This section is from the book "A Text-Book Of Pharmacology, Therapeutics And Materia Medica", by T. Lauder Brunton. Also available from Amazon: A text-book of pharmacology, therapeutics and materia medica.
Preparation. - B.P. By shaking 2 ounces of slaked lime with 1 gallon of distilled water in a stoppered bottle well for two or three minutes. After twelve hours the excess of lime will have subsided, and the clear solution may be drawn off with a syphon as it is required for use, or transferred to a green glass bottle furnished with a well-ground stopper. In the U.S.P. the lime is first washed with ordinary water and afterwards stirred well with distilled water.
It is a saturated solution, and contains a little over half a grain to an ounce.
Dose. - 1.4 fl. oz.
Linimentum Calcis (p. 516). Argenti Oxidum. Lotio Hydrargyri Flava. ,, „ Nigra.
Linimentum Calcis (p. 517).
Uses. - When applied to the surface either of the skin or of a mucous membrane from which a watery discharge is issuing, lime seems to act as a slight astringent, possibly because it combines with the albumen.
Lime-water is therefore sometimes used as a lotion for cracked nipples and as a dressing to eczematous surfaces, where it eases the smarting and tingling. It is often mixed with oil, as in lini-mentum calcis, or glycerine for this purpose. The efficacy of the liniment is much increased by the addition of minute quantities of carbolic acid.
Linimentum Calcis - better known, perhaps, under the name of Carron oil - is used as an application to burns and scalds. It derives its name of Carron oil from its being so extensively used by the workmen in the foundries at Carron.
It was formerly made with linseed oil, and this preparation is less fluid, and is often preferable to that made with olive or cottonseed oil. It is useful not only in burns and scalds, but as a dressing to the face in small-pox, and in some cases of eczema affecting a large extent of skin.
Lime-water is also used as an injection to lessen discharges from the ears, urethra, vagina or vulva, in otorrhoea, gleet, and leucorrhoea, while active inflammation is still present, and as an enema to destroy ascarides in the rectum. It may also be used as a wash to the mouth in ulceration. In croup it has been recommended as a solvent for the false membrane. It is either applied as spray or by a camel's-hair pencil. When taken into the stomach it will act as an antacid. It is especially useful in preventing vomiting, and a mixture of milk and lime-water will often be retained by the stomach and digested when no other food can be borne. In children suffering from chronic vomiting and diarrhoea, where the milk is vomited in hard lumps instead of.small flakes, lime-water proves very useful.
In typhoid fever it tends to prevent milk from forming hard undigested lumps which may irritate the intestine, while it has at the same time an astringent action.
It is very useful as an astringent in diarrhoea, more especially in slight cases of diarrhoea in children. When the child is at the breast about one teaspoonful of lime-water mixed with an equal quantity of milk should be given to it every three hours, and when it is brought up by hand the lime-water is just mixed with the milk which the child ordinarily takes. It has been used in diarrhoea in adults depending on ulceration of the intestine, with the view of healing the ulcers by combining with the albumen on their surface and thus forming a coating over them, but it is not so efficient as other remedies for this purpose.
Only a small quantity is absorbed by the intestine and passes into the blood; yet, after it has been used for a little while, the urine becomes alkaline from the lime being excreted by the kidneys. Lime-water has been used in cases of stone, and with considerable benefit. It has been supposed to dissolve stones in the bladder; but the good effects which result from its use are probably not due to this cause, which is still problematical.
They are most probably produced by the lime lessening the irritating qualities of the urine, and at the same time acting as an astringent on the walls of the bladder and rendering it less irritable.
Liquor Calcis Saccharatus, B.P., or Syrupus Calcis, U.S.P., may be given in milk instead of liquor calcis, when it is desired simply to get the effect of the lime and it is unadvisable to dilute the milk, as admixture with liquor calcis would necessarily do. It has been used also in acute rheumatism.