This section is from the book "A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica Vol1", by George B. Wood. Also available from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2.
This preparation was introduced into the Dublin Pharmacopoeia, probably under the impression, that the valerianic acid contained in it might superadd to the tonic action of the iron, in chlorotic cases, the peculiar antispasmodic influence of the oil of valerian. It is, however, so easy to mix a little oil of valerian with one of the preparations of iron, that, even admitting the peculiar additional virtue supposed to be acquired, it is scarcely a sufficient reason for increasing the already overburdened catalogue of the chalybeates. Accordingly, the preparation has been omitted in the Br. Pharmacopoeia. The salt is made by double decomposition between the sulphate of sesquioxide of iron and valerianate of soda; sulphate of soda being left in solution, and valerianate of sesquioxide of iron precipitated. The latter is then washed, dried, and kept in well-stopped bottles. The salt is composed of three equivalents of acid and one of sesquioxide. It is in the form of a loose, dark-red powder, with a slight odour and taste of valerianic acid, insoluble in cold water, soluble in alcohol, and deprived of its acid by boiling water. It is also decomposed by the acids, which liberate valerianic acid, recognizable by its peculiar, very offensive odour. The preparation is thought to be specially adapted to anemic cases associated with hysteria. One grain is mentioned as the dose, to be repeated three or four times a day.