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.
It is contraindicated in an inflamed and irritable stomach, a plethoric state of the circulation, and active local congestion; and when, in the course of its administration, these conditions may occur, either accidentally, or as a result of its operation, its use should be suspended for a time. This caution it is particularly necessary to observe in phthisis, in which, though it is highly important that the blood should be of good quality, yet in quantity it must bear a due relation to the reduced capacity of the lungs; as otherwise it might endanger inflammation or hemorrhage.
For an adult, a tablespoonful three or four times a day is about the proper dose; and for an infant, a teaspoonful as often; and this quantity should always be aimed at. Some can take the oil out of the spoon without inconvenience; but generally it is desirable to obviate the disagreeable taste by some addition. This may often be done sufficiently by taking an aromatic substance into the mouth, immediately before and immediately after the medicine. Orange-peel has been particularly recommended for this purpose; so also has strong coffee, without cream or sugar, in the quantity of a teaspoonful. The addition of ten per cent, of common salt is said to conceal its taste effectually; but so large a proportion as this might sometimes act injuriously on the stomach or the blood. The oil may also be taken floating in an aromatic water, as that of cinnamon, or one of the mints. But probably the best vehicle, on the whole, is a little frothy porter or ale. which covers the taste very well, and is usually not contraindicated. In hectic cases, the dose of oil may sometimes be advantageously administered in a wineglassful of wild-cherry bark tea. When the stomach is very delicate, it may be given in the form of emulsion, made with an aromatic water; and, when it cannot be otherwise taken, gelatin capsules containing it may be resorted to.*
* Various preparations of cod-liver oil, in which it holds other medicines in solution, have been recommended and employed. Such are the quinated cod-liver oil, it which it is impregnated with quinia in the alkaline state; the ferruginous oil, in which powdered iron or the recently prepared protoxide are dissolved in the oil; and the iodized oil, in which it is incorporated with iodine; but none of these combinations have peculiar virtues; and, when any of the medicines mentioned are indicated in connection with the oil, it is better to administer the two separately; as the peculiar management which each may require can be thus better regulated. (Note to the second edition).
Volatile oil of bitter almonds has been found by M. Jeannel, after numerous experiments, entirely to destroy the offensive smell and taste of cod-liver oil. The quantity required for the purpose is in proportion to the offensiveness of the oil. One grain of the volatile oil will completely disinfect half a troyounce of the most It has been recommended to employ the oil externally, by friction, with a view to its constitutional impression; but in this way it would be too offensive for ordinary use, and should be resorted to only when the stomach entirely rejects it. With a view to its local effect, it has been applied to the eye in scrofulous ophthalmia, and to the skin in eruptive complaints.