DoHistoryArchivesite maptech helpabout sitesearch

The Edinburgh New Dispensatory
Lewis, William
Published by Printed for William Creech, Edinburgh
Location of original: Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts
View thumbnails of the 3 pages in this document
View Image
View Image

Page 525


Chap. 21. Tinctures. 525



Tincture of opium, commonly called liquid laudanum.

Take of

Opium, two ounces ;
Spirituous cinnamon-water, one pound and a half.
Digest four days, and strain off the tincture.

   THESE are very elegant liquid opiates, the menstruum in the last dissolves nearly the whole substance of the opium, and effectually covers its ill flavor. It were to be wished that the shops were furnished with a liquid opiate, in which the proportion of menstruum was still much larger, so as to admit of the dose being determined by weight or measure, the method by drops seeming to precarious for a medicine of so powerful a kind. The following preparation is contrived with this view. Take of
Thebaic extract, half a dram ;
Highly rectified spirit of wine, called alcohol, ten ounces;
Simple cinnamon-water, twenty ounces.
Digest the together until the opium be dissolved, and then filtre the solution through paper.
   THIS preparation is apprehended to be free from all the inconveniences attending the common opiate tinctures. The menstruum dissolves the whole of the opium except the impurities, and consequently the tincture is not liable to any uncertainty in point of strength. The dose may be ascertained to the greatest exactness : one grain of opium is contained in one ounce by measure, which is equal nearly to seven drams by weight. Neither

the tinctures in wine not proof-spirit are so well adapted for keeping as could be wished : in long standing, a part of the opium is gradually thrown off from both, and consequently the tinctures become gradually weaker : the part which thus separates, amounts sometimes, it is said, to near one-fourth of the quantity of opium at first dissolved : it floats on the surface of the vinous tincture, and in the spirituous sinks to the bottom. In the preparation here recommended, it has not been observed that any separation happens.

   Instead of the cinnamon-water, pure water may be employed in the mixture; and where aromatic additions are wanted, either with a medicinal intention, or for covering the ill smell of the opium, any proper tincture or distilled water may be extemporaneously joined. Saffron, an addition once employed by the Edinburgh College, has been looked upon as a corrector of opium; but the qualities it was supposed to correct are merely imaginary ; nor indeed can that article be of much importance with any intention in the small quantity that enters a dose of the tincture : a grain of opium being accompanied with only half a grain of saffron.

   A preparation is some respects similar to that here recommended, was introduced into the Edinburgh pharmacopoeia published in 1774, under the title of Tinctura meconii. Each ounce of this tincture contained four grams of opium ; and it was proposed, that the doses of it should be measured, not by drops but by weight : But as modern physicians are much more bold in giving opium than their predecessors, such a scrupulous accuracy in the dose is not thought at all necessary : And it is not probable that any dangerous consequence will ever

<   >

 Title page   Page 525   Page 526 

home your interests who was Martha? Martha's diary book film doing history archive on your own