Bismuth, or Tin-glass, one of the semi-metals, of a reddish or light yellow colour, and a lamel-lated texture: it is moderately hard and brittle, so that it breaks under the hammer, and may even be re-., duced to powder.
This semi-metal is commonly deposited in cobalt-ores; which, when of a high red colour, are called bismuth bloom, or flowers of bismuth. To this mixture may be ascribed the property which bis-muth-ore has of making sympathetic ink, similar to that formed by a solution of the regulus of co-balt.—See Ink.
In medicine, the calx and flowers of bismuth were formerly used, in cases where antimonial preparations are now employed with greater safety, and equal effect; so that the former are, at present, chiefly converted into pigments and cosmetics. - Neverthe-less, we are possessed of the most convincing proofs, that the magistery of bismuth is one of the most powerful anti-spasmodies, especially in cramps of the stomach. When cautiously administered, in doses from half a grain to one grain, in simple water, repeated every half hour, or oftener, according to circumstances, it affords speedy relief of the most excruciating pain ; and is, in this re-spect, of superior efficacy to the celebrated flowers of zinc. But we think it our duty to repeat, that both medicines require the greatest precaution.