(1) This alkaloid is obtained from the leaves of the Aconi-tum Napellus. The leaves are infused in alcohol, and the solution is treated with milk of lime, which liberates the alkaloids in solution. To the filtered liquid is added a little sulphuric acid,' and the precipitated sulphate of lime is filtered off. The filtrate is evaporated until free from alcohol, when the aconitine is precipitated by an alkaline carbonate. This precipitate is re-dissolved in alcohol and the solution is decolorized by animal black, and evaporated to dryness. The residue is re-dissolved in sulphuric acid, and precipitated anew with an alkaline carbonate; the precipitate thus obtained yields pure aconitine on treatment with ether. It is deposited from this solution in a white powder, or sometimes in the form of a compact, transparent, vitreous mass.
(2) Aconite root, in coarse powder, 14 lb.; rectified spirit, distilled water, solution of ammonia, pure ether, diluted sulphuric acid, of each a sufficiency. Pour upon the aconite root 3 gal. of the spirit, mix well, and heat until ebullition commences; then cool and macerate for 4 days. Transfer the 2 whole to a displacement apparatus, and percolate, adding more spirit, when requisite, until the root is exhausted. Distil off the greater part of the spirit from the tincture, and evaporate the remainder over a water-bath until the whole of the alcohol has been dissipated. Mix the residual extract thoroughly with twice its weight of boiling distilled water, and when it has cooled to the temperature of the atmosphere, filter through paper. To the filtered liquid add solution of ammonia in slight excess, and heat gently over a water-bath. Separate the precipitate on a filter, and dry it. Reduce this to coarse powder, and macerate in successive portions of the pure ether with frequent agitation. Decant the several products, mix and. distil off the ether until the extract is dry.
Dissolve the dry extract in warm distilled water acidulated with the sulphuric acid; and, when the solution is cold, precipitate it by the cautious addition of solution of ammonia diluted with 4 times its bulk of distilled water. Wash the precipitate on a filter with a small quantity of cold distilled water, and dry it by slight pressure between folds of filtering paper. (Cooley.)