Fuligo ligni. (Fulujo Splendens.) Wood-Soot.
Description. — The best soot for medicinal purposes, is that which is gathered within an air-tight wood stove and its pipe ; that which is collected from a clean chimney or ordinary stove-pipe, where hard wood alone is burned, will ordinarily answer, if it be free from ashes and lime. Soot has a peculiar smell, resembling that of creosote, and a bitter, empyreumatic, disagreeable taste. Powdered soot steeped in boiling water makes an infusion of a deep-yellow or brown color, imparting to it its characteristic odor and taste. The part which is soluble consists chiefly, according to Berzelius, of a pyrogenous resin united with acetic acid, saturated with potassa, lime and magnesia. It also contains sulphate of lime, chloride of potassium, acetate of ammonia, and traces of nitric acid. If the solution be evaporated to dryness, it furnishes a black extract, which on being redissolved in water forms a blackish-brown solution, which lets fall acid pyretin, in the form of a black mass resembling pitch, when treated with any free acid except acetic ; the acid employed remains in solution with the bases previously in combination with the pyretin. That portion of soot which is insoluble in water, amounts to about forty-four per cent. In addition to the above ingredients, soot also contains empyreumatic oil, and creosote, to which it is supposed to owe its medical virtues, but which supposition is incorrect.
Properties and Uses. — Internally, soot will be found valuable in all forms of disease attended with acidity of the stomach. A powder composed of one part each of powdered rhubarb and soot, and half a part of bicarbonate of potassa, will be found invaluable in all such cases, removing acidity and a tendency to constipation ; it may be given in doses varying from three to twelve grains, three limes a day, or in sufficient quantity to cause one or two evacuations from the bowels daily. An infusion of soot, made so as not to be unpalatable, is very beneficial in inflammation of mucous membranes, and in hysteria. A strong decoction of soot used as an injection into the rectum, has caused the expulsion of ascarides; its use should be continued for several days in succession ; injected into the bladder it has been of service in chronic inflammation of the bladder; it should be injected twice a day for some days. It possesses no antispasmodic virtues further than the neutralizing acidity of the stomach, to which the spasmodic action is owing. Combined with geraniin, in the proportion of two parts to one of the astringent, it will prove valuable in diarrhea and cholera-morbus of children; in summer-complaint, one part of leptandrin, and a fourth part of camphor or ginger may be added to the above. The infusion or decoction may be made by adding one or two ounces of soot to a pint of water, macerate or boil for half an hour, and filter; dose, one or two fluidounces, two or three times a day.
Externally, I have used the Unguentum Fuliginis, in cases of recent and extensive burns, with almost immediate relief; it must be spread on raw-cotton and applied over the part. The ointment is also efficacious in various cutaneous disorders, especially those of an erysipelatous character, tinea, fistula, cancerous and syphilitic ulcers, pruritus of the vulva, specks on the cornea, scrofulous ophthalmia, severe burns and scalds, etc. In some of these diseases the decoction will answer. In many ophthalmic diseases, a strong decoction of equal parts of soot and goldenseal, will be found valuable ; it may also be employed internally by mouth, or injection into the bladder or vagina, for chronic mucous inflammation.
A preparation called Fuligokali, has been recommended in scrofula, chronic rheumatism, rheumatic tumors, and certain herpetic affections. It is made by boiling for an hour, one hundred parts of good, shining soot, and twenty parts of caustic potassa, each in powder, in two parts or a sufficient quantity of water. When cold the solution is diluted, filtered, and evaporated to dryness. Fuligokali is in the form of a black powder or scales, very soluble in water, of an empyreumatic odor, and mild alkaline taste. The dose is two or three grains, repeated several times a day. Sixteen or thirty-two grains to the ounce of lard, is said to form a detersive, resolvent, and gently stimulant ointment.
Off. Prep. — Unguentum Fuliginis.