Tinctura Serpentariae Composita.—Compound Tincture of Serpentaria.
SYNONYMS: Compound tincture of Virginia snakeroot, Sudorific tincture.
Preparation.—Take of Virginia snakeroot, ipecacuanha, each, in fine powder, saffron, camphor, and opium, each, in moderately coarse powder, 2 ounces; Holland gin, or diluted alcohol, 6 pints. Macerate for 14 days; express and filter through paper (Beach's Amer. Prac.). This tincture may also be prepared by percolation. The above is the original, and undoubtedly the best form of preparing this tincture, yet some physicians are opposed to the opium, and substitute in its place ladies'-slipper root, 8 ounces.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—This is a powerful sudorific, and is used in all cases where a copious perspiration is required, or where it is desired to lessen pain, allay nervous excitability, procure sleep, and keep up a determination to the skin. One teaspoonful in some warm herb tea, repeated every hour, aided by warm infusions and bathing the feet, will soon produce copious diaphoresis. In pleurisy, a much larger dose may be given. In other cases, it may be given in doses of from 10 to 60 drops. It will be found beneficial in after-pains, painful dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, from recent exposure to cold, cramp in the stomach, hysteria, in fevers and inflammatory diseases, etc. Forty-eight minims of this tincture are equivalent to 1 grain of opium, as well as 1 grain of camphor, etc.