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.
Zingiber-Ginger.-The scraped and dried rhizome of Zingiber officinale. From plants cultivated in the West Indies, India, and other countries.
Characters.-Irregular lobed decorticated pieces, three or four inches long, subcompressed, yellowish-white but not chalky on the surface, with a short mealy fracture, hot taste, and agreeable aroma. Powder yellowish-white.
Substance resembling Ginger: Turmeric, known by colour.
Composition.-Ginger contains an aromatic volatile oil, the exact composition of which is uncertain.
Lose.-10 to 20 gr.
Tinctura Zingiberis. 1 in 8. Dose, 10 to 30 min.
Tinctura Zingiberis Fortior. "Essence of Ginger." 1 in 2.
Dose, 5 to 20 mm.
From this is prepared:
Syrupus Zingiberis.-1 of Strong Tincture in 26. Dose, 1 to 4 fl.dr. Ginger is also contained in a variety of powders, and other preparations of more important drugs.
Ginger acts and is used like other substances containing aromatic volatile oils. It is one of the most generally employed of all carminatives.
Curcuma-Turmeric.-The rhizome of Curcuma longa.
Composition.-Turmeric contains a yellow . crystalline colouring matter, a volatile oil, resin, and starch.
Turmeric Tincture. 1 in 6.
2. Turmeric Paper.
Turmeric paper is used phannaceutically as a test for alkalies, which change the yellow to a reddish-brown. As a condiment it is a constituent of curry powder.
Cardamomum-Cardamoms.-The dried capsules of the Malabar Cardamom, Elettaria Cardamomum. Cultivated in Malabar, The seeds are best kept in their pericarps, from which they should be separated when required for use, the pericarpial coats being rejected.
Characters.-Seeds obtusely angular, corrugated, reddish-brown, internally white, with a warm aromatic agreeable taste and odour, contained in ovate-oblong triangular pale-brown coriaceous ribbed pericarps.
Composition.-The active principle of cardamoms is an aromatic oil, C10H16, isomeric with turpentine.
Tinctura Cardamomi Composita.-1 in 80, coloured with Cochineal. Dose, 1/2 to 2 fl.dr.
Cardamoms are also contained in many preparations as a flavouring agent.
Cardamoms serve as a highly agreeable, slightly stimulant, flavouring and carminative agent allied to the peppers.