Gleanings from the German Journals.
By JOHN M. MAISCH.
Oil of Rue.—A. Giesecke observed that the crystalline mass obtained by shaking oil of rue with bisulphite of carbon cannot be completely freed from the carbohydrogen by expression, and that it is decomposed by a moderate heat. The carbohydrogen was removed by fractional distillation, repeated thirty times, and the oxygenated portion, boiled then constantly between 225° and 226° C., had a spec. grav. = 0.8268 at 20.5° C., a slight odor of pine apple and a bluish violet fluorescence in reflected light; its composition was C22H22O2; it congealed at + 6°, and fused again at 15° C. Boiled with bichromate of potassa, and dilute sulphuric acid, it yielded only pelargonic and acetic acids. Nascent hydrogen, generated by gradually introducing thin slices of sodium into a mixture of the oxygenated portion and alcohol, produced, among other compounds, hendecatylalcohol, C22H24O2, which is a colorless liquid, insoluble in water, of the consistence of glycerin, and spec. grav. 0.8268.—Zeitschr. f. Chemie, 1870, Sept. 428-431.
Cholesterin in Wool Fat.—Ernst Schulze has proved the correctness of Hartmann's inference that this fat contains cholesterin. He obtained the fat by exhausting sheeps' wool with ether. The fat was saponified, in the usual way, with potassa solution and table salt; the mother-liquor contained no glycerin. The soap was exhausted with ether, which on evaporation left 70 per ct. fat; this was boiled in a closed vessel with alcoholic solution of potassa, and then exhausted with ether. The residue left on evaporating the ether was repeatedly recrystallized from spirit of ether (1 ether to 3 or 4 alcohol), and was then pure cholesterin.—Ibid. 453-455.
Quiniometry.—Dr. E. A. Van der Burg criticizes de Vrij's method of determining the quantity of the alkaloids in cinchona bark, and corroborates his own results obtained in 1865. He proves that de Vrij's improved method (10 grm. powder percolated with dilute muriatic acid, to obtain 150 c. c., the liquid decomposed with NaO, and agitated with ether.) yields only about two-thirds of the alkaloids contained in the bark; that the balance remains mainly in the bark, and also in the alkaline liquor; that at present we possess no method for even the approximately correct separation of the cinchona alkaloids; that assays giving the composition of cinchona bark to the thousandth per cent. of the different alkaloids are unreliable, and that the main cause for the varying results of different chemists in analyzing the same bark must be looked for in the methods followed by them.—Zeitschr. f. Anal. Chem. 1870, ii, 179-203.
As a remedy for diphtheria, Dr. Rothe, of Altenburg, recommends the following: Acidi carbolici, alcoholis aa 1.0, tinct. iodin. 0.5, aquae dest. 5.0 m. The mixture is applied three times daily to the affected parts of the throat, and the removable membrane is detached with the same brush, so that the mixture touches the mucous membrane. The patient also uses a gargle of water, to a teacupful of which from 10 to 15 drops of the mixture is added. In severe cases the application is renewed every three or two hours, if possible, also during the night. Dr. Rothe relates 15 cases, of which but one terminated fatally, and in this the diagnosis "diptheritis" was doubtful.—N. Jahrb. f. Pharm. 1870, Juli, 46, from Apothekerzeitung.
Preparation of Coca.—Dr. Ullersperger (N. Repert. f. Pharm. 1870, Octbr. 631-633) brings to the notice of the German pharmacists and physicians eight preparations of coca made by A. Dante Ferroni, in Florence; namely, three syrups, troches, arrowroot, wine, chocolate and balsam. These preparations evidently belong to that class of nostrums of which the pretended composition is given without the process.
Resin of Tampico Jalap.—Prof. H. Spirgatis calls it tampicin; it resembles convolvulin, the resin of true jalap, in appearance, but is soluble in ether, like jalapin, the resin of fusiform jalap, from which, however, it differs in composition; it is a glucoside, and undergoes by chemical agents changes analogous to those occurring under similar circumstances with the other two resins named. The composition of tampicin is C68H54O28. Its medical properties are similar to those of true jalap resin, but it appears to be less reliable. On account of the small quantity of resin which tampico jalap contains, and the greater loss of alcohol, its cost is higher than that of convolvulin.—N. Repert. f. Pharm. 1870, Aug. 452-459.