Practical Notes from Various Sources.


Essential Oils and Distilled Waters.—Percy Wells recommends the addition of a small quantity of potassium permanganate to the water sufficient to make it a faint pink color, and states that volatile oils as well as medicated waters are thereby much improved in odor and quality. Even waters partly spoiled will, on being redistilled in this manner, recover their odor and not again change. ½ to 1 grain per ounce of oil will be sufficient.—Phar. Jour. and Trans., May 12, 1883, P. 91-8.

Temperature of Ice Cream.—In a paper read before the Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Association Mr. Gustavus Pile explains the fact that the seeming warmth of ice water as compared with ice cream is due to the considerable difference of temperature, that of ice cream being about 12°F., and if frozen good and hard, even as low as 8°F., while it is difficult to get the ice water even as low as the freezing point.

Tinctura Digitalis, which had been kept in a glass-stoppered bottle for about two years, had lost by evaporation about one ounce, and deposited a compact precipitate. This was microscopically examined by Dr. H. Stieren and consisted of chlorophyll, red-brown waxy extractive and of a yellowish, more or less crystalline substance, supposed to be digitalin. The precipitate was dissolved in one ounce of alcohol sp. gr. 0.88, filtered and mixed with the remaining 15 oz. of the tincture, the red-brown color of which being thus changed to the dark greenish-brown of the fresh tincture. Dr. Stieren directs particular attention to the partial separation of active principles, likely to, occur with the deposition of precipitates in tinctures.—D. Am. Apoth. Ztg., May, 1883, p. 122.

Tincture and fluid extract of Colombo.—G. W. Kennedy reported to the Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Association, that the best menstruum for exhausting Colombo is a mixture composed of alcohol 70 parts, glycerin and water each 15 parts; the percolation for the fluid extract is finished by a mixture of alcohol 7 and water 3 parts.

Fluid Extract of Ipecacuanha.—In a paper read before the Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Association, J. A. Weaver states that, having had uniform good results in preparing syrup of ipecac by the formula of Mr. J. B. Moore ("Amer. Jour. Phar.," 1870, page 129), he prepared the fluid extract by essentially the same formula, preserving the preparation by one-fourth volume each of glycerin and alcohol. This fluid extract, mixed with simple syrup, yielded a syrup which was perfectly clear, and remained so for several weeks, when it separated a deposit, which, however, is redissolved (suspended) on shaking. The author thinks that the fluid extract of the present pharmacopoeial process would have the same objection, and that, therefore, only small quantities of the syrup should be made at a time.

Fluid Extract of Vanilla.—Another modification of the formulas heretofore published in this journal (1854, p. 300, 1872, p. 63, 1876, p. 342, 1882, pp. 65 and 281) is suggested by J. F. Patton in a paper read before the Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Association: Reduce 8 troyounces of vanilla bean to a moderately fine powder with the aid of 8 troyounces of sugar, add 2 pints of deodorized alcohol, macerate for 30 or 60 days, then add a mixture of 3 ½ pints of deodorized alcohol and 2 ½ pints of water, again macerate for 30 days and filter. Extract of vanilla made by this simple process, like wine, improves with age.

The American Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. 55, 1883, was edited by John M. Maisch.