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August 1940


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Chicago.

Arch Surg. 1940;41(2):287-291. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1940.01210020083008

Some time ago Mr. William H. Wood, of Brownsville, Texas, called my attention to infusion of algerita root, a remedy used by the Indians of Texas and Mexico for many ailments.

As many of these ailments were infectious processes, the following experiment was carried out in order to learn whether the infusion possessed any antiseptic or germicidal properties.

METHOD  Five hundred grams of crushed algerita root was boiled for thirty minutes in 2 liters of distilled water and the liquid filtered through gauze. This infusion was sterilized in the autoclave and used as follows: One-tenth cubic centimeter of a twenty-four hour broth culture of scarlet fever streptococcus was added to each of six test tubes, each containing 10 cc. of ordinary nutrient broth with 0.1 cc. of sterile blood added. To one of these tubes 0.1 cc. of algerita root infusion was added; to four tubes, 0.2 cc., 0.5 cc.,

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