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..
1) Comminute the Nux Vomica; (2) Extract the Strychnine with water acidulated with Hydrochloric Acid; (3) Concentrate the infusion, decompose the Strychnine with Lime; (4) Extract the Strychnine from the precipitate with boiling Alcohol; (5) Concentrate the solution to obtain the crystals.
Colorless, transparent, octahedral or prismatic crystals, or a white crystalline powder, odorless, and having an intensely bitter taste perceptible even in highly dilute (1 in 700,000) solution. Only extremely diluted solutions should be tasted. Permanent in the air.
In 6700 parts of water; in 110 parts of Alcohol; in 2500 parts of boiling water; and in 12 parts of boiling Alcohol. Also soluble in 7 parts of Chloroform, but almost insoluble in Ether. Gives no color with Nitric or Sulphuric Acids. Add to a crystal strong Sulphuric Acid, and then add a particle of Potassium Bichromate, a beautiful violet color, passing to brown and green, is formed. Resembling Strychnine. - Salicylic Acid (q. v.)
Incompatibles. - Alkalies, Iodides and Bromides; the last are especially dangerous, for the precipitated strychnine bromide falls slowly.
Impurity. - Brucine, distinguished by tests.
Strychnine is used to prepare Ferri et Strychninae Citras and Syrupus Ferri, Quininae et Strychninae Phosphatum.
Dose, 1/60 to1/20 gr.; .001 to .003 gm. in solution, or made in a pill with Sugar of Milk (thoroughly to divide it) and Glycerin of Tragacanth; or hypo-dermatically. The Nitrate (not official), soluble in 1 in 60 of water, may be used.
By the action of Diluted Sulphuric Acid on Strychnine, filtration and evaporation.
Colorless or white, prismatic crystals, odorless and having an intensely bitter taste perceptible even in highly dilute (1 in 700,000) solution. Efflorescent in dry air.
In 50 parts of water, and in 109 parts of Alcohol; almost insoluble in Ether.
Dose, 1/60 to 1/12 gr.; .001 to .005 gm.