This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics: An Introduction to the National Treatment of Disease", by John Mitchell Bruce. Also available from Amazon: The pharmacology and therapeutics of the materia medica.
Moschus-Musk.-The inspissated and dried secretion from the preputial follicles of Moschus moschiferus: native of the mountainous regions of Central Asia. Imported from China and India.
Characters.-In irregular, reddish-black, rather unctuous grains; having a strong, peculiar, very diffusible odour, and a bitter aromatic taste; contained in a round or slightly oval membranous sac, about two inches in diameter, covered on the outer side with stiff greyish hairs arranged in a concentric manner around its central orifice.
Composition.-Musk contains an aromatic principle, the chemical nature of which is unknown, and a quantity of inactive substances, such as salts, fixed oils, etc. Dose.-5 to 10 gr.
Musk is a powerful stimulant of the circulatory and nervous organs, acting probably much like turpentine and other volatile oils, i.e. chiefly reflexly from the nose, mouth, and stomach. It appears to enter the blood and tissues, and there rapidly causes depression, so that in full doses its stimulant effect is extremely evanescent. The drug is now but seldom used, chiefly as an antispasmodic in hysteria, laryngismus, and hiccup, and as a stimulant in fevers and pneumonia, when other measures have failed, and not then with much success.
Sevum Praeparatum-Prepared Suet.-The internal fat of the abdomen of the sheep, Ovis Aries, purified by melting and straining.
Characters.-White, smooth, almost scentless; fusible at 103°.
Composition.-Suet is composed of olein and stearin. See Adeps Praeparatus.
Sapo Animalis.-Curd Soap. Made with Soda and Prepared Fat. Contained in several suppositories, and Pilula Scammonii Composita. Suet is also contained in Emplastrum Cantharidis and Unguentum Hydrargyri.
Suet is emollient, and used in the above preparations. Internally it is nutritive.
Saccharum Lactis-Sugar of Milk. C12H14O12. A crystallised sugar, obtained from the whey of Milk by evaporation.
Characters.-Usually in cylindrical masses, two inches in diameter, with a cord or stick in the axis, or in fragments of cakes; greyish-white, crystalline on the surface and in its texture, translucent, hard; scentless, faintly sweet, gritty when chewed. Readily soluble in water.
Substance resembling Sugar of Milk: Acid Tartrate of Potash, known by taste, and without central cord.
Sugar of milk is less hygroscopic than ordinary sugar, and is thus more suitable as a vehicle for heavy powders. It is also used to sweeten preparations of milk for artificially fed infants.
Fel Bovinum Purificatum - Purified Ox Bile.-The purified gall of the Ox, Bos Taurus.
Source.-Prepared by agitating fresh ox bile with twice its volume of rectified spirit; separating the sediment of mucus; and evaporating the clear solution to the consistence of an extract.
Characters and tests.-A yellowish-green substance, having a taste partly sweet and partly bitter, soluble in water and in spirit.
Impurity.-Mucus, giving a precipitate with rectified spirit in watery solution.
Composition.-Purified ox bile has the composition of fresh bile, less the mucus removed by the rectified spirit.
Dose.-5 to 10 gr.
The action of bile in the duodenum is familiar, but when admitted into the stomach it is apt to cause vomiting, neutralising the gastric juice, precipitating the pepsin, and being itself rendered inactive. It was introduced as a bitter and cholagogue purgative, but is obviously of doubtful value. It may be used as a basis for aperient pills.
Pepsina--Pepsin.-A preparation of the mucous lining of the fresh and healthy stomach of the Pig, Sheep, or Calf.
Source.-Made by scraping the cleansed mucous membrane ; drying the viscid pulp on a glass surface at 100°; and pulverising.
Characters.-A light yellowish-brown powder having a faint, but not disagreeable odour, and a slightly saline taste, without any indication of putrescence. Very slightly soluble in water or spirit. Digests albumen. Dose.-2 to 5 gr.
Pepsin is one of the normal constituents of the gastric juice, converting albumen into peptone with the assistance of the hydrochloric acid. The same effect is produced out of the body, or in other cavities such as the rectum.
Pepsin is extensively used as an aid to digestion either alone in the solid form, or combined with diluted hydrochloric acid, being given during or after meals. It is especially indicated and successful in morbid conditions of the stomach associated with deficiency of the gastric juice-whether from disease of the follicles, such as atrophy; excess of mucus, as in the chronic catarrhal dyspepsia of alcoholism, deficient blood supply, as in anaemia and general debility; or irritable states of the stomach with pain and vomiting, such as ulcer and cancer, where the normal stimulation of the mucous membrane must be avoided, and fluid food only given. Pepsin is also useful in the dyspepsia of the aged, and of infants. The principal objections to its use are the uncertainty of its strength and action, and the danger of allowing the gastric function to become obsolete.
Pepsin is a valuable addition to nutritive enemata, the natural digestive power of the secretion of the rectum being comparatively small.
Pepsin has also been used as a local application to dissolve the membrane in diphtheria, and even to promote the absorption of tumours.
Liquor Pancreaticus.-(Not Officinal)-An aqueous and spirituous extract of the fresh pancreas of the Pig.
Preparations of the pancreas are active digestives of pro-teids and amyloids, and are used with great success to peptonise milk, gruel, and soups before administration in cases of digestive debility. They are not suited for separate internal use.