Syrupus Rhei et Potassae Compositus.—Compound Syrup of Rhubarb and Potassa.

Related entry: Rheum (U. S. P.)—Rhubarb

SYNONYM: Neutralizing cordial.

Preparation.—Take of best India rhubarb, in coarse powder, and bicarbonate of potassium, each, 16 troy ounces; cinnamon, golden seal, each, 8 troy ounces; refined sugar, 6 pounds (av.); fourth-proof brandy, 2 gallons; oil of peppermint, 2 fluid drachms. Macerate the rhubarb, potassium bicarbonate, cinnamon, and golden seal in the brandy for 2 days, then express the tincture with strong pressure, and add to it the oil of peppermint, previously dissolved in a little alcohol. Break up the cake or compressed residue from the press, and place it in a displacement apparatus, and gradually add warm water, until the strength of the articles is exhausted. Evaporate this solution to 8 pints, and while the liquor is still hot dissolve in it the sugar. Continue the evaporation, if necessary, until when added to the tincture first obtained, it will make 3 gallons, and mix the two solutions together. Strictly speaking, this is not a syrup, but a sweetened tincture (Wm. S. Merrell).

Dr. Hill has kindly furnished me with the formula by which he prepares this syrup, and which many physicians prefer on account of its pleasantness and efficacy. It is as follows: Take of best India rhubarb, in coarse powder, and pure carbonate of potassium, each, 2 ounces; golden seal, cinnamon, each, 1 ounce; refined sugar, 4 pounds; brandy, 1 gallon; oil of peppermint, 20 minims. Macerate the rhubarb, golden seal, and cinnamon in ½ gallon of the brandy for 6 hours with a gentle heat, then transfer the mass to a percolator and displace with the remaining ½ gallon of brandy. The remaining strength, if there be any, can be obtained by adding water until the liquor comes off tasteless. To this add the carbonate of potassium, sugar, and oil of peppermint, this last having been previously rubbed with a sufficient quantity of the sugar to absorb it, and mix the two liquors. The whole of the active properties of the ingredients may be obtained with more certainty by using alcohol (76 per cent) instead of brandy, owing to the great want of uniformity in the quality of the latter (J. King).

The following excellent preparation is recommended by Prof. F. J. Locke, M. D.: Take rhubarb, coarsely ground, peppermint herb, and potassium bicarbonate, of each, 3 ounces; boiling water, 4 pints; diluted alcohol, ½ pint; essence of peppermint, ½ ounce; white sugar, 2 pounds. Pour the boiling water upon the rhubarb, peppermint herb, and potassium bicarbonate, and allow them to macerate for 2 hours in a warm place. Strain, and while still warm add the sugar. After the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is cold, add the diluted alcohol and the essence of peppermint. The dose is from 1 to 4 fluid drachms.

Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—This syrup is an agreeable laxative, antacid, and tonic. It is sometimes called Neutralizing cordial. It may be used in cases of obstinate constipation, acidity of stomach, dyspepsia, and as a laxative in pregnancy, and where piles are present. It is one of the principal remedies employed by physicians in diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera morbus, cholera infantum, and in the same diseases as the compound powder of rhubarb. Dr. Locke's preparation is exceedingly efficient in acid and irritative forms of summer diarrhoea (see Rheum). The dose for an adult is a tablespoonful every ½ hour, hour, or 2 hours, according to the urgency of the symptoms; for a child, in proportion to its age.

Related Preparation.—SYRUPUS RHEI ET POTASSII COMPOSITUS (N. F.), Compound syrup of rhubarb and potassa, Neutralizing cordial. "Fluid extract of rhubarb ( U. S. P.), seventeen and one-half cubic centimeters (17.5 Cc.) [284♏]; fluid extract of hydrastis ( U. S. P.), eight and one-half cubic centimeters (8.5 Cc.) [138♏]; potassium carbonate, seventeen and one-half grammes (17.5 Gm.) [270 grs.]; tincture of cinnamon (U. S. P.), sixty-five cubic centimeters (65 Cc.) [2 fl℥, 95♏]; spirit of peppermint (U. S. P.), eight cubic centimeters (8 Cc.) [130♏]; syrup (U. S. P.), two hundred and fifty cubic centimeters (250 Cc.) [8 fl℥, 218♏]; diluted alcohol (U. S. P.), a sufficient quantity to make one thousand cubic centimeters (1000 Cc.) [33 fl℥, 391♏]. Dissolve the potassium carbonate in the syrup, and add the solution to the fluid extracts, tincture, and spirit, previously mixed with six hundred cubic centimeters (600 Cc.) [20 fl℥, 138♏] of diluted alcohol. Mix well, and add enough diluted alcohol to make one thousand cubic centimeters (1000 Cc.) [33 fl℥, 391♏], and filter, if necessary"—(Nat. Form.). This preparation is designed to replace the old Eclectic neutralizing cordial, and, in some respects, is as important. It will be observed that alcohol is used instead of brandy.

King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.