This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
Synonym. - Jordan Almond. The seed of Prunus Amygdalus, var. dulcis De Candolle (nat. ord. Rosacea.)
Western Asia; naturalized in the Mediterranean basin; cultivated.
Closely resembling the bitter almond (see Amygdala Amara), but having a bland, sweetish taste, free from rancidity. When triturated with water, it yields a milk-white emulsion, free from the odor of Hydrocyanic Acid.
The chief constituents are - (1) Oleum Amygdala Ex-pressum (see below), 56 per cent., a fixed oil. (2) Emulsin, and other albuminous bodies.
Impurity. - The bitter almond, giving an odor of Hydrocyanic Acid when rubbed with water.
2. Syrupus Amygdalae. - Syrup of Almond. Sweet Almond, 140; Bitter Almond, 40; Sugar, 200; Orange Flower Water, 100; Water, 130; Syrup to 1000.
A fixed oil expressed from Bitter or Sweet Almond.
A clear, pale straw-colored or colorless, oily liquid, almost inodorous, and having a mild, nutty taste. Sp. gr., 0.915 to 0.920.
Only slightly soluble in Alcohol; soluble in Ether and in Chloroform in all proportions.
Expressed Oil of Almond is contained in Emulsum Chloroformi and Unguentum Aquae Rosae.
Dose, 1 to 4 fl. dr.; 4. to 15. c.c
The sweet almond is demulcent. Its most important medicinal use is that it is made into flour to replace starchy food in cases of diabetes. Biscuits are made of the flour. These are very palatable, are a good nutritive food, and contain very little starch. The only objection to them is their price. With a little care they can be made at home. The flour of other nuts, as Brazil nuts, has been used, but it is not nearly so palatable. The almond emulsion is a very pleasant vehicle for the suspension of insoluble substances, and its powder B. P., sweet almond, 8; sugar, 4; acacia, 1 is a palatable basis for powders. The expressed oil of almond might be used for the same purposes as olive oil. It is pleasanter, but very expensive.