Pharmaceutical Notes.


(Abstracts from Theses)

Fluid extract of scutellaria, as seen in the shops usually has a certain amount of precipitate. Edward Pennock, Ph. G., states that the formation of this precipitate may be prevented or considerably lessened by using a menstruum containing 5 per cent. of glycerin; the percentage of alcohol is not stated.

Distilled water of witchhazel.—John Keifer, Ph. G., obtained from a large distiller in Connecticut particulars as to the manufacture of the distillate, of which the following is an outline: The twigs of hamamelis are collected with the buds in the fall and early winter, are cut into pieces from 6 to 12 inches in length, and then distilled from copper stills in the presence of water, and usually by means of steam. The first portion of the distillate is milky, subsequently it is clear. About a ton of twigs is used to produce one barrel of distillate to which is added from 5 to 7 gallons of alcohol as a preservative, a pound of the finished product representing from 6 to 8 pounds of twigs. This so-called distilled extract is clear, colorless, entirely volatile and has a somewhat pungent aromatic odor.

Myrrh-gum has been experimented with by H. E. Emerson, Ph. G. The residue of myrrh left after the preparation of the tincture, was washed with alcohol, and dried, and subsequently dissolved in one, two and four parts of water. After straining the yellowish opaque mucilage its adhesive properties were tried and found to be rather superior to gum arabic, since it causes labels to adhere tightly to glass, wood, tin, etc. Though its want of transparency detracts somewhat from its usefulness, it has the advantage of keeping unaltered for a long time.

The results corroborate those of E. B. Shuttleworth (AM. JOUR. PHAR., 1871 p. 369) and C. E. Escott (ibid., 1887 p. 69). Mr. Shuttleworth suggested the addition of a little molasses to the mucilage to increase its adhesive properties.

Rhus glabra.—A good ink may be prepared from sumach leaves, according to Oscar J. Lache, Ph.G. A decoction is prepared by boiling 1 oz. of the bruised leaves for half an hour in one pint of water, and straining; 90 grains of sulphate of iron, and 60 grains of gum arabic are added. The ink has at first a brownish cast which disappears in a few days; after about two weeks it can scarcely be distinguished from ink made from nutgalls.

On evaporating an infusion of the berries hard crystals of calcium acid malate are obtained, having a red brown color; by repeated re-crystallization they may be obtained clear and transparent They are decidedly acid, and are with difficulty dissolved in cold water. The acid, was prepared by Procter's process (see U. S. Disp.) On precipitating the solution of the calcium salt with acetate of lead, and decomposing the precipitate with sulphuretted hydrogen, a filtrate is obtained, which on evaporation, yields prismatic crystals of malic acid. The yield is from 3 to 4 per cent.

The American Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. 59, 1887, was edited by John M. Maisch.