The fecula or starch of the seed of Zea Mays, Linné (Nat. Ord. Gramineae). (Formula: C6H10O5).
Common Name: Corn Starch.
Description.—Irregular, angular, white masses, or a fine, white powder; inodorous, with a slight but characteristic taste. Insoluble in alcohol and cold water. When boiled with 15 parts of water and cooled, it yields a whitish, translucent jelly (starch paste).
Preparation.—Glyceritum Amyli, Glycerite of Starch.
Action.—A carbohydrate food contributing to the production of animal-heat, and when consumed in too large quantities for long periods increases fat and gives rise to flatulence and gastric acidity. Under the same conditions it may cause sugar to appear in the urine.
Therapy.—External. A valued dusting powder for intertrigo, erysipelas and irritated skin, and as starch-water (diluted starch paste) a useful demulcent for inflammatory disorders of the lower bowel and a medium for rectal medication. The glycerite alone (or as a vehicle for other medicaments) is a bland and non-irritating application to relieve the heat of eczema, erythema, excoriations, and other irritated or inflamed disorders of the skin.
Internal. The antidote for iodine poisoning. Diluted starch paste may be used as a lenitive after other forms of irritant poisoning, and as a mucilage for the administration of medicines.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.