Papaveris Capsular - Poppy Capsules. -The nearly ripe dried capsules of the White Poppy, Papaver somniferum. Cultivated in Britain.

Characters. - Globular, two or three inches in diameter, crowned by a sessile stellate stigma.

Composition. - Poppy capsules contain a little opium and woody fibre; the seeds a bland oil. See Opium.


1. Decoctum Papaveris

Decoctum Papaveris. 1 in 10.

2. Extraction Papaveris

Extraction Papaveris. Aqueous. 3 in 1. Dose, 2 to 5 gr.

3. Syrupus Papaveris

Syrupus Papaveris. 1 in nearly 2 1/4. Dose, 1 fl.dr.

Action And Uses

The action of poppy capsules is the same as that of opium, but much weaker. The warm decoction is a favourite anodyne fomentation. The extract and syrup are uncertain remedies, and opium preparations are in every respect preferable.

Opium - Opium. - The juice, inspissated by spon-taneous evaporation, obtained by incision from the unripe capsules of the Poppy, Papaver somniferum. Grown in Asia Minor.

Characters. - Irregular lumps, weighing from four ounces to two pounds; enveloped in the remains of poppy leaves, and generally covered with the chaffy fruits of a species of rumex; when fresh, plastic, tearing with an irregular slightly moist chestnut-brown surface, shining when rubbed smooth with the finger, having a peculiar odour and bitter taste.

Test. - This is a modification of the process for making hydrochlorate of morphia. (See page 186.) 100 gr. of opium ought to yield at least 6 to 8 gr. of morphia.

Varieties. - There are two varieties of officinal opium, Smyrna opium, and that of Constantinople. 1. Smyrna, Turkey, or Levant opium is the best. It occurs in irregular rounded or flattened masses, seldom more than two pounds in weight, enveloped in poppy leaves, and surrounded with the fruits or seeds of a species of rumex. Good Smyrna opium yields about 8 per cent, of morphia. 2. Comtantinople opium is of very uncertain quality, generally inferior to Smyrna. It is found in cakes, either large and irregular, or small and lenticular, covered with a poppy leaf, and marked with its midrib, hut without rumex seeds. It smells much less strongly than Smyrna opium. Besides the two officinal varieties, there are found in the market Egyptian opium, in round flattened cakes of a reddish hue, with vestiges of a leaf; Persian opium in sticks or lumps; Indian opium in halls, enveloped in poppy leaves, or in cakes; and French and English varieties.

Impurities (chiefly adulterations). - Opium is often soft from excess of water, which causes great variation in the strength. Stones, fruits, leaves, etc., may he detected by filtering a decoction; and starch by the iodine test. The officinal test is intended to ascertain the amount of morphia in specimens which are pure but of doubtful richness.

Composition. - Opium contains (1) certain alkaloids; (2) two neutral substances ; (3) two organic acids ; (4) water, resin, gum, extractives, odorous principles, and other constituents of plants. The important components are as follows :

Parts in 100 Parts.






5 to 20



See below.


Codeia ......

up to .6



White octahedra or rhombic prisms.


Thebaia or Paramorphia

up to .3



White plates, with acrid styptic taste.


Opianin ...

.5 to l


















White needles.



4 to 6



Shining prisms; tasteless, odourless.


Narcein ......

upto .02



Fine white needles; odourless, bitter.















08 to .3



White needles; odourless, acrid.


Meconic Acid




White crystalline pearly scales.


Thebolactic Acid


Probably Lactic Acid



General chemical characters, Reactions, and Incompatibles. - A fluid (watery or spirituous) preparation of opium reddens litmus paper (free meconic acid); gives a deep red colour with per-chloride of iron (meconic. acid); precipitates with acetate and subacetate of lead, nitrate of silver, zinc, copper, and arsenic (meconates, sulphates, and colouring matter); a precipitate with tincture of galls or astringent preparations (tannates of morphia and codeia); and becomes turbid with fixed alkalies, and the carbonates, alkaline earths, and ammonia (precipitated morphia and narcotin). Dose. - 1/2 to 2 gr.


