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Chap. 12. Of Doses, Uses and Application.

I. The Doses of Alteratives.

  • 1. Pouders, if temperate, or hot, or cold in the first degree, may be given from one Dram to two Drams; in the second and third degrees, from half a Dram to a Dram, or more: In the fourth degree, from half a Scruple to half a Dram.
  • 2. Infusions, Decoctions and Waters, from two Ounces to four, six, or eight.
  • 3. Extracts, from one Dram to two Drams.
  • 4. Electuaries, from one Dram to four, or half an Ounce.
  • 5. Elixirs and Powers, from 30 Drops to 60, or 80 Drops.
  • 6. Clysters, a Pint at a time to a Man or Woman; but to Infants and Children, from a quarter of a Pint to half a Pint.

II. Doses of Abstractives.

  • 1. Emeticks, if of Antimony, as Tartar Emetick, from three Grains to eight: If Infusions of Crocus Metallorum, Vitrum Antimonij, or Regulus Antimonij, from half an Ounce to an Ounce; and if strong, from an Ounce to an Ounce and half, or two Ounces:
    Emetick Decoctions of Herbs, from half a Pint to three quarters of a Pint, or Pint .
  • 2. Catharticks, if Pouders, from a Scruple, or half a Dram, to a Dram, or Dram and half, according to the strength of the Species, and the Age and Strength of the Patient; the Strongest may be given from half a Scruple to half a Dram.
  • 3. Lenitive Electuaries, from half an Ounce to two Ounces:
    Purging Electuaries, from half an Ounce to an Ounce.
  • 4. Purging Infusions and Decoctions, from an Ounce to six Ounces, according to their strength; the Strong, from an Ounce to four Ounces; the Strongest, from an Ounce to two Ounces.
  • 5. Purging Extracts, from half a Scruple to two Scruples.
    Purging Pills, from a Scruple to a Dram.
  • 6. Purging Salts, from half an Ounce to an Ounce, or Ounce and half.
  • 7. Salivaticks, according to the Discretion of the Learned Physician.
  • 8. Emmenagogicks, if Infusions or Decoctions, from a quarter of a Pint, to half a Pint, or more.
    If Tinctures or Elixirs, from two Drams to three Drams, or half an Ounce,
  • 9. Diureticks and Lithontripticks, if Pouders, from a Dram to two Drams:
    If Infusions or Decoctions, from a quarter of a Pint to half a Pint, or more:
    If Salts, from ten Grains to a Scruple or half a Dram.
  • 10. Sudorificks, if Infusions, from half a Pint to three quarters of a Pint, or more:
    If Electuaries, from a Scruple to a Dram, two Drams, four Drams, or an Ounce.
    But if an Opiate, you must be regulated according to the quantity of Opium which is in it.
    If Salts, from half a Scruple to half a Dram.

III. But in all these Cases you are to observe, that these Rules, nor any other, can be absolutely General, but that different Accidents which may be, as to the Age, Habit, and Strength of the Patient, Recency or Inveteracy of the Disease, together with the different Strengths or Weaknesses of the Medicine, may cause some Exceptions, or particular Cautions and Observations necessary to be known, and which we could not comprehend in these general Directions; so that not withstanding the Limitations of these Doses in this place, they must be proportioned from hence, according as the Accidents may be, in respect both to the Patient and the Preparation; giving to Grown Persons the larger and more compleat Doses; whilst to Weak Persons, Children and Infants, they are to be diminished, according to their Weaknesses, Disabilities, and tender Years.

IV. The Uses of Internal Medicaments. And they are to be considered,

  • 1. As to the Time of Giving.
  • 2. As to the Way and Manner of Giving,

    First, as to the time of Exhibition, Alteratives may be given in the Morning Fasting; but without doubt, all Aperitives are best given at Night, (but upon an Empty Stomach) because there will be the less fear the next Day of taking Cold. Cathartics and Emetics, are best given in the Morning, because as the Stomach is then most Empty, so they will the easier act upon the Offending Matter, and the sooner Operate; besides, the better Attendance may be given, in the time of their working.

V. Secondly, as to the Way and Manner of Giving them. And this is taken for the most part from their Form.

  • 1. Waters Distilled, Syrups and Juleps, are used chiefly as Vehicles, to convey other things down the throat in.
  • 2. Infusions, Decoctions and Wines, are generally given by themselves, dulcified with White Sugar, or some proper Syrup.
  • 3. Essences and Juices, are generally mixed with some proper Syrup, or with Wine (as the Nature of the Disease may require) sweetned with White Sugar, Honey, or Syrup.
  • 4. Tinctures, if Spirituous, Acid, or Oily, are almost always given in a Glass of dulcified Wine. But Saline Tinctures, are generally given in some Diuretick Decoction, sweetned with Syrup of Althaea, or of Parsley, Winter Cherries, &c.
  • 5. Pouders and Extracts, if soft, are made into Bolus's with Honey, Pulp of a Rosted Apple or Pear, or some proper Lohoch.
  • 6. But Extracts, if stiff enough to be made into Pills, (while Recent) are swallowed as Pills by themselves: If kept till they are hard, they will scarcely dissolve in the Body, but must be reduced to a soft Electuary.
  • 7. Troches, are to be reduced into a Pouder, and made into a Bolus with some proper Syrup, or Honey.
  • 8. Lozenges are held in the mouth, and swallowed down only as they melt.
  • 9. Electuaries are swallowed either as a Bolus, or dissolved in some proper Infusion, Decoction, or Wine, sweetned with some Syrup, Honey, or Sugar.
  • 10. Pills are swallowed by themselves, washing them down with some proper distilled Water, Infusion, Decoction, Wine, Julep, Posset-drink, or Broth.
  • 11. Spirits are dulcified with some proper Syrup, or mixt with Wine sweetned with Syrup, or White Sugar, and so taken.
  • 12. Potestates and Elixirs, are always given in a Glass of dulcified Wine.
  • 13. Oils and Balsams, are always dropt into soft White Sugar, and so well mixt with it, then put into a Glass of some proper Wine and so drank.
  • 14. Salts Essential, Elementary, or Fixed, and Volatile, are generally dissolved in some proper distill'd Water, Infusion, Decoction, or Wine, and dulcified with Syrup, Honey, or Sugar, and so swallowed.

VI. The Application of Topicks or Externals.

  • 1. Lotions are either for Bathing in, or for Washing old Sores and Ulcers; for Gargarisms, for Sore Mouths and Throats; or for Injections into Fistula's, the Yard or Womb, to be used with proper Syringes.
  • 2. Oils, they are to be anointed upon the Parts affected, rubbing them well in, Morning and Night, or two or three times a Day.
  • 3. Ointments and Balsams; these may be anointed withall; also they are spread upon Pledgets, and applied to Green Wounds, Old Running Sores and Ulcers.
  • 4. Pouders; these are either mixt with some Ointment or Balsam, and so applied; or simply strewed upon the Wound, Sore or Ulcer.
  • 5. Emplasters and Cerates, are to be spread upon supple Cloth or Leather, and so applied simply upon the naked Tumor, Wound, Sore or Ulcer, or laid over Pledgets, drest or arm'd with Balsam, to keep them on.
  • 6. Cataplasms are put upon Cloth or Leather, to be applied to Tumors and Apostems, to discuss, soften or suppurate.
  • 7. Clysters are to be used either with a Clyster-Pipe and Bladder, or with a Clyster-Syring, to force it up the Intestinum rectum, by the Anus.

VII. Where note, that Clysters are either Anodyn, or Healing, or Purging:

If Anodyn, some choice Opiate is dissolved in it.

If Healing, they are mixt either with Spirit of Wine, or some Oil, Balsam, or Liquid Rosin.

But if Purging, they have always a proportional quantity of Brown Sugar in them, with some Common Salt; but no Oil or Oily Body by any means, because they always blunt the points of the Saline Particles.


Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Nick Jones.



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