the same way that the Indians use Coca leaves. It is obtained from the leaves and twigs, which are collected while the flowers are in bloom in August; the natives smoke and chew it for its stimulating effect, which enables them to work at high pressure without food.
Part Used: Leaves.
Chemical Constituents:Alkaloidal sulphates, mainly hyoscyamine and hyoscine.
Sedative, hypnotic and mydriatic (of variable strength), which augments the activity of the respiratory system. Its alkaloid, Sulphate of Duboisia, is sometimes used as a substitute for atropine. The homoeopaths use the tincture and the alkaloid for paralysis and eye affections; a red spot interfering with vision is an indication for its use. It is antidoted by coffee and lemon-juice.
The leaves are a commercial source of pharmaceutically useful alkaloids. The same alkaloids render all plant parts poisonous. The leaves contain a number of alkaloids, including hyoscine (scopolamine), used for treating motion sickness, stomach disorders, and the side effects of cancer therapy.
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