Contractions. - Phos. Pho.
This well-known substance may be obtained from the manufacturing chemists.
Characters and Tests. - A semi-transparent, colourless, waxlike solid, which emits white vapours when exposed to the air. Specific gravity 1.77. It is soft and flexible at common temperatures, melts at 110°, ignites in the air at a temperature a little above its melting-point, burning with a luminous flame and producing dense white fumes. Insoluble in water, but soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform, and boiling Oil of Turpentine.
Preparations. - 1. Solution of 1 part of Phosphorus in 500 parts of ether, an equal bulk of absolute alcohol being added, so as to make the 3X attenuation.
2. Solution of 1 part of Phosphorus in 1,000 parts of absolute alcohol, which will form the 3X attenuation.
When making either of these solutions the bottle, with the stopper loose, should be placed in hot water till the Phosphorus melts, when the stopper should be made firm, and the melted Phosphorus well shaken with the liquid.
It is well to keep a stick of Phosphorus in the alcoholic solution, so that it may always retain its full strength.
Both solutions should be made frequently, and preserved in yellow actinic stoppered bottles. The attenuations above 3x are prepared with rectified spirit.
3. Trituration made, as directed by Hahnemann, in the following manner: "First you take 100 grains of sugar of milk, and, by means of 15 drops of water, you make them into a sort of paste in the mortar; then you cut one grain of Phosphorus into 12 pieces, kneadiug them into a paste by means of the moistened pestle, together with the 100 grains of sugar of milk, the portions of the mass which remain adhering to the pestle being scraped off again while the process of kneading is carried on. In this way the Phosphorus molecules may be triturated, during the first two periods of six minutes each, into invisible atoms, without a spark being elicited. During the third period of six minutes, the mass being sufficiently pulverized, the kneading may be replaced by trituration. During the next eighteen minutes the process of trituration is carried on with moderate force, the mass being scraped up every six minutes." It is then enclosed in well-corked phials and marked Phosphorus 1.
The trituration is retained because Hahnemann employe 1 it, but it is not recommended, the solutions being more reliable and free from the objections which have so effectually hindered its use of late.
Reference to Horn. Proving. - Chr. Kr., iv.
Proper forms for dispensing. - 3X and upwards, Tincture, Pilules, or Globules.