These are all aromatic carminative drugs, but they have a tendency beyond that of other carminatives to lessen states of nervous instability and hysteria. The one most in use is valerian; but asafetida, sumbul, musk, and camphor are also employed.

Valerian contains 0.5 to 2 per cent. of a volatile oil which is composed of esters of valeric acid, chiefly the borneol ester. It has the usual effect of a volatile oil drug, stimulating the motor functions of stomach and intestines, and overcoming flatulence and colic; and reflexly, and perhaps slightly directly, stimulating the heart and the vasoconstrictor and respiratory centers. But, in addition, it seems to exert in a pronounced manner a stimulant effect upon the highest cerebral centers, those which exert psychic control, so that states of nervousness are overcome. Important factors in producing the cerebral effects seem to be the odor, the taste, and the volatile oil effect on the stomach. Free valeric acid (valerianic acid) and the non-volatile valerates (valerianates), such as those of ammonium, iron, zinc, and quinine, are scarcely carminative and have little of the effect of the liquid preparations,

Its preparations are the 20 per cent. tincture (made with alcohol and water), and the 20 per cent. ammoniated tincture (made with aromatic spirit of ammonia), dose, 1 dram (4 c.c.). The borneol valerate has the properties of a volatile oil, and is sometimes given in 5- or 10-minim capsules.

Musk, of which the 5 per cent. tincture, tinctura moschi, is official, dose, 1 dram (4 c.c.), is the dried secretion from the preputial follicles of the musk-ox.. Its odor is a sex stimulant. It is very expensive, therefore its use in medicine is limited to refractory cases of hiccup and of manifestations of hysteria.