CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY, AND MATERIA MEDICA.

CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY, AND MATERIA MEDICA.

737 the still more serious error was to treat the first patient for a disease which existed but in name. Another striking defect, which constantly pre...

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737 the still more serious error was to treat the first patient for a disease which existed but in name. Another striking defect, which constantly presents itself, is a tendency to find fault with others ;-the author alone is correct in his views, and in his practice. He is ignorant of what has been previously written on the subject which he has treated at so great length :-Had he been better informed he would have written less. There is a

ration, becomes of

a light vinous yellow colour, with a powerful odour and taste of myrrh. This be termed myrrhole. Myrrh yields about two per cent. of this oil. The resinous matter left after evaporating the alcoholic solution, This resin is of a reddish-brown amounts to about 44 per cent. colour, its soluble in ether, acetic and sulphuric acids, and partially so in caustic potash and alcohol. lIuriatic acid leaves a flocculent turbid solution. Its melting point is between 1940 and 203°. It is obviously a neutral resin, and may be called myrrhine. Acted on by heat, nayrrhirae becomes converted into an acid

quackishness, too, in the character of the book. The author says"The chief object of this work is to call the attention, not resin, 7nyrrhic acid. 100 partsonly of medical men, but of all persons who may be interested in the matter, to the investigation of the mode of treatment, &c." Again, we find the "attention of parents," (and why not guar-

may

The

analysis

of

myrrh, therefore, gives

in

called to the work." It will be seen, from the preceding remarks, that our censure is not sweeping. There is some merit in the volume, and it is not unworthy of the perusal of medical men interested in the treatment of children’s diseases.

dians ?) "expressly

CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY, MATERIA To the Editor

of

AND

MEDICA.

THE LANCET.

CONDENSED MAGNESIA.

SIR,—A paragraph appears

ing the methods

of

in THE LANCET of June 14, respect -

preparing heavy magnesia, calcined and car-

editor,

It is stated, in a note by the that he suspects the made by pressure objectionable, and it may be so.* But the heavy carbonate of magnesia, or concentrated magnesia, as some call it, is a most valuable preparation, quickly acted on by weak acids, and so perfectly miscible with water, that even by the simple stirring with a teaspoon it becomes as smooth as milk. This being the fact, it is important to prevent confusion as regards the substances, by using the same terms to dissimilar

bonate.

preparations

METALLIC SALTS DECOMPOSED BY CHARCOAL.

M. Chevalier, in experimenting with vegetable and animal charcoal, finds that they decompose acetate and nitrate of lead in solution, whether in water, wine, alcohol, or acetic acid, even at ordinary temperatures, but more rapidly with the assistance of heat. If acetate or nit-ate of lead be distilledwith water and charcoal, free acetic acid or nitric acid is obtained. A solution of one of these salts, dissolved in orange-flower water, is wholly deprived of its lead bv allowing it to stand on charcoal, either animal or vegetable, the charcoal being from ten to twenty times the amount of the lead-salt. In decolouring organic fluids by means of charcoal, as in medico-legal inquiries, this property of charcoal may cause the poison to be overlooked.—Comptes Rendus.

preparations.

Dr. EGAN gives the following summary of the results of his making the heavy carbonate, told me by throwing together the solutions of experience at the Westmorland Lock Hospital, Dublin, in the sulphate of magnesia and carbonate of soda at a very high temDIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF SYPHILITIC DISEASES. perature; the double-elective attraction IS proportionately rapid, and the precipitated carbonate of magnesia fine and dense. " 1st. I have observed the simple superficial ulcer, unattended Your obedient servant, W. P. with indurated margin or base, give rise to a papular eruption, Bristol, June gth, 1845. pains resembling rheumatism, increased vascularity of the throat, MYRRH. This substance, according to Ehrenberg, is derived from the generally accompanied with enlarged tonsils. In this form I balsamodendron myrrha. It exudes as an oily juice from the bark, have never witnessed the occurrence of rupia, nodes, or ulceraand hardens, on exposure to the air, at the same time acquiring tion of the back of the pharynx: in this class, which were for colour. As it is transmitted by way of Cairo, there is but one the most part treated without mercury, constitutional symptoms commercial kind, a mixture of good and bad. In the European far more frequently, but were of a milder description than occurred it markets has been sorted, and three kinds are known :-1. Elect myrrh ; 2. Natural myrrh, or in sorts; 3. Indian, or new myrrh. in those where the opposite plan of treatment was adopted. The first consists of the best fragments picked from the mass, When topical applications fail, mercury is resorted to for the purlarge and small, tear shaped and angular, varying in colour from pose of accomplishing a cure. yellow to a dark brown. Its specific gravity, according to "2ndly. That strong presumptive evidence has been afforded, Martius, is 1.360. The peculiar odour and taste of myrrh are the matter of gonorrhoea, in its incipient stage, is capable of that The kind not well known. second only contains all the impurities and worst parts of the original packages, but is further producing a mild form of secondary symptoms; but not having sophisticated with gum arable, cherry-tree gum moistened with been able to substantiate this opinion by the process of inoculatincture of myrrh, and bdellium. The third kind occurs in large, irregular fragments, brown, or nearly black, and very bitter. tion, I cannot, as far as my experience goes, lay it down as an Martius describes a fourth kind, which he calls myrrhse alba, ascertained fact. the fragments of which resemble gum ammoniacum, being tear’° 3rdly. That the excavated ulcer with indurated margins and shaped, with a conchoidal fracture. Pure myrrh seems to con- base, commonly described as the Hunterian chancre, has, in my tain about one and a half per cent. of water, and when burnt, leaves three and a half per cent. of white ash, consisting of car- limited number of cases, been succeeded by a scaly eruption and bonate of lime, carbonate of magnesia, sulphate of lime, and per- excavated ulcers of the tonsils; and that in those cases alone oxide of iron. Brandes and Braconnot fbund potash and phos- mercury deserves the name of a specific. phoric acid. "4th!y. That the phagedsonic ulcer, where it has existed ab When myrrh is treated with alcohol of s. g. 0.831 at 60° Fah., and the residue dried, this is a yellowish whte mass pulverizable, initio, does not owe its characters to any peculiarity of constituwith a faint smell and taste of myrrh. It contains no starch, but tion, but to a specific virus, as is evinced in the dissimilarity and dissolves in hot or cold water; the filtered solution leaves a inveteracy of the secondary and tertiary symptoms; and that in resinous matter on the filter, and when evaporated, yields a gum such cases mercury is decidedly injurious. And, lastly, that all closely analogous to gum arabic, to the amount of about 40 per the cent. of the myrrh employed. secondary forms of syphilis, with the exception of iritis, are On distilling the alcoholic solution, an oily or balsamic fluid is curable without the aid of mercury; the cure, however, is much obtained, which, when purified by repeated solutions and evapo- more protracted, but relapses far less frequent." Dublin A person

employed

in

that it is accomplished



-

*

We intended our remarks to

apply to

the calcined

magnesia only.—ED.

Journal.