A fixed oil expressed from bitter and sweet almonds.

Characters. - Pale yellow, nearly inodorous or having a nutty odour, with a bland oleaginous taste.

Preparation.

B.P

Oleum Phosphoratum. Unguentum Cetacei.

Resinae.

„ Simplex, and the preparations containing it.

U.S.P

Unguentum Aquae Rosae.

U.S.P. Oleum Amygdalae Amarae. Oil of Bitter Almond.

A volatile oil obtained from bitter almonds by maceration with water, and subsequent distillation.

Characters. - A colourless or yellowish thin liquid of a peculiar aromatic odour, a bitter and burning taste and a neutral reaction.

Preparation.

Dose.

Aqua Amygdalae Amarae (oil of bitter almond 1, water 999).......

Indefinite.

Uses. - The fixed oil is demulcent. It is applied externally to chapped hands and slight excoriations, also to the ear in earache. Internally, in doses of 1 drachm to 2 drachms, it is a mild laxative. The cake left after the expression of the bland oil from sweet almonds contains no starch, and is therefore employed instead of bread in diabetes. The oil of bitter almonds is used as a flavouring agent. The crude oil of the U.S.P. contains hydrocyanic acid, and may be used instead of it as a local application in pruritus, and also for internal administration.

Amygdalin.

Bitter almond oil.

Glucose.

C20H27NO11

+ 2H2O

=

HCN

+ C7H6O

+ C12H24O12

It retains its strength better than pure hydrocyanic acid, but its disadvantage is that the proportion of the acid is not constant. It may be given in doses of 1/4 to 1 minim cautiously increased.