Antiseptic Oils.


Other tomes: Cook (volatile oils) - Cook (fixed oils) - Potter (fixed oils) - King's

Oleum Caryophylli, Oil of Cloves,—contains the Light and Heavy Oils of Cloves, the latter containing Eugenol, and Caryophyllin, a camphor, also Caryophyllinic and Salicylic Acids. Dose, ♏ij-v.

Oleum Gaultheriae, Oil of Wintergreen,—consists of Methyl Salicylate, 90 per cent., and Gaultherilene, a hydro-carbon, 10 per cent. Dose, ♏v-x.

Oleum Cajuputi, Oil of Cajuput,—contains Cajuputol or the Bihydrate of Cajuputene, 2/3; the other 1/3 being another oil. Dose, ♏j-v.

Oleum Eucalypti, Oil of Eucalyptus,—contains a volatile oil which consists of Eucalyptol, an oxygenated oil, and two other products named Turpene and Cymol. [See ante, page 62]. Dose, ♏ij-xx.

Oleum Thymi, Oil of Thyme,—contains Thymol (see ante, page 193), also a hydro-carbon which is resolvable into Cymene and Thymene. Dose, ♏j-iij.

Oleum Myrti, Oil of Myrtle, volatile oil distilled from the leaves of Myrtus communis, the Myrtle, (nat. ord. Myrtaceae). Dose, ♏j-iij, in capsule. It contains Myrtol, isomeric with Oil of Turpentine.

Physiological Action. The general action of these oils and their derivatives agrees with that of Thymol. Myrtol is a very active antiseptic and parasiticide, and sufficiently irritant on a raw surface to excite inflammation. It is eliminated by the lungs and kidneys, acting as a stimulating expectorant, and as an antiseptic and stimulant to the mucous membranes at the points of elimination. Eucalyptol is one of the most powerful antiseptics, and the Oil of Eucalyptus is nearly as efficient, either of them ranking above Quinine in hindering the development of anthrax bacilli (Koch). The latter is a local irritant, and if applied to the skin, and its evaporation prevented, it acts as a vesicant or as a pustulant. In the stomach it is highly irritant, doses of 20 minims causing burning sensations and great pain. Absorbed in large quantity it is a powerful poison to the nerve-centres, depressing the spinal cord, brain, medulla, and heart, abolishing reflex action, lowering the blood-pressure and temperature, and causing death by paralysis of respiration. It is excreted by the pulmonary and renal mucous membranes, imparting a smell of violets to the urine, acting as a stimulating expectorant and a renal and urinary antiseptic. It arrests the movements of the white blood corpuscles, causes contraction of the spleen, and has considerable power as an antiperiodic, in all of which qualities it resembles Quinine, though much less efficient.

Therapeutics. These oils are not as much used in medicine as they deserve to be. The Oil of Cloves is often employed in domestic practice, as a local anaesthetic in toothache and superficial neuralgia. Dissolved in alcohol, any of these oils will promptly correct flatulence, if administered internally, in small doses. Their most important applications are in the following affections, viz.:—

Bronchorrhoea, fetid bronchitis, gangrene of the lung, etc.,—Myrtol is an efficient disinfectant and alterative.
Choleraic Vomiting, and that due to nervous derangement,—the Oil of Cajuput, with Spt. Chloroformi, and Tinct. Cinnamomi.
Parasitic Skin-diseases,—favus, herpes and pityriasis, are cured by Myrtol; and Cajuput Oil is a very effective local application in tinea, scabies, pityriasis, etc.
Worms, both ascarides and the round worm,—are effectually expelled by Myrtol or Cajuput Oil, as enemata.
Rheumatism, Gout, and allied affections,—are exceedingly well treated by Oil of Gaultheria, in emulsion with other similarly acting agents.
Cystitis and Urethritis,—Myrtol and Eucalyptol are used with benefit, administered internally so as to act on these mucous membranes through the urine.
Septicaemia and Pyaemia,—the Oil of Eucalyptus has been used successfully especially in three cases of septicaemia, in one of which Quinine had proved useless (Brunton).
Uterine Catarrh, and after parturition;—Oil of Eucalyptus is well used in an injection or on pessaries, as a local disinfectant and stimulant.
Sponge-tents,—are most effectually disinfected and deodorized by being dipped into the Oil of Cloves.

A Compend of Materia Medica, Therapeutics, and Prescription Writing, 1902, by Sam'l O. L. Potter, M.D., M.R.C.P.L.