The sifted flour of the grain of Triticum sativum, Lamarck (Nat. Ord. Graminaceae).
Common Names: Wheat Flour, Common Flour.
Principal Constituents.—Starch, vegetable albumin, and proteids of gluten, (glutenfibrin, mucedin, and gliadini), and a small amount of allantoin.
Derivative.—Furfures Tritici, Bran.
Action and Therapy.—External. Bread made of wheat flour is an excipient of some pills, and forms the basis of the bread and milk poultice. Wheat-flour paste well thinned is emollient and may be used per rectum for the administration of medicines in colitis. Rarely wheat flour is used as a dusting powder for burning and itching surfaces, as in urticaria, erysipelas, sunburn, and mixed with molasses promptly relieves the pain in burns and scalds. Infusion of bran is a useful emollient for rough skin, and assists in removing the odor of such agents as iodoform.
Internal. A thinned paste of wheat flour is demulcent and may be used to protect an irritated stomach and esophagus in cases of irritant and corrosive poisons. In the absence of starch it may be used to antidote poisoning by iodine. Bran, mixed with stewed fruits or baked in a biscuit or cake, is a common mechanical laxative for habitual constipation, often proving more effective than medicines.