Valerianate of ammonium 256 grains.

Simple elixir, ammonia water, carmine solution,

of each a sufficient quantity.

Dissolve the valerianate of ammonium in twelve fluid ounces of simple elixir, and bring this to the measure of sixteen fluidounces by the addition of a sufficient amount of simple elixir. Then cautiously add ammonia water until in slight excess, and color with solution of carmine until decidedly red. Each fluidrachm (teaspoonful) of the finished elixir represents two grains of valerianate of ammonium, the same as that adopted by the American Pharmaceutical Association, 1873.

Valerianate of ammonium, especially if the valerianic acid is in excess, has, to most persons, a very offensive odor. This the addition of the ammonia water tends to subdue, but wherever valerianate of ammonium is free, or in aqueous solution, the odor will remain. If dissolved in officinal alcohol, however, it is scarcely apparent, but such a solution will not conform to our modern "elixir." The addition of water to the alcoholic solution revives the odor.

The history of this elixir is of interest, since it was among the first of the popular elixirs introduced, and has retained its prestige to the present day. In an essay by Mr. Trovillo H. K. Enos, read before the Maryland College of Pharmacy, 1861, the statement is made that "a preparation known as Pierlot's solution of valerianate of ammonium has long been used among physicians in Philadelphia; but the disagreeable taste and odor of the solution having been found objectionable to patients, the pharmacists have been led to suggest some mode of disguising both, and presenting the preparation in an agreeable form for administration, without materially altering its effect; and the form of an elixir has been adopted." Mr. Enos then gave his formula, which was as follows:

Valerianic acid, . 1 fluidrachm.

Simple syrup, 1 fluidounces.

Extract of sweet orange peel, 2 fluidrachms.

Alcohol, 1 fluidounces.

Orange-flower water, 1/2 fluidounces.

Distilled water, carbonate of ammonium, of each a sufficient quantity.

Dilute the valerianic acid with one-half fluidounces of water, and neutralize it with the carbonate of ammonium, add the alcohol, having previously mixed it with the fluid extract of orange peel, and then add the other ingredients and filter.

In 1863 Mr. Joseph Roberts accepted a query in the American Pharmaceutical Association, reading as follows: "What is the best formula for Elixir of Valerianate of Ammonium which shall be nearly free from valerianic odor, and elegantly aromatized ?" Having failed to reply, in 1865 Mr. J. Faris Moore gave a formula to the Society which in substance agreed with that of Mr. Enos, the principle being the formation of valerianate of ammonium from valerianic acid, by saturating it with carbonate of ammonium. At this day valerianate of ammonium is employed instead of the valerianic acid.

SOLUTION OF CARMINE.This preparation has been used some twelve years by the writer, in preference to any "tincture" of cochineal. The fat in cochineal causes such preparations to putrefy in warm weather; and to extract the fat by means of ether from the powdered cochineal, previous to tincturing, is expensive and tedious. The term "tincture of cochineal" is scarcely appropriate as applied to the aqueous solutions made of cochineal, cream of tartar, and alum, and, as the object is simply to secure a coloring matter, the term might with equal propriety be applied to our solution of carmine, made as follows:

Carmine, No. 40, 60 grains.

Distilled water, glycerin, of each, 4 fluidounces.

Ammonia water, a sufficient quantity.

Powder the carmine and triturate with the water, gradually adding ammonia water until the carmine disappears and a dark-red liquid, free from insoluble matter, remains. To this add the glycerin, and mix. Should this solution ever become murky, a little ammonia water will restore its transparency.

Solution of carmine is necessarily alkaline, and cannot be employed to color acid liquids. For all neutral or alkaline solutions it is admirable, and for soda-water syrups is far preferable to aniline red.