1. Emplastrum Opii

Emplastrum Opii. 1 in 10.

2. Extractum Opii

Extractum Opii. Aqueous. 2 of opium in 1. Dose, \ to 1 gr.

From Extractum Opii are prepared: a. Extractum Opii Liquidum. - Made by digesting the Extract in water, and adding spirit. 1 of opium, i.e. 1/2 of extract, in 10. Dose, 10 to 40 ruin.

b. Trochisci Opii. - 1/10 gr. of Extract in each. Dose, 1 to 2.

c. Vinum Opii. - 1/2 of Extract, i.e. 1 of opium, in 10 of Sherry, with Cinnamon and Cloves. Dose, 10 to 40 min.

3. Pilula Plumbi Cum Opio

Pilula Plumbi Cum Opio. Opium, 1; Acetate of Lead, 6;

Confection of Roses, 1. 1 in 8. Dose, 4 to 8 gr.

4. Pilula Saponis Composita

Pilula Saponis Composita. Opium, 1; Hard Soap, 4; water, q.s. 1 in 6. Dose, 3 to 5 gr.

5. Pulvis Opii Compositus

Pulvis Opii Compositus. Opium, 3; Black Pepper, 4;

Ginger, 10; Caraway, 12; Tragacanth, 1. 1 in 10. Dose, 2 to 5 gr.

From Pulvis Opii Compositus is prepared: a. Confectio Opii. - Compound Powder in Syrup. 1 of opium in 40. Dose, 5 to 20 gr.

6. Pulvia Ipecacuanhae Compositus

Pulvia Ipecacuanhae Compositus. Dover's Powder. Opium, 1; Ipecacuanha, 1; Sulphate of Potash, 8. 1 in 10. Dose, 5 to 15 gr.

From Dover's Powder is prepared: a. Pilula Ipecacuanha cum Scilla. - Compound Ipecacuanha Powder, Squill, Ammoniacum, and Treacle. 1 of opium in 23. Dose, 5 to 10 gr.

7. Pulvis Kino Compositus - Opium, 1; Kino, 15; Cinnamon,

4. 1 in '20. Dose, 5 to 20 gr.

8. Pulvis Cretae Aromaticus Cum Opio

Pulvis Cretae Aromaticus Cum Opio. Opium, 1; Aromatic Chalk Powder, 39. _1 in 40. Dose, 10 to 40.

9. Suppositoria Plumbi Composita

Suppositoria Plumbi Composita. Opium, Acetate of Lead,

Benzoated Lard, White Wax, and Oil of Theobroma. 1 gr. in each.

10. Tinctura Opii

Tinctura Opii. "Laudanum." Opium, 1 1/2; Proof Spirit,

20. 1 gr. in 14 1/2 min. Dose, 5 to 40 min.

From Tinctura Opii are prepared: a. Enema Opii.- Tincture, 1/2 fl.dr.; Mucilage of Starch, 2 oz. For one enema.

b. Linimentum Opii. - Equal parts of Tincture and Soap Liniment.

11. Tinctura Opii Ammoniata

Tinctura Opii Ammoniata. "Scotch Paregoric." Opium,

Saffron, Benzoic Acid, Oil of Anise, Strong Solution of Ammonia, and Spirit. 1 in 96. Dose, 1/2 to 1 fl.dr.

12. Tinctura Camphorae Composita,- Opium, Benzoic Acid,

Camphor, Oil of Anise, Proof Spirit, 1/4 gr. in 1 fl.dr. Dose, 15 to 60 min.

13. Unguentum Gallse Cum Opio

Unguentum Gallse Cum Opio. Opium and Ointment of Galls. 1 in 14 2/3.

From Opium is made:

Morphiae Hydrochloras. - Hydrochlorate of morphia.