(From an odour). Aromatics, or spicy drugs, are of a warm pungent taste, with more or less of a fragrant smell; some are purely aromatic, as cinnamon, nutmegs, etc.; others have a sweetness mixed with them, as in the angelica root, aniseseed, etc.: some have an astringency, as cinnamon; others a mucilage, as the cassia lignea, &c; some a bitterness, as orange peel; and others are also bitter and astringent, as the bark.
The several medicinal virtues of these mixed aroma-tics are extracted by the same means as from those which are less compounded; thus the aromatic part of lemon peel rises in distillation with water, whilst the bitter remains behind in the extract. The aromatic matters contained in different subjects differ much in their pharmaceutic properties. The virtues of all aromatics are extracted by sp. vini rect.; water extracts a portion from some, but from many none.
In distillation they rise with water more perfectly than with spirit, though in some few instances the aromatic matter wholly rises in distillation, both with spirit and with water, as that of lemon peel, whilst pepper still retains part of its aromatic matter, though distilled with water. In the essential oil and resinous part of aromatics all their peculiar qualities reside. The more essential oil any vegetable affords, the weaker the oil is, and vice versa.
Aromatics warm the stomach, and by degrees the whole body, hence are useful where the vital heat is below the standard of health; they promote the natural secretions, they resist putrefaction, and are almost essential to the health in hot climates, where they are so plentifully produced.
Aromatica aqua. See Piper Jamaicense.
Aromatica nux. See Nux, Moschata.
Aromatica pulvis. See Aromatice species.
Aromatica tinctura composit.a. See Cinnamomum.
Aromatica. Confectio aromatica. See Con-fectio.