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Unguentum Aquae Rosae. U. S., Br. Ointment of Rose Water. Ung. Aq. Ros.

Related entries: Stronger Rose Water

Rose Water Ointment; Unguentum Emolliens; Cold-cream, Ceratum Galeni, Galen's Cerate, Fr. Cod.; Cerat cosmetique, Creme froide, Fr.; Unguentum leniens, P. G.; Cold Cream, G.

"Spermaceti, one hundred and twenty-five grammes [or 4 ounces av., 179 grains]; White Wax, one Hundred and twenty grammes [or 4 ounces av., 102 grains]; Expressed Oil of Almond, five hundred and sixty grammes [or 19 ounces av., 330 grains]; Sodium Borate, in fine powder, five grammes [or 77 grains]; Stronger Rose Water, one hundred and ninety grammes [or 6 ounces av., 307 grains], to make about one thousand grammes [or 35 ounces av., 120 grains]. Reduce the spermaceti and the white wax to fine pieces and melt them on a water bath, add the expressed oil of almond and stir, continuing the heat until the mixture is uniform. Dissolve the sodium borate in the stronger rose water warmed on a water bath to the temperature of the melted wax and fat, and add the warm solution gradually to the melted mixture, stirring it rapidly and continuously until it congeals and becomes of uniform consistence. Ointment of Rose Water must be free from rancidity. If the Ointment has been chilled, warm it slightly before attempting to incorporate other ingredients with it." U. S.

"Rose Water, 20.0 millilitres; White Beeswax, 18.0 grammes; Purified Borax, 1.0 gramme; Almond Oil, 61.0 grammes; Oil of Rose, 0.1 millilitre. Melt the White Beeswax in the Almond Oil; add, with constant stirring, the Borax previously dissolved in the Rose Water; add the Oil of Rose, and continue to stir until cold." Br.

In the U. S. P., 1890, process the proportion of stronger rose water was greatly reduced—i.e., from 30 to 20 per cent.; this makes a more stable preparation, but in our opinion the usefulness of the ointment has been curtailed by the reduction, its soft consistence being one of its most valuable characteristics. Sodium borate was added to increase its whiteness; its presence may, however, prove objectionable when the ointment is used as a basis in prescriptions, by reacting with some of the ingredients ordered by the physician. The U. S. P. VIII formula was retained with but slight changes in the U. S. P. IX. The manipulation was somewhat modified to increase uniformity of the product.

This preparation is a white, very soft, and elegant ointment, deriving a grateful odor from the rose water, which remains incorporated with the other constituents if kept enclosed in glazed vessels. We have found it an improvement to add oil of rose in the proportion of one drop to eight ounces, and, when made in the official quantity, to use an instrument known as the "Dover egg-beater" for giving it the desired creamy appearance. In larger amounts an ice cream churn is well adapted for this purpose. It is a pleasant, cooling application to irritated and excoriated surfaces, and may be used with great advantage for chapped lips and hands, so frequent in cold weather. It is a preparation of very early origin and is sometimes known by the name of Galen's Cerate. "Cold" cream is not recognized in the U. S. Pharmacopoeia IX as an official synonym for ointment of rose water. This course became necessary because of the large number of unofficial ointments of varying composition popularly exploited as cold creams, and these were frequently dispensed, when physicians' prescriptions directed Ointment of Rose Water. The commercial cold creams must be made from substances which are not liable to rancidity, and paraffin oil, liquid petrolatum, white petrolatum, etc., largely form the basis of such, but the official ointment is to be preferred for use in prescriptions. W. C. Alpers furnishes the following formula for a cold cream which is more permanent than the official ointment. One hundred and fifty parts of white wax is melted in 600 parts of paraffin oil with the aid of a gentle beat; 9 parts of borax is dissolved in 240 parts of water; the two fluids are brought to a uniform temperature, not exceeding 60° C. (140° F.), and the aqueous solution is poured into the oily one in a continuous stream, stirring gently for a minute or two; then 1 part of oil of geranium and a little oil of rose are added while stirring, and the product while still warm is poured into jars. The cold cream so obtained is white, soft and smooth, pleasantly odorous, keeps well in the heat of summer and the cold of winter, and becomes only slightly thinner in summer. As the ointment is liable to become rancid when long kept, and the water to separate upon exposure, Joseph Laidley has proposed the substitution for the rose water of oil of rose and glycerin, the former in the proportion of two drops, the latter in that of four fluidrachms, the quantity of spermaceti being increased by two drachms. (A. J. P., xii, 119.) For some purposes the substitution is useful, but the official preparation is preferable for chapped hands, as the glycerin frequently leaves an unpleasant sensation of stickiness on the skin.


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



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