This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Cedrinum Lignum Pharm. Paris. Ce-drus conifera foliis laricis C. B. Pinus Cedrus Linn. Cedar of Libanus: a large ever-green coniferous tree, with very narrow stiff sharp-pointed leaves standing several together in tufts. It is a native of the bleak snowy mountains of Syria, and is not as yet become common in this kingdom.
The cedar is one of the odorous resiniferous trees; in its general medicinal qualities similar to the fir, but in some respects different. The resinous juice, extracted from incisions made in the trunk, has a stronger and more agreeable kind of smell, and is much more disposed to concrete into a solid brittle mass, without losing much of its valuable parts in the exsiccation. The wood, which is of a fine reddish colour and very light, is likewise more fragrant than the fir, and its odorous matter less volatile: a tincture of it in rectified spirit, which is reddisfh like the wood itself, being committed to dis-tillation, the spirit brings over nothing of its virtue; all the active matter of the cedar remaining behind, concentrated into an elegant balsamic extract. Even boiling water does not easily carry off its flavour; the watery extract smells considerably of the wood, and is in taste bitterish and saline. Marggraf relates, that on keeping the extract for some time, small crystals shot upon the surface, which were found on trial to be common salt: and that on distilling the wood with water, it yielded about one sixty-fourth its. own weight of a thick, yellowish, essential oil, which grew thicker in a moderate degree of cold, and quite consistent in a strong one(a). In the saline nature of the watery extract, this wood differs from all the resinous ones that have been examined; and in the thickness, and congelability of its essential oil, from all but the lignum aloes and yellow saunders.