This section is from the book "Botanic Drugs Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics", by Thomas S. Blair. Also available from Amazon: Botanic Drugs, Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
Guaiac, Lignum vitae, Lignum Sanctum, Guai-acum officinale and G. sanctum. Official in the U. S., resin and heart-wood in a number of other countries.
A nasty resin justly going out of use, though still official. The ammoniated tincture, diluted to the point of comfort, may be used as a gargle in syphilitic sore throat, or the lozenges may be employed. It has been recommended in a host of affections commonly benefited by purgatives, among which guaiac should be listed as one of the unnecessary ones. Average dose of the resin, 15 grains.
The real uses of guaiac are in the laboratory, as in the test for oxidases and the Almen test for hemoglobinuria.
Do not conflict with guaiacol, one of the chief constituents of creosote, or prepared synthetically. While the creosote and guaiacol compounds, as well as the creosote from beechwood, might be classed as of vegetable origin, or some of them might, as a matter of fact they are nearly all synthetically built up, some from coal tar; hence they are not considered in this volume. Consult "New and Nonofficial Remedies," published annually by the American Medical Association.