Tinctura Rusci.—A correspondent inquires for a formula for this tincture, which is recommended for ringworm, by Prof. Kaposi, in Hebra's work on skin diseases.
Of the genus Ruscus, which is classed with the smilaceae or liliaceae, three species have been employed medicinally, all of which are indigenous to Southern Europe, one, R. aculeatus, Lin., or butcher's broom, being also found in England. The rhizome, known as radix rusci or brusci, possesses aperient and diuretic properties, and was formerly much used in visceral diseases. This is doubtless the species employed for the above tincture, but we have been unable to find a formula in old and recent works, though several give directions for decoctions. Since the dose was from 10 to 30 grains in powder, the tincture is, perhaps, best made of 20 parts of the powdered drug, exhausted with sufficient dilute alcohol to obtain 100 parts. The taste is disagreeable, sweetish and bitter.
The other two species referred to are Ruscus hypophyllum and R. hypoglossum, Lin., the former of which was known as Laurus alexandrina, the latter as bislingua, uvularia and Laurus alexandrina angustifolia. The root and evergreen leaves were employed in diseases of the uterus and bladder.
J. M. M.
Tinctura Stillingiae.—I send you an excellent formula for this tincture. Take of stillingia root (fresh) eight ounces, diluted alcohol two pints, nitric acid half fluidounce. Mix. Macerate fourteen days; express and filter. Dose, five drops in water, three times a day, gradually increased. As nitrates are soluble, the addition of a small quantity of nitric acid to all tinctures made by maceration greatly increases their value.
J. DABNEY PALMER.