This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Valeriana filveftris Ph. Lond. & Edinb. Valeriana stlveftris major montana C. B. Valeriana
(a) The above account of the origin of tutty is supported by the authority of Teixeira and Douglas, and by its chemical properties. That the common opinion, of its being a sublimate produced in the European sounderies where zinc is melted with other metals, is erroneous, appears from hence; that tutty is not found, upon strict: inquiry, to be known at those sounderies; and by its consisting in great part of an earth not capable of rifmg in sublimation. Thus much, however, is probable, that sublimates or the common ores of zinc are often mixed with argillaceous earths and baked hard, in imitation of the genuine oriental tutty.
Tutia prae parata Ph. Land. & Ed.
Ung. tutiae † Ph. Lond.
‡ Ph. Ed, ana officinalis Linn. Wild valerian: a plant with channelled stalks; the leaves in pairs; each leaf composed of a number of long narrow sharp-pointed segments, indented about the edges, of a dull green colour, set along a middle rib, which is terminated by an odd one; producing, on the tops of the stalks, umbellike clutters of small monopetalous flowers, each of which is divided into five segments, set in a very little cup, and fallowed by a single naked seed winged with down: the root consists of tough firings with numerous smaller threads, matted together, issuing from one head, of a dusky brownish. colour approaching to olive. It is perennial, and grows wild in dry mountainous places.
Another species, or variety, of wild valerian, is met with in most watery grounds, distin-guishable by the leaves being broader and of a deep glosly green colour. Both sorts have been used indscriminately; but the mountain sort is by far the most efficacious, and is therefore expressly ordered for the officinal species by the London college.
The mountain valerian root has a strong not agreeable smell, and an unpleasant warm bitter-ish subacrid taste: the strength of the smell and taste is the only mark to be depended on of its genuineness and goodness. It is a medicine of great esteem in the present practice against obsti-nate hemicranias, hysterical, and the different kinds of nervous disorders, and is commonly looked upon as one of the principal antispas-modics. Columna reports, that he was cured by it of an inveterate epilepsy after many other medicines had been used in vain: on more extensive trials it has been found, in somepileptic epileptic cases, to effect a cure, in several to abate the violence or frequency of the fits, and in many to prove entirely ineffectual: oftentimes, it either purges, or operates by sweat or by urine, or brings away worms, before it prevents a fit. The dose of the root in powder is from a scruple to a dram or two, which may be repeated, if the stomach will bear it, two or three times a day. * A remarkable instance of its efficacy in a catalepsy is given by Mr. Mudge (a): doses of half an ounce of the powder were exhibited twice a day, and a less quantity was found ineffectual.
The powdered root, infused in water or digested in rectified spirit, impregnates both menstrua strongly with its smell and taste, and tinges the former of a dark brown, the latter of a brownish red colour. Water distilled from it smells considerably of the root, but no essen-tial oil separates, though several pounds be submitted to the operation at once: the extract obtained by infpiffating the watery infusion, has a pretty strong taste, disagreeably sweetish and somewhat bitterish: the spirituous extract is less disagreeable, and more perfectly resembles the root itself: the quantity of watery extract is about one fourth the weight of the root; of the spirituous, about one eighth. Tinctures of it are prepared in the shops, by digesting four ounces of the powdered valerian in a quart of proof spirit†; in the same quantity of the volatile aromatic spirit ‡; or of the dulcified spirit of sal ammoniac||. The root in substance, however, is generally found to be more effectual than any preparation of it. Among the materials I have made trial of for covering its flavour, mace seemed to answer the best.
-fa; On the Vis Vita, etc.
Tinct. valer. simp. † Ph. Lond,
- volt. ‡Ph Lond.
|| Ph. Ed.