B. P., not official. - The fresh leaves of Primus laurocerasus (nat. ord. Rosaceae).

Habitat

Europe.

Characters

Thick coriaceous, on short, strong petioles. Oblong or ovate, 12 to 16 cm. long, tapering towards each end, recurved at the apex, distinctly but sharply serrated, dark-green, smooth and shining above, pale beneath. Prominent midrib with, on either side of it at the base, one or two granular depressions. Inodorous, except on bruising, when they emit a ratafialike odor.

Composition

The chief constituents are - (1) Laurocerasin, a gluco-side; it is a compound of Amygdalin and Amygdalic Acid. (2) Emulsin. By the same changes as in the case with Bitter Almond (see p. 612), in the presence of moisture, an oil, Hydrocyanic Acid and Glucose are formed.

Preparation

Aqua Laurocerasi. B. P., not official. - Cherry Laurel Water. Made by distillation and standardized so that its strength is 0.1 per cent. of absolute Hydrocyanic Acid.

Incompatible. - Metallic salts.

Dose, 1/2 to 2 fl. dr.; 2. to 8. c.c.

Action And Therapeutics Of Cherry Laurel

Its action is the same as that of diluted hydrocyanic acid {see p. 134). Aqua laurocerasi is not often employed; for owing to the volatilization of the hydrocyanic acid, its strength is not constant. It is used as a flavoring agent.