Massa Copaibae (U. S. P.)—Mass of Copaiba.
SYNONYMS: Pilulae copaibae, Solidified copaiba.
Preparation.—"Copaiba, ninety-four grammes (94 Gm.) [3 ozs. av., 138 grs.]; magnesia, six grammes (6 Gm.) [93 grs.]; water, a sufficient quantity. Triturate the magnesia with a little water, in a capsule, until the powder is uniformly dampened throughout. Then gradually incorporate with it the copaiba, so that a uniform mixture may result, place the capsule on a water-bath, and heat during half an hour, frequently stirring. Lastly, transfer the mixture to a suitable vessel, and set this aside until the mass has acquired a pilular consistence"—(U. S. P.).
Anhydrous magnesia does not easily combine with the resin of copaiba, hence the direction to sprinkle water upon the magnesia, thus hydrating it, in which state it more readily unites with the resin (copaivic acid) to form magnesium copaivate. The volatile oil is simply absorbed. The above proportions will form the proper mass, provided too much volatile oil be not present. If such should be the case, evaporation or exposure will reduce the quantity of oil. For this reason Para copaiba, which is thin, has to be prepared in this manner before a good result can be obtained, while, on the other hand, Maracaibo copaiba, being much thicker on account of its greater abundance of resin, unites to form a hard compound, a sort of resin-soap. Hence the preference for the latter variety. Fresh calcium hydrate will produce similar results. Wax or spermaceti have been advised in making pills of copaiba, as well as pills of copaiba and cubebs. Vegetable powders, as powdered liquorice root, may be combined with the wax in the mass if desirable. This method has the advantage of producing a pill which remains plastic.
Action and Medical Uses.—Same as for Copaiba. It should be made into 5-grain pills, 2 or 3 of which is the ordinary dose.