Amygdalae Dulce~. Sweet Almonds.
The Bitter and the Sweet Almonds are obtained from closely-allied varieties of Amygdalus Communis. Nat. Ord. Rosaceae; Div. Amygdaleae; Linn. Syst. Icosandria Monogynia. Nees von Esenbach states that, occasionally, they are both obtained from the same tree. Source, South of Europe and Asia Minor. Jordan Almonds (sweet), Ph. Brit., are brought from Malaga.
Med. Prop. and Action. Sweet Almonds, which have only a place in the Ph. Brit. are demulcent and emol ient. They have no very sensib e medicinal properties, They are chiefly used in making the compound powder and mixture. A bland fixed oil (Ol. Amygdalae) is obtained from both varieties: it is gently laxative in doses of fl. oz. j. - fl. oz. ij. Both sweet and bitter Almonds contain an azotized substance called Emulsine or Synaptase. Bitter Almonds differ from sweet Almonds in containing also another azotized substance named Amygdaline. By the action of a solution of Emulsne on a solution of Amygdaline are obtained, among other products, Hydrocyanic Acid and the Volatile Oil of Bitter Almonds. Bitter Almonds, from containing Amygdaline and Emulsine, which together produce Hydrocyanic Acid, are sedative and poisonous, and have proved fatal even in moderate quantities. The Essential Oil of Bitter Almonds of commerce is a mixture of Volatile Bitter Almond Oil (Hydride of Benzoyl) and Hydrocyanic Acid, with small quantities of Benzoic Acid, Benzoin, and Benzamide. It is highly poisonous, being in general four times as strong as Officinal Hydrocyanic Acid. It has been occasionally used as a substitute for Hydrocyanic Acid in doses of e 1/4 to ej., but it is an uncertain and most dangerous remedy. The smallest dose occasionally produces Urticaria and other unpleasant symptoms. Bitter Almond Water is also very poisonous.
* Fragmenta Chir. et Med. Svo, Lond 1784.
Offic. Prep. 1. Pulv. AmygdalAe Comp. (Conf. Amygdalae, PhL.) (A mixture of Jordan Almonds (sweet), oz. viij.; Refined Sugar, oz. iv.; Gum Arabic, oz. j.) Used in preparing the Mixture.
(Compound Powder of Almonds, oz. iiss.; Distilled Water, Oj.) Dose, fl. oz. j. - ij.
Cetacei and Ung. Simplex.
In Acne Rosacea and Impetigo, the emulsion, as a local application, has been successfully employed by Dr. A. T. Thompson. He states that he found it extremely beneficial.
225. In Lichen Tropicus or Prickly Heat, Dr Houghton advises Almond Emulsion, to which a few bitter Almonds have been added. The skin should be moistened with it twice or thrice daily, or when the itching is very distressing.
Duncan states that peeled sweet Almonds, six or eight at a time, sometimes give immediate relief. Dr. Pavy* advises the use of a bread made with sweet Almonds in Diabetes. Without containing a trace of starch, it is unlike bran bread (usually in use in this disease), pleasant to the taste, and, if properly made, quite digestible.