Contractions. - Ambra. Amb.
Synonyms. - Ambra Ambrosiaca, Ambra Vera, Ambra Maritima.
Ambergris. For. names: German, Graue Ambra; French, Ambre gris.
This is now generally believed to be a morbid secretion from the liver of the spermaceti whale (Physeter macro-cephalus). It has been extracted from the rectum of the whale in the South Sea Fishery, but is usually found floating on the sea along the coasts of Coromandel, Japan, the Moluccas, and Madagascar. The most esteemed is that from Madagascar and Sumatra.
Characters. - Large opaque balls, rough to the touch, formed of concentric layers, friable, lighter than water, spongy, of a greyish-brown colour externally, traversed within by black and yellowish-red streaks, and full of whitish specks. These often occur in the interior, the beak, and other hard parts of different species of cuttlefish, especially Sepia octop., and S. moschata. It has a strong odour, somewhat aromatic; when heated it softens like wax; it burns readily with a bright flame, leaving very little residuum. It is soluble in ether and partially so in rectified spirit.
Preparation. - Trituration.
Reference to Horn. Proving. - R. A. M, L., vi.
Proper forms for dispensing. - lx to 3, Trituration only. 4, dilute Tincture. 5 and upwards, Tincture, Pilules, or Globules.