This section is from the "A Practical Treatise On Materia Medica And Therapeutics" book, by Roberts Bartholow. Also available from Amazon: A Practical Treatise On Materia Medica And Therapeutics
Opium. Opium, Fr.; Opium, Ger. The concrete milky exudation obtained in Asia Minor from the unripe capsules of Papaver somniferum, by incision and spontaneous evaporation. (Nat. Ord. Papaveraceae).
Opium should yield at least nine per cent of morphine by the process of assay.
Powdered opium. Opium dried at a temperature not exceeding 185° Fahr., and reduced to a moderately fine powder (No. 50). It should contain not less than twelve nor more than sixteen per cent of morphine. Dose, gr. j—gr. iij.
Plaster of opium. (Extract of opium, Burgundy pitch, and lead-plaster.)
Extract of opium. Dose, gr. ss—gr. ij.
Pills of opium. Dose, one to four pills. Each pill contains one grain of opium.
Tincture of opium. Laudanum. Thirteen minims or twenty-five drops are equivalent to one grain of opium.
Vinegar of opium. Ten minims or twenty drops are about equal to one grain of opium.
Camphorated tincture of opium. Paregoric. Half a fluid ounce contains nearly one grain of opium. Dose, for children, from gtt. v.—gtt. xx; for adults, from 3 j— oz j.
Troches of licorice and opium. Dose, one to three or four.
Deodorized tincture of opium. Dose, τηv— 3 j.
Wine of opium. (Opium, cinnamon, cloves, sherry wine.) Dose, τη v— 3 j.
About half of the weight of opium is made up of gum, pectin, albumen, fragments of the poppy-capsules, and calcareous salts. It contains, also, some coloring-matter, and a volatile substance in minute quantity. The proportion of water varies from twelve to thirty per cent. A large number of basic, acid, and neutral substances have been and are still being discovered in opium, hence its chemistry is very complex.
The following natural alkaloids have been found in opium. Various derivatives of these have also been described. This list, except some unimportant modifications, is taken from Flückiger and Hanbury's admirable Pharmacographia:
Crystallizable, alkaline. Volatile at 100°. (C12 H15N1O3.)
Crystallizable, alkaline. (C17H19N1O3.)
Crystallizes with H2O, does not unite even with acetic acid. (C17H19N1O4.)
Crystallizable, alkaline, soluble in water. (C16 H4N1O3.)
Crystallizable, alkaline. (C19H21N103.)