This section is from the book "Dental Medicine. A Manual Of Dental Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Ferdinand J. S. Gorgas. Also available from Amazon: Dental Medicine.
The salt, Hypophosphite of Lime is obtained by boiling phosphorus in a mixture of hydrate of lime in boiling water, until phosphoretted hydrogen escapes, and phosphate and hypophosphite of lime are formed in the solution, which is then filtered and evaporated over sulphuric acid, when the salt is crystallized out in the form of white, pearly crystals, with a nauseous, bitter taste. It is soluble in six parts of water, but is insoluble in alcohol.
The hypophosphite of lime, with those of soda and potassa, are all included under the term "alkaline sulphites." Taken internally, they are readily absorbed, and are partially changed in the system into sulphates. They combine with acids to form salts, and they dissolve albumen, and increase the formation of saliva. Being regarded as tonic, alterative, stimulant and nervine, they are employed in cases of debility, more especially where the phosphates are deficient, as they possess the therapeutic properties of phosphorus.
The different sulphites of lime, soda, and potassa, are employed in intermittent and malarious fevers, typhus fever, smallpox and other exanthematous diseases, pyemia, dyspepsia, neuralgia with nervous depression, anemia, for which affections they are combined with iron and quinine; diphtheria, cystitis, phthisis, etc., etc. Externally, the sulphites are efficient as local applications (especially the sulphites of soda), in gangrenous and other ulcerations, diseases of the skin, etc. One or two ounces to the pint of water form a stimulant and deodorizing lotion, which is promotive of healthy action.
Of the hypophosphites, gr. iij to gr. xv, three times a day in syrup.
The hypophosphite of lime is the most eligible salt, but the different sulphites are often administered together in the form of a syrup. Where there is nervous depression, as a result of trigeminal neuralgia, the hypophosphites prove serviceable. In the case of delicate children, where there is reason for believing the phosphate of lime, or the lime salts generally of the teeth, are deficient in quantity.