Black Oil. A preparation highly valued in many parts of India in the treatment of Beriberi and other diseases. Prep. Into an earthen pot, the bottom of which is perforated by a number of small holes, are put the seeds of Celastrus Nutans (Malkungnee, Hind.) lbiss., Benzoin, Cloves, Nutmegs, and Mace aa oz. ss.; the mouth is closed, and the pot, placed over another, is luted to it. They are then placed in a pit three feet deep and nearly as wide, and surrounded by cakes of dry cow-dung, which are set on fire; and when they are consumed, about fl. oz. vj. of the oil is found in the under vessel, ready for use. It should be kept in well-closed vessels. Sp. Gr. 0.975. The Malkungnee seeds are the active ingredients.

Med. Prop. and Action. Stimulant and diaphoretic. When swallowed, it causes a sense of heat in the stomach, extending up to the throat, and an extrication of flatus. In many instances, no other sensible effect follows; but frequently a general sense of heat is experienced, and a free perspiration breaks out some hours after, which is not followed by exhaustion. Above 20 drops have caused abdominal uneasiness and dysenteric stools. It is inadmissible where there is any tenderness at the epigastrium.

Dose, gutt. x. - xv., twice daily.

1930. Therapeutic Uses

In Beriberi, it was first employed by the late Dr. Herklots, who states that he lost 1 in 50 cases of Beriberi, treated by it; while he had 11 deaths out of 15 before he adopted its employment. Although it is generally admitted to be a valuable remedy in this disease, no such success has attended its employment in the hands of others. Mr. Malcolm-son* relates some cases in which its effects were most unequivocal, but he states that he knows of many cases in which it failed to produce any good effect; and I believe this to be the experience of most medical officers who have employed it. Mr. Malcolmson concludes, that the Oleum Nigrum possesses more power over the nervous affections than Treeak Farook (see that article), and less over the oedema and the dropsical symptoms generally. The dose is from x. to xv. drops twice or thrice daily, in the form of pills. The diet should consist of wheaten cakes and water. Improvement is generally evident in a few days. The diet should be continued twice the time of the medicine. Frictions are to be diligently employed, and blisters and tonics will often prove useful adjuncts. Chronic or old standing cases appear to be less under the control of the Oil than recent cases.

* On Beriberi, p. 311, et seq., from which most of this article is drawn.

Oleum TerebinthinAe. See TerebinthinAe Oleum.