Chemical Properties of Ipecac
Cephaeline mol. wt. 466.31 White, fine, interlacing needles; becomes yellow on exposure to light, but its pure salts are not light-sensitive. Melts 107-108°; also stated as 115-116°; anhydr. at 120-130°. [a]D-43° in chloroform. Insoluble in water; soluble in alcohol, benzene, chloroform, fixed alkali hydroxides, dil. acids; slightly in cold, more soluble in boil, ether. Keep protected from light.
It is an expectorant and emetic; is more powerful and toxic than emetine.
Current research shows Cephaeline has potential uses; antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum, cancer treatment.
Emetine mol. wt. 480.33 Discovered by Pelletier and Caventou in 1817. White, amorphous, powder; sensitive to light. Melts 74°. [a]1D-32.7°. Insoluble in water; soluble in alcohol, chloroform, ether. Protect from light. Emetine Hydrochloride Use: Emetic, expectorant, amebacide. Chiefly in amebic dysentery and other amebic diseases; pyorrhea alveolaris. Dose: In amebiasis: 60 mgm (1 grn) daily, by hypodermic injection for not more than 10 or 12 doses.
Current research shows emitine has potential uses in dental caries prevention, inhibition of protein syntheis in eucaryotic organisms, Amebicidic, Antinematodal.
Emetamine mol. wt. 476.30 White needles. Melts 153-154°. Soluble in alcohol. Insoluble in water or alkalies; freely soluble in alcohol, benzene, chloroform, slightly in ether. Very little is known about this compound
Psychotrine mol. wt. 464.30 White to yellow, light-sensitive crystals. Melts 122° when anhydr. Slightly soluble in water or ether; soluble in alcohol, chloroform, acetone.
Current research on phychotrine indicates it may have pharmacological uses in chemotherapy of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, selective inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus-1 reverse transcriptase.
Ipecacuanhic acid: Very little is currently known about this chemical.
Pharmacological properties of cephaeline and emetine
Both cephaeline and emetine are active amebicides, although emetine is more active. Emetine injected intramuscularly is distributed systemically and kills the motile trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica in doses smaller than are effective against cysts. The drug inhibits cell protein synthesis. (Bowman WC. Textbook of Pharmacology, 2nd ed. St. Louis, MO: Blackwell Mosby Book Distributors, 1980.)
Research of Ipecac Needed
Ipecac and it's chemical components need a great deal more research. This is a botanical that has not been exhausted regarding research yet.