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..
A bituminous quartz containing the fossil remains of fish is distilled with concentrated Sulphuric Acid, and the distillate is treated with a concentrated solution of Sodium Chloride, whereby the Sulphuric and Sulphurous Acids are removed. The distillate is then saturated with Ammonia.
A viscous, reddish-brown, almost black substance, having a tarry odor and containing 15 per cent. of Sulphur.
Dose, 10 to 20 gr.; .60 to 1.20 gm.
Ichthyol is an active reducing agent. It is chiefly used externally for chronic eczema and psoriasis. An ointment with lanolin and ichthyol 20 to 50 per cent. is recommended by Von Nussbaum for the treatment of erysipelas. It has been used in the form of a suppository for chronic prostatitis. Ichthyol paste (starch, 40, moisten with water, 20, rub in ichthyol, 40, and then a strong solution of albumin, 1 or more) is recommended for acne rosacea. Ichthyol has been given as a pill for chronic rheumatism in dose from 10 to 30 gr.; .60 to 2.00 gm. Under the name of Thiol, a mixture of sulphuretted hydrocarbons has been used as a substitute for ichthyol, because it is less offensive. It has been applied as an ointment in vaseline, (1 to 8).