The leaves and bark of the twigs of Amygdalus Persica, Linné (Nat. Ord. Rosaceae). Native to Persia. Cultivated everywhere.
Common Name: Peach tree.
Principal Constituents.—The glucosid amygdalin, which in the presence of water and emulsin splits into hydrocyanic acid and other bodies. Hydrocyanic acid can be obtained from most parts of the tree.
Preparations.—1. Infusum Amygdali, Infusion of Amygdalus. Prepared by saturating the freshly scraped inner bark of the twigs (1 ounce) in cold water (16 ounces). It must not be boiled. Dose, 1 fluidrachm to 1 fluidounce.
2. Specific Medicine Amygdalus. (Made from the green young twigs and leaves.) Dose, 1 to 30 drops.
Specific Indications.—Gastric and abdominal tenderness, with irritation and congestion, and pointed tongue with reddened tip and edges and prominent papillae, nausea, and vomiting.
Therapy.—Used according to indications as given above, the infusion is a reliable sedative for gastric irritation with vomiting, particularly in children, and in the irritable stomach of phthisis. Scudder valued it in the vomiting of cholera infantum. We believe the failure of many to obtain results from amygdalus in vomiting is due to the use of alcoholic preparations instead of the infusion; and the latter is of no value unless prepared daily from the fresh green inner bark and leaves. We have both succeeded and failed with it according to the cause of the gastric disturbance. It is of less value for cough than wild cherry or hydrocyanic acid. For the latter the infusion or the specific medicine may be used.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.