On Syrupus Assafoetidae.
By JOHN M. MAISCH.
Some years ago Mr. Rich. Peltz proposed a syrup of Assafoetida containing 15 grains of the gum resin in each fluid ounce, and which was intended as a permanent substitute for the officinal mistura assafoetidae, which in the course of a few days usually spoils. During the prevalence of whooping cough, a few years ago, when assafoetida was often prescribed, I prepared a syrup, which was used by several physicians to their entire satisfaction, and which has kept well up to the present time. Instead of the boiling water used by Mr. Peltz, I have employed water at the ordinary temperature and added some orange flower water, which covers to some extent the odor of assafoetida, without masking it altogether.
Two drachms of selected tears of assafoetida are triturated with a sufficient quantity of water until three fluid ounces of emulsion have been obtained, to which half a fluid ounce of triple orange flower water is added, and afterwards six troy ounces of sugar, which is to be dissolved by agitation without the aid of heat. It is important to perfectly emulsionize the assafoetida with the small amount of water, which, though more difficult than the preparation of lac assafoetidae, is readily accomplished by judicious trituration with small quantities of the water, and the removal of the concentrated emulsion, before trituration is continued with another portion.
The syrup thus prepared is whitish opaque and separates, on long standing, a portion of the resin like cream, which on occasional exposure to the air acquires a pinkish hue and subsequently a deep pink color; it can be readily mixed with the syrup by agitation. The change in the color of the resin, of course, alters the appearance of the syrup in course of time, it becoming of a pinkish color after the separated resin has again been diffused in it. An officinal preparation similar to the one described, it appears to me, would be by far preferable to the milk, since it is permanent and affords an opportunity of combining assafoetida with other liquid medicines without much trouble.