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Oleoresina Capsici. U. S. Oleoresin of Capsicum.

Botanical name:

Oleores. Capsic.

Oleoresine (Extrait ethere) de Capsique, Fr.; Spanischpfeffer-Oelharz, Aetherisches Spanischpfeffer-extrakt, G.

"Capsicum, in No. 40 powder, five hundred grammes [or 17 ounces av., 279 grains]; Ether, a sufficient quantity. Place the capsicum in a cylindrical glass percolator, provided with a stop-cock, and arranged with a cover and a receptacle suitable for volatile liquids. Pack the powder firmly, and percolate slowly with ether, added in successive portions, until the percolate measures eight hundred mils [or 27 fluidounces, 24 minims]. Recover the greater part of the ether from the percolate by distillation on a water bath, and, having transferred the residue to a dish, allow the remaining ether to evaporate spontaneously in a warm place. Then pour off the liquid portion, transfer the remainder to a glass funnel provided with a pledget of cotton, and, when the separated fatty matter (which is to be rejected) has been completely drained, mix the liquid portions together. Keep the Oleoresin in a well-stoppered bottle." U. S.

One of the active principles of capsicum, called capsaicin, C9H14O2, is very soluble in ether, and is wholly extracted in the process. Its precise nature has not been determined. Another principle, even still more pungent than capsaicin, is capsacutin which is also extracted by the official solvent in making this oleoresin. (See Capsicum.) After the concentration of the acetone solution, a solid fatty matter separates on standing, but a portion of fixed oil probably still remains. The preparation is a very thick liquid, capable, however, of being dropped, of a dark reddish-brown color, and, though opaque in mass, yet transparent in thin layers. It has not very decidedly the odor of capsicum, but to the taste is intensely pungent. W. C. Alpers found a capsicum which yielded 16 per cent. of oleoresin; the statement has been frequently made that 5 per cent. is the usual yield. (M. R., 1896, 593.) It may be usefully employed to give locally stimulant properties to substances administered internally in a pilular form, in cases of gastric insensibility and excessive flatulence. One drop given three times a day has produced cystic irritation and strangury. It may be used also as a powerful rubefacient, in strengths of from one to two per cent., diluted with olive oil or soap liniment.

Dose, from one-fourth to one grain (0.015-0.065 Gm.).

Off. Prep.—Emplastrum Capsici, U. S.


The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.



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