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..
The smell of cod liver oil is so disagreeable that it should not be rubbed in externally unless this treatment be absolutely necessary.
Cod liver oil is of the greatest service in all varieties of tuberculous disease, the contra-indications being high temperature, severe haemoptysis and dyspepsia, vomiting, or diarrhoea, whether primary or induced by the oil. Patients often improve in every way under its influence. With the same exceptions it may be administered with great advantage in rickets, and in any chronic disease associated with loss of flesh, such as suppuration, convalescence from acute disease, tertiary syphilis and starvation. It is often of benefit in the chronic bronchitis and the chronic eczema of childhood. It is frequently given with success in neuralgia, general feebleness, despondency and other nervous conditions. Formerly it was often prescribed for chronic rheumatism. Many persons cannot, or imagine they cannot, take it on account of its unpleasant taste. There are in the market several preparations of cod liver oil in which, by careful preparation, the disagreeable taste is almost abolished. Ten minims .60 c.c. of pure ether, with a minim or two .06 to .12 c.c. of oil of peppermint or cloves, will, when mixed with a dose of cod liver oil, often render it more palatable. Sometimes it is taken in soft capsules, or made into a jelly with isinglass, or a little salt is put into the mouth after the oil is taken, or the mouth is rinsed out with brandy beforehand. Sometimes it is taken in coffee, but perhaps the best way is to form an emulsion of it. A very nutritious one is made by rubbing together equal parts of extract of malt and cod liver oil, and in this the oil can hardly be tasted but it is likely to repeat.
The British Pharmaceutical Conference advises the following emulsion: - Cod liver oil, 8 fl. oz. 240. c.c.; the yolk of two eggs; tragacanth in powder, 16 gr. 1. gm.; elixir of saccharin (saccharin, 24 gr.; 1.50 gm.; sodium bicarbonate, 12 gr. .75 gm.; alcohol, 1 fl. dr. 4. c.c.; distilled water, 7 fl. dr. 28. c.c.), 1 fl. dr. 4. c.c.; tincture of benzoin, 1 fl. dr.; 4. c.c.; spirit of chloroform, 4 fl. dr.; 15. c.c.; oil of bitter almond, 8 m.; .50 c.c.; distilled water to 16 fl. oz.; 500. c.c.. Dose, 2 to 8 fl. dr.; 8. to 30. c.c.. It is frequently desirable to give cod liver oil with iron. In that case the following preparation, in which the oil is emulsified with an alkali, will be found useful: - Cod liver oil, 4 fl. dr.; 15. c.c.; iron and ammonium citrate, 5 gr.; .30 gm.; potassium carbonate, 3 gr.; .20 gm.; saccharin, 1/4 gr. .015 gm.; oil of caraway, 1/4 m.; .015 c.c.; water to 1 fl. oz.; 30. c.c..