Ingredient: Castor Oil

May 19th, 2015

This oil is a valuable aperient; for whilst, in doses of from half an ounce to an ounce, it thoroughly evacuates the bowels, it does so with little irritation; hence it is especially useful in inflammatory cases, or where there is spasm, or where all increased action of the system is particularly to be avoided. From its quick and mild operation, it is particularly adapted for children, and females during pregnancy. It is also the best purgative that can be employed in that affection of the bowels knowm by the names of colica pictonum, or painter’s colic, the Devonshire colic, and the dry bellyache; and it is the more useful in that disease, as it may be joined with opium and other narcotics without having its purgative properties lessened. For the same reason castor oil is advantageously given in calculous affections. It has also been regarded by some continental physicians as peculiarly well suited for expelling the tape-worm. It is likewise considered the best purgative, when properly administered, for combating habitual costiveness. For this purpose a large dose must first be given in the morning, and the use of the oil continued for some weeks, gradually diminishing the dose daily, until half a tea-spoonful only is taken; on the discontinuance of which, the bowels continue to be relieved without further assistance. One disadvantage attending the use of this oil is its tendency to excite vomiting, but this is counteracted by combining it with some aromatic. The best modes of exhibiting it in general have been much canvassed; it is given floating on water with a small quantity of brandy poured over it, and when this can be swallowed at once, there is no better mode; but as this cannot always be done, it may be given with success in coffee or mutton-broth, or suspended in water by the intervention of mucilage or yolk of egg, according to the taste of the patient. Upon the whole, castor oil is a purgative of great value, and one whose operation, as it is in daily use, should be well understood.

Source: A Companion To The Medicine Chest, John Savory.

For the Bloody Flux

May 18th, 2015

This powder will be found exceedingly useful in abating the irritation and giving retentive power to the intestines, when the evacuations from the bowels are frequent, have a frothy appearance, and are tinged with blood. The best mode of taking this medicine is the following:—

Take of the Astringent Powder, one scruple;
Aromatic Confection, one scruple;
Powdered Rhubarb, five grains;
Cinnamon Water, one ounce and a half.

Mix, and make a draught, which may be taken every four hours, if required. Four or five drops of laudanum may be added to each draught, if the evacuations are attended with pain.

Source: A Companion To The Medicine Chest, John Savory.

Ingredient: Angustura Bark

May 13th, 2015

Angustura bark (Cusparia) is a valuable tonic, especially in cases of dyspepsia, with diarrhoea and loss of appetite. It may be given in powder in doses of ten grains, twice or thrice a-day; or in infusion, or decoction. In cases of flatulency of the stomach, attended by nausea, five grains, with the same weight of rhubarb, taken an hour before dinner, will often effectually restore the appetite and digestion.

Source: A Companion To The Medicine Chest, John Savory.

Ingredient: Chamomile Flowers

April 30th, 2015

A strong tepid infusion of these flowers, administered in doses of from three to four ounces, operates as a powerful emetic; a weaker infusion is a useful diluent in promoting the operation of other emetics, when the stomach is weak and likely to be too much oppressed by the use of simple water. A small tea-cupful of cold chamomile tea, taken in the morning fasting, is often serviceable in dyspeptic affections, and intestinal debility. They are also used, either alone or in combination with poppyheads, for fomentations in colic, but are little preferable to hot or warm water; excepting that the infused flowers, rolled up in a cloth or flannel, serve to retain the heat of the application.

Source: A Companion To The Medicine Chest, John Savory.