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.
Cherry Laurel, Prunus Laurocerasus. The leaves are official in six countries, the oil in the Netherlands. For other species of prunus see "Amygdala" and "Prunus." Apricot Seed, P. armeniaca, official in Italy. Prunes, P. domestica, official in the Netherlands. Peach Bark, Amyg-dalus Persica, is another hydrocyanic acid-bearer used in 1- to 10-minim doses fl. in the U. S. for irritated gastric states and nausea.
Cherry-laurel water is a peculiarly agreeable form in which to administer small doses of hydrocyanic acid. Unfortunately, it is not only of uncertain strength, but it also deteriorates. The dose is given as high as 1 fluidrachm; but, if the product is fresh and active, such a dose is toxic. One would be safer in prescribing not over 20-minim doses. Oil of Cherry Laurel acts as does oil of bitter almonds. The virtues of this whole class are dependent upon hydrocyanic acid, and Bitter Almond Water (average dose, 1 fluidrachm) or Diluted Hydrocyanic Acid (average dose, 1 1/2 minims), both official, will meet every indication, though not so pleasant to take, a factor to be considered in nausea.
The Eclectic Amygdalus Persica (peach bark) is a drug offered as a fl., and it is rather definite in activity, though less so - less toxic - than the products made from leaves and seeds of the prunus family. This agent is one of the many drugs suggested to relieve the vomiting of pregnancy. It does not, however, possess an agreeable flavor.
It may not be out of place to refer here to Laurus nobilis, the source of Bayberries, official in a number of countries as an astringent and stimulant stomachic. Bay Leaves, official in a few countries as a flavoring agent, and Oil of Laurel, official in many countries and used as a stimulant external application. Also see "Kalmia."