Decoctum Aloes Compositum. Br. Compound Decoction of Aloes.
Tisane (Decocte) d'Aloes composee, Fr.: Zusammengesetztes Aloedecoct. G.
"Extract of Aloes, 10 grammes; Myrrh, Potassium Carbonate, of each, 5 grammes; Extract of Liquorice, 40 grammes; Compound Tincture of Cardamoms, 300 millilitres; Distilled Water sufficient to produce 1000 millilitres. Reduce the Extract of Aloes and the Myrrh to coarse powder, and boil them and the Potassium Carbonate and the Extract of Liquorice with four hundred millilitres of Distilled Water in a covered vessel for five minutes; cool; add the Tincture of Cardamoms; set aside for two hours; strain through flannel; pass sufficient Distilled Water through the strainer to produce the required volume." Br.
This is essentially the former process of the British Colleges. The effect of the alkaline carbonate is, by combining with the resin of the myrrh and the insoluble portion of the aloes, to render them more soluble in water, while the licorice assists in the suspension of the portion not actually dissolved. The tincture of cardamom is useful not only by its cordial property, but also by preventing spontaneous decomposition. This decoction is said not to filter clear when first made, but, if kept for some time, to deposit insoluble matter, and then to become bright and clear on filtering. (P. J., xiv, 491.) J. F. Brown proposes to prepare a concentrated decoction which keeps fur a long time unchanged. (C. D., 1896, 425.)
Long boiling impairs the purgative property of aloes, and the same effect is thought to be produced, to a certain extent, by the alkalies, which certainly qualify its operation and render it less apt to irritate the rectum. This decoction, therefore, is milder as a cathartic than aloes itself; it is also more tonic and cordial, from the presence of the myrrh, saffron, and cardamom, and derives antacid properties from the potassium carbonate. It is given as a gentle cathartic, tonic, and emmenagogue, and is especially useful in dyspepsia, habitual constipation, and atonic amenorrhea. The decoction should not be combined in prescription with acids, acidulous salts, or other bodies incompatible with the alkaline carbonate.
Dose, from one-half to two fluid ounces (15-60 mils).