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Substances which Retard Pepsin Digestion.

In a paper printed in the Journal of the A. Ph. A., C. F. Ramsay, of Detroit, Michigan, states that during the course of some work which required the testing of a number of tablets and elixirs containing pepsin it was found that some of the samples did not have the pepsin activity which they should have possessed.

Some of the tablets contained a sufficient quantity of calcium carbonate to lessen the acidity of the acid medium, thus making the tablets appear to contain less pepsin than was really present. In other samples there were present substances which by their mere presence retarded the pepsin digestion.

As the result of a number of experiments to determine the retarding effect of various substances on pepsin digestion, it was found that the N. F. elixirs of iron and pepsin, and bismuth and pepsin, do not contain enough iron or bismuth to cause a retarding effect in the testing of these elixirs, but if the amounts of iron or bismuth were doubled the test would show less pepsin than is really present, because of the action of the metallic salts on the pepsin in the test. A combination of pepsin with other salts is not very common, but it may occur in prescribing to satisfy special conditions.

Pepsin digestion is interfered with whenever any of the common medicinal salts are present to the extent of about three times the amount of pepsin. The sulphates have a greater retarding action than the other salts tried, but magnesium sulphate appears to be even more poisonous to pepsin than the others. In addition it must be remembered that any salt which is present in sufficient quantity to lessen the acidity of the acid medium will make the pepsin appear less active, and if sufficient to neutralize the acid the pepsin will be rendered inactive.

As regards organic bodies, it was found that canesugar has no effect, while saccharin has a decided influence.

Glycerin, alcohol, common alkaloids, spices, pancreatin, or papain have no influence on the test in proportions that are likely to be found in medicinal preparations.

Tannic acid and chloroform are quite injurious to pepsin, even in small proportions.

Very small amounts of nicotine show a decided injurious action, in contrast to the other alkaloids tried.

It must be remembered that in the testing of pharmaceutical preparations containing pepsin for pepsin activity or content the presence of inorganic salts is not a matter of indifference in the test, but must be taken into consideration. If these salts are present in sufficient quantity to reduce the action of the pepsin, the test will show less pepsin than is really present. In such cases the solution should be diluted to the point where the salt will be below the amount which influences the pepsin digestion. There is no evidence that the pepsin is killed in the original preparation by the salts, but the test is rendered inaccurate by the presence of these if in large enough proportions.

Remedies Against Vermin.

According to the latest Report of Schimmel & Company (Fritzsche Brothers) literature on the lice pest is quite voluminous, and there have appeared numerous communications which evidence the importance of essential oils for checking the activities of the vermin.

The opinions concerning the efficacy of essential oils are, of course, divided. According to Zucker, they range as follows: gaultheria oil, camphor oil, bergamot oil, eucalyptus oil, rosemary oil. Their influence is destructive only after a comparatively long action, and Fränkel says that the good results obtained are probably to be attributed to the fact that body lice evade the smell of essential oils and of their components. Wulker ascribes the greatest efficacy to eucalyptus and clove oils. Von Knaffl-Lenz found that cineol ointment killed lice in four to six hours, whereas anisole ointment proved ineffective. Blau recommends methyl salicylate, which combines preventive and destructive actions and does not harm the human organism. Its application is simple and it can be procured at little cost.

Rabe thinks that the success obtained with certain volatile oils, such as aniseed, fennel, clove, eucalyptus, thyme oils and others, in the form of ointments against lice, is due to their content of terpenes. He examined from this point of view the effeci of volatile oils with high oxygen and terpene contents on insects and found that flies, gnats, butterflies, moths, spiders and leaf lice were quickly asphyxiated by turpentine oil and pine tar oil vapors. The author had no body lice at hand, but he thinks that they would die at least as quickly as leaf lice. Rabe sees an explanation of the quick-killing action of turpentine oil in that the terpene vapors absorb the oxygen of the surrounding air, thus creating an atmosphere lacking in oxygen, in which the insects are suffocated. In this we cannot share the author's opinion, but rather believe in a toxic action of turpentine oil, as long as it has not been proved by experiments that lice perish quickly in an atmosphere devoid of oxygen. Marschalko's observation that lice perish within from 10 to 15 minutes in a test tube, into which a small drop of turpentine oil has been put under cotton-wool, agrees with Rabe's conjecture.

How Aromatics Incite the Smelling Organs.

Aromatics incite the organs of smell by their chemical action, according to an article on the olfactory organ and its development abstracted in the 1915 report of Schimmel & Co. (Fritzsche Brothers). The aromatics must be gaseous, the mucous membranes of the nose must be moist, and a current of air must pass over the aromatic substances. The more intense the current of air, the more distinct the perception of odor. When holding the breath or respiring through the mouth there is no such perception.

Some substances act even in very considerable dilution; e.g., bromine 1/30000, musk 1/200000, chlorophenol 1/4600000, mercaptane 1/460000000, iodoform 1/10000000000 milligramme per 1 cubic centimeter of air. Sharp and pungent smells, like chlorine and acetic acid, do not affect the olfactory sense, but rather that of touch.