This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Galbanum Pharm. Lond. & Edinb. Galbanum: the concrete gummy-resinous juice of an evergreen umbelliferous plant growing in Ethiopia, ferula africana galbanifera foliis & facie ligustici Herman, par. bat. Bubon Galbanum Linn. It is brought to us in pale coloured, femitransparent, soft, tenacious masses: the better sorts of which, on being opened, appear composed of clear whitish tears, often intermixed with little stalks or seeds of the plant. By age it grows yellowish or brown.
This juice has a strong unpleasant smell, and a bitterish, warm, somewhat biting taste. In medical virtue, as in its sensible qualities, it is similar to ammoniacum; but is generally accounted less efficacious in asthmatic disorders, and more so on account of its stronger flavour, in hysteric cases.
Galbanum, like the other gummy resins, unites with water, by trituration, into a milky liquor; but does not perfectly dissolve, as some have reported, in water, vinegar, or wine. Rectified spirit takes up much more than either of those menstrua, but not the whole: the tincture is of a bright golden colour. A mixture of two parts of rectisied spirit and one of water dissolves all but the impurities, which are commonly in considence quantity. The London college have now directed an officinal tincture of galbanum, made by digesting two ounces of the gum in a quart of proof spirit for eight days. It is bed purified by including it in a bladder, and keeping it in boiling water till it melts or becomes soft enough to be strained, by pressure, through a hempen cloth: if this process be skilfully managed, the galbanum loses but little of the essential oil, in which great part of its virtue consists, and which appears to be carried off in evaporation both by water and spirit. In distillation with water, the oil separates and rises to the surface, in colour yellowish, in quantity about one twentieth of the weight of the galbanum: in this respect it differs from ammo-niacum, which has not been observed to yield any essential oil. From that and the other common gummy resins it differs also in regard to the appearance of the empyreumatic oil obtained by distillation in a retort without addition; the empyreumatic oil of galbanum being, as Neumann observes, of a blue colour, which changes in the air to a purple.
Tinct. gal-bani Ph.