The Concentrated Extract of Geranium Maculatum.
Preparation. — Geraniin is obtained by making a saturated tincture of the root of Geranium Maculatum, filtering, distilling off a part of the alcohol, adding water to the rest, and evaporating to dryness. The operation is similar to that for preparing podophyllin.
History. — Geraniin is especially an Eclectic remedy, and is but little known among the other schools of medicine. It was first prepared by Mr. Wm. S. Merrell, of Cincinnati. It is a black substance, forming a dark-brown, glistening powder, of a faint odor, somewhat like that of molasses, and an astringent, acidulous taste, leaving a flavor in the mouth somewhat resembling that of good green tea. Cold water added to it does not appear to dissolve any, but when filtered gives an acid reaction, turning blue litmus paper red, and on the addition of sulphate of iron becomes a deep-bluish black, forming a good writing ink. Ammonia added to water in which geraniin is placed, partially dissolves it; liquor potassa added, completely dissolves it forming a black solution ; muriatic acid added, does not affect its solution at all. It is very little soluble in alcohol, imparting to it a light reddish-yellow tinge, and on the addition of ammonia, more of the geraniin is dissolved, and the rest is held in a state of suspension in the liquid. It is insoluble in ether, chloroform, and oil of turpentine ; acetic acid added to ether partially dissolves it, causing a reddish solution ; ammonia added, does not render it any further soluble, and the clear ether floats on the top. Its composition is not yet determined, though it undoubtedly contains an abundance of tannic or gallic acids.
Properties and Uses. — Geraniin is a powerful astringent, and unlike tannic acid in its action, does not cause a dryness of the mucous surfaces with which it comes in contact, but produces its therapeutical influences upon them with the continuance of their natural moisture. On this account, and in connection with its not unpleasant taste, it will, undoubtedly, in a short time, supersede the use of tannic acid in most of the diseases in which this acid is employed. Geraniin may be employed in all instances where astringents are indicated. It has been found a superior article both in the first and second stages of dysentery, diarrhea, and cholera-morbus. Equal parts of geraniin, dioscorein, and caulophyllin, will be found a valuable mixture in diarrhea and cholera-morbus, when much pain and flatulency are present; the mixture may be given in six grain doses to an adult, every fifteen or twenty minutes, or as often as the urgency of the case may require. Geraniin will be found efficacious in hemorrhages, hematuria, menorrhagia, leucorrhea, gleet, diabetes, etc. In colliquative diarrhea it answers an excellent purpose either alone, or in combination with quinia. Externally, it may be applied to ulcers, and combined with alum and gum arabic, it forms an excellent application to bleeding wounds and in epistaxis* All practitioners who have used this article in their practice, speak in the highest terms of its efficacy as an astringent. Dose of Geraniin, from one to five grains or more, repeated as required ; it may be given in syrup, molasses, gruel, water, or Port wine.