The fresh leaves of Prunus (Cerasus) Lauro-cerasus, the Cherry Laurel. Nat. Ord. Rosaceae. Linn. Syst. Icosandria Monogynia. Cultivated in England.

Med. Prop. and Action. The recent leaves are sedative in doses of gr. iv. - viij., but they are rarely given internally, as they yield a variable quantity of Prussic Acid, produced by the decomposition of Amygdaline which they tin, and are consequently very uncertain in their operation. Externally, the bruised leaves are made with bread crumbs into anodyne poultices. The water obtained from the leaves by distillation (Aq. Lauro-cerasi) is powerfully sedative. Its uncertain strength renders it a dangerous remedy; it possesses no properties which cannot be more safely and certainly obtained from Prussic Acid. It is rarely used in British practice; but is held in high esteem by the Germans and French. In large doses it is a violent poison.

Offic. Prep. Aqua Lauro-cerasi (Fresh Leaves of Common Laurel lb. j.; Water Oiiss. Distil Oj.). Dose, ex. - fl. drm. ss. or more.

1710. Therapeutic Uses

In aggravated cases of Cough, attended with little expectoration and much dryness of the skin, Sir George Lefevre * strongly recommends the following mixture: -1710 Therapeutic Uses 155 Aq. Lauro-ceras., T. Digitalis, Liq. Antim. Tart. 55 fj., M. Dose, gutt. xxx. - xl., four or five times a day, in any simple vehicle.

1711. Spasmodic Affections of the Chest and Stomach are, according to the experience of Sir G. Lefevre. greatly benefited by this medicine. He states that he has seen many cases in which it was used with marked advantage. In Hooping-Cough, the inhalation of the vapour is favourably spoken of by Dr. Pavesi and others.

1712. In the early stage of Milk Abscess, when there is an abundant secretion of milk, and the breasts are distended and very painful, Dr. Caffe § states that immediate relief is afforded by the following application: -1710 Therapeutic Uses 156 Aq. Lauro-ceras. f j., Spt. Aether. Sulph. f3j., Ext. Opii gr. iij., M. A piece of linen dipped in this is to be applied constantly to the breast.

1713. To Cancerous and painful Ulcerations and Tumours, the leaves, in the form of poultice (ut supra) or infusion (oz. iv. ad Aq. Ferv. Oij.), have been used as an anodyne. It is not altogether free from danger.