Tinctura Gelsemii (U. S. P.)—Tincture of Gelsemium.
(Modern shorthand: 1:6.7 65 %)
SYNONYM: Tincture of yellow jessamine.
Preparation.—"Gelsemium, in No. 60 powder, one hundred and fifty grammes (150 Gm.) [5 ozs. av., 127 grs.]; alcohol, water, each, a sufficient quantity to make one thousand cubic centimeters (1000 Cc.) [33 fl℥, 391♏]. Mix alcohol and water in the proportion of six hundred and fifty cubic centimeters (650 Cc.) [21 fl℥, 470♏] of alcohol to three hundred and fifty cubic centimeters (350 Cc.) [11 fl℥, 401♏] of water. Having moistened the powder with one hundred cubic centimeters (100 Cc.) [3 fl℥, 183♏] of the menstruum, macerate for 24 hours; then pack it firmly in a cylindrical percolator, and gradually pour menstruum upon it, until one thousand cubic centimeters (1000 Cc.) 133 fl℥, 391♏] of tincture are obtained"—(U. S. P.).
Or, take of the fresh root of yellow jessamine, cut into small pieces, 4 troy ounces; diluted alcohol, 1 pint. Macerate for 14 days; express and filter. This forms a tincture of a beautiful violet tint; it has a peculiar odor, somewhat resembling that of new honey, and a faint, peculiar, not unpleasant taste.
The official tincture has the bitter taste and nauseous odor of gelsemium, and is of a brownish-yellow color. It renders water milky. Gelsemium tincture has been found of greatest therapeutic efficiency in Eclectic medicine when prepared from the green root. Therefore the second formula is to be preferred to the official process.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—This tincture possesses the active properties of the root, and may be given as a febrifuge in intermittent, remittent, typhus, typhoid, and many other fevers; it is likewise beneficial in neuralgia, nervous headache, toothache, etc. And combined with tincture of cimicifuga, or tincture of colchicum, it proves decidedly efficient in rheumatism and gout. In rigidity of the os uteri (with thin, sharp edges), puerperal convulsions, puerperal peritonitis, and painful dysmenorrhoea, I consider this among the best agents in the materia medica. I have employed it in all these various conditions, and with the most marked success. It is, in most cases, preferable to lobelia as a relaxant, when the cervix is thin, sharp, and rigid, as it does not occasion any nausea or vomiting. Lobelia is applicable when the cervix is full, thick, and rigid. To one young lady laboring under a most agonizing dysmenorrhoea, I administered a teaspoonful of the tincture every 1/2 hour for 4 hours, before it produced its influence upon her; after which smaller doses sufficed to maintain its effect, and she suffered no further pain during the menstruation. While it produces a relaxation of the rigid os uteri, it seems to exert an influence on the uterine contractility, promoting the action of the organ. The dose of the tincture of gelsemium is from 5 drops to 1/2 fluid drachm, according to circumstances, and the urgency of the case. The dose of a fluid drachm is seldom required and should be used with extreme caution. The effects of an overdose may be removed by holding aqua ammoniae to the nostrils, with the internal administration of stimulants (J. King).
King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.