Source of Cardiac Glycosides Used in Medicine
Cardiac glycosides are derived from several plant sources. Digitoxin and other cardiacglycosides are extracted from the leaves of Digitalis purpurea, while digoxin, digitoxin and othercardiac glycosides are extracted from the leaves of Digitalis lanata. The cardiac glycoside, ouabain,is extracted from the seed of Strophanthus. Thus, while cardiac glycosides are derived from plantsources in addition to the digitalis plants, the term “digitalis” is used to designate the entire group ofcardiac glycosides, not just those from digitalis plants alone. The major cardiac glycoside used inCanada is Digoxin.