(Arabic,) salsola, salieornia, alga marina, salt wort, and snail seeded glass wort. Salsola kali Lin. Sp. Pl. 322, a plant with spreading, reddish, pretty thick branches; oblong, narrow, pointed, fleshy leaves, like those of horseleek; flowers imperfect in the bosoms of the leaves, followed each by one seed spirally curled, and inclosed in the cup. It is annual, grows wild on the sea coasts in the southern parts of Europe, particularly of the Mediterranean.
The herb is juicy, bitterish, and remarkably saline. The expressed juice, and infusions, or decoctions of the leaves, are said to be powerfully aperient and diuretic, and been much recommended in dropsies; but the kali is principally regarded on account of its yielding copiously the fixed alkaline salt, called soda; and it is cultivated about Montpelier: for this purpose it is perpared at Alicant, in Spain, from a different species of kali. Different marine plants contain this salt, and what is made in Scotland and Ireland is called kelp. See Wood-ville's Medical Botany, p. 387,388.
From the querent marina, or fucus vesiculosus, fucua maritimua, alga marina, sea oak, sea wrack, or sea tang, much alkaline salt is obtained by incineration: the juice of its vesicles, left to putrefy, yields on evaporation a portion of acrid pungent salt.
The plant is a soft slippery one, common on rocks that are left dry at the ebb tide; the leaves resemble those of the oak tree in shape, the stalks running along the middle of the leaves, and terminating by watery bladders, containing either air or a mucilaginous matter. The vesicles begin to fill in March, burst about the end of July, and discharge a viscid matter.
If the putrid juice is applied to the skin, it sinks into it immediately, excites a slight sense of pungency, and deterges like a solution of soap. One of the best applications at the decline of glandular swellings, for perfectly discussing them, is a mixture of the juicy vesicles on the leaves of this plant, gathered in July, with an equal quantity of sea water: they should be kept in a glass vessel for ten or fifteen days, until the liquor becomes of the consistence of thin honey. The parts affected are to be rubbed with the strained liquor two or three times a day, and afterwards washed clean with water.
A cataplasm of the quercus marina, made by bruising a quantity of this plant, is applied externally in cases of scrofula, white swellings, and other glandular tumours. Sea-water and oat meal formed into a poultice sometimes supply its place.
The salt here described is, in strict language, the soda or natron, the mineral alkali; but, in general, every alkaline salt has the same title, and the chemical, as well as the medical properties, are the same. Their affinities also differ very little; but as an external application in glandular swellings, the salt from the sea plants is preferred. See Alcali and Cineres clavellati.
Kali arsenicatum. Arsenicated kali. Let equal quantities of arsenic and purified nitre be powdered and well mixed together, put into a retort, and placed in a sand bath, the heat of which is to be increased gradually, until the vapours cease to issue from the mouth of the vessel. The mass must then be dissolved in four pounds of distilled water, a proper quantity of which must be evaporated, and the residuum set aside to crystallize. Dose, one fifth of a grain three times a day. This is used for the same purpose as the solutio arsenici. Sec Intermittens febris, and Cancer.
Kali, vice Sal absinthii. See Alcali, and Ci-neres clavellati.
Kali acetatum. See Sal Diureticus.
Kali praeparatum. See Aloali.
Kali tartarizatum. See Tartarum.
Kali purum, or fixed vegetable caustic alkali, is prepared by evaporating a gallon of the water of pure kali to dryness, and afterwards melting it by fire. Ph. Lond. 1788. This salt is deliquescent, which renders the application very inconvenient, unless joined with quick lime. Sec Causticum commune fortius.
Kali sulphuratum. Hepar sulphuris. Take flowers of sulphur one ounce, kali five ounces; mix the salt with the sulphur melted by a slow fire, by constant stirring, till they perfectly unite. Ph. Lond. 1788. The dose is from five grains to a scruple. In tetters and other cutaneous affections this salt has been recommended. It has been employed, dissolved in water, as a bath for the psora: and in cases of tinea capitis it has often been used by way of lotion, and has been strongly recommended to prevent the effects of mineral poisons. For the alkaline neutrals see Chemia.
Kali aqua is the kali which has deliquesced in a moist place; and it does not differ from the kali prae-paratum.
Kali puri aqua. Take of kali four pounds; quick lime six pounds; distilled water four gallons; add to the lime four quarts of water, and let them stand for an hour; then add the kali, and remaining part of the water; boil them for a quarter of an hour; let the liquor cool, and strain it: a pint of this fluid ought to weigh sixteen ounces. If the liquor raises an effervescence by the addition of any acid, more lime must be added. An earthen or glass vessel should be used, and the liquor strained through linen. Pharm. Lond. 1788.