This section is from the book "A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica Vol2", by George B. Wood. Also available from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2.
These are too well known to require description. I introduce them here, as an excellent demulcent, well calculated for pectoral and bowel affections, in which this class of medicines is indicated. Though they contain no starch, and but a small portion of sugar and gum, yet they abound in albumen and fixed oil, which jointly operate quite as advantageously as the other demulcent principles mentioned. These two principles they yield to cold water rubbed up with them, forming a fine white milky emulsion, of an agreeable flavour, in which the albumen is dissolved, and the oil held in suspension by the former principle. This emulsion may be used externally, as a lotion, in irritated and inflamed states of the skin, and may be taken internally in irritative affections of the bowels, urinary organs, and bronchial tubes. it serves admirably as a vehicle for expectorant medicines; but, as it does not keep well, it must be prepared frequently, as needed.
In consequence of their want of starch, sweet almonds may very properly enter into the diet of diabetic patients, as a substitute for bread and other amylaceous substances.
The bitter almonds form a similar emulsion, but superadd the effects of hydrocyanic acid, which render them still more beneficial in pectoral and cardiac diseases, and for external use in irritable conditions of cutaneous disease.
Almond Emulsion or Almond Mixture (Mistura Amygdala, U. S.) is made by macerating half a troyounce of sweet almonds in water, to facilitate the removal of the skin, after which they are to be beaten thoroughly in a mortar with half a drachm of finely powdered gum arabic and two drachms of sugar, and the whole rubbed with half a pint of distilled water gradually added. The emulsion is then to be strained. A pint or more of this may be taken in twenty-four hours, in doses of a wineglassful or teacupful.
A similar mixture may be made with bitter almonds, and a tablespoonful given for a dose, in pectoral and cardiac complaints.
A Syrup of Almonds (Syrupus Amygdala, U. S.), commonly called Syrup of orgeat, is directed in our Pharmacopoeia to be made from a mixture of sweet and bitter almonds (12 parts of the former to 4 of the latter), by first forming a liquid emulsion with water and a little sugar, and, after straining, adding sugar so as to form a syrup. This is at once nutritive, demulcent, and moderately sedative, and may with great propriety be added to cough mixtures.