This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Urina Pharm. Paris. Urine: The re-cent urine of healthy subjects is nauseously bitter, very saline, scarcely manifestly alkaline or acid. As soon as it begins to putrefy, it emits volatile alkaline vapours; and if distilled, when moderately putrefied, by a gentle heat, it yields a concrete volatile alkaline salt: as volatile alkalies have a strong antiseptic power, the vapours of putrefied urine are not observed, like those of cadaverous animal substances, to be productive of putrid diseases. A pungent caustic volatile spirit may likewise be obtained from recent urine, by infpiffating, and then distilling it with the addition of quicklime.
If the putrefied urine be slowly infpifTated, in glass or stone-ware vessels, to the consistence of a thin syrup, and set for some weeks in a cold place, brown crystals will shoot from it, consisting partly of marine salt, and partly of a salt of a peculiar kind, which shoots before the marine, and which, by repeated solutions, filtrations, and crystallizations, may be purified both from that salt and from the adhering oil. In this state †, it appears perfectly neutral, and impresses on the tongue a sense of coolness with a slight bitterifhness: laid on a red-hot iron, it bubbles, emits volatile alkaline vapours, and runs into a colourless pellucid substance re-sembling fine glass: this apparent glass is ma-nifestly acid, though but weakly so, dissolves in water, neutralizes alkaline salts, and with volatile alkalies regenerates the original neutral salt. One of its most distinguishing characters is, that a mixture of it with inflammable matters, as foot or powdered charcoal, on being heated to ignition in an open vessel, emits flashes like lightening, and, on being distilled in a retort with a moderately strong fire, yields the highly inflammable concrete called phos-phorus.
Decoft. ul-mi Ph. Lond.
Urine is sometimes applied externally, boiled with bran, as a resolvent and discutient, in which intentions it is said to be very efficacious. Recent cows urine has been drank in the spring, to the quantity of a pint or more every morning, for several days, as an attenuant and deob-flruent in different disorders: the nauseous draught purges plentifully by stool, and sometimes vomits. The peculiar salt of urine is but of late discovery, and its medicinal qualities are as yet unknown.
† Sal micro-cofmicam, five fal essen-tiale urinae.