Laboratory Notes.

Abstracts from Theses.

Cantharides.—Emien Martin determined the amount of cantharidin obtainable from commercial cantharides and powdered cantharidea by the method of Procter and Mortreux (chloroform and carbon bisulphide). One specimen in which the soft parts had been destroyed by mites yielded no cantharidin; a second specimen probably old, left an uncrystallized wax-like substance not further examined; a third specimen attacked by mites, gave .38 per cent. of cantharidin. Five specimens of the powder yielded respectively .25, .30, .48, .49 and 1.06 per cent. of cantharidin; the sample yielding the largest amount, being destitute of green lustrous particles, was most likely made from Chinese blistering beetles.

Distilled Water of Wild Cherry Leaves.—George E. Spangler collected the leaves of Prunus serotina in the latter part of June, 1883. After macerating 12 ½ troy ounces of the well bruised leaves with 4 ½ pints of water, 18 fluidounces were distilled over, the distillate containing hydrocyanic acid. The leaves collected in July yielded a stronger distillate. It is thought that if the quantity of distillate was made equal in weight to the leaves, the strength of the water would amount to 0.1 per cent. HCy.

Spigelia.—William C. Boynton, on examining true pinkroot obtained the following results: Moisture 8.621, benzol extract (resin, wax and fat) .518, alcohol extract (resin, tannin, extractive) 7.418, and water extract (gum, tannin, extractive) 11.008 per cent.; with diluted alcohol 18.64 per cent. of extract were obtained.

Phlox Carolina contained 9.5 per cent. of moisture and yielded with diluted alcohol 17.57 per cent. of extract. The ash is stated to have amounted to 18.8 per cent., and for spigelia to 20.5 per cent.; a quantitative determination of its constituents was not made.

Stigmata Maydis have been examined by John M. Hillan. He found fresh corn silk to contain 83.3 per cent. of moisture, and the well dried drug to reabsorb water from the atmosphere quite readily. Dry corn silk yielded 12.5 per cent. of ash containing carbonates, chlorides, phosphates and sulphates of potassium, magnesium and calcium, alumina and silica. Benzol extracted 2 per cent., the extract having a brown color and containing fixed oil and resin. Alcohol of 80 per cent. yielded 26.05 per cent. of extract, containing tannin and chlorophyll, and water subsequently dissolved 2.25 per cent. of extractive. Sugar was found in green, but not in dried corn silk. Distillation with water did not yield a volatile oil; on distilling with potassa, as alkaline liquid was obtained, which on being evaporated with acetic acid yielded crystals, and the solution of which was precipitated by iodine and by Mayor's solution.

Fluid Extract of Corn Silk.—J. M. Hillan prepared a fluid extract by M. Kennedy's formula ("Amer. Jour. Phar." 1883, p. 243), and found it to occasion a precipitate. Made from the dried corn silk by the same process, the preparation was permanent but the author recommends to increase the glycerin, using for 100 Gm. of dry corn silk 25 Gm. of glycerin and sufficient diluted alcohol to obtain 100 Ccm. of fluid extract.

C. H. Oberholtzer observed that the fluid extract prepared by Mr. Kennedy's formula would ferment (?) and recommends as a menstruum a mixture composed of two parts of alcohol and three parts of water, using 100 Gm. of green corn silk for obtaining 100 Ccm. of fluid extract.

Syrup of Corn Silk.—J. M. Hillan recommends dissipating the alcohol by mixing 12 parts of the fluid extract with 65 parts of sugar, and after the alcohol has evaporated, adding 5 parts of glycerin and sufficient water to make 100 parts.

C. H. Oberholtzer recommends mixing 35 parts of his fluid extract with 65 parts of simple syrup.

Syrupus Myrrhae.—Abraham L. Ballinger examined several specimens of myrrh and powdered myrrh, and offers the following formula for a syrup:

Take of
Tincture of myrrh ʒij
Magnesium carbonate ʒi
Sugar ℥xij
Water sufficient.

Rub the tincture with the magnesium carbonate, afterward with 8 ounces of water, filter and dissolve in the filtrate the sugar. The syrup should measure 16 fluidounces. It has an agreeable flavor, makes a good vehicle for administering nauseous medicines, and can be made to take the place of syrup of tolu.

The American Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. 56, 1884, was edited by John M. Maisch.