This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
The strong liquor ammoniae has been used as a counter-irritant, or a rapid vesicant, in cases of muscular, neuralgic, and rheumatic pain, and to relieve deeper-seated inflammation, for instance, of the tonsil and fauces, by derivation to the skin. For such purposes the ammonia liniment may be rubbed in, or, if vesication be necessary, it may be secured in the course of five minutes by the strong liquor applied on lint. Dr. Waring recommends, as a simple method, to fill the lid of a wooden pill-box with circular pieces of lint to above the rim, saturate with the liquid, and invert over the part. M. Gondret introduced a vesicating ointment made with ammonia and one-fourth part lard and olive oil, and it is commonly used in France. M. Ducros advised painting the liquor over the palate and gums for relief of tic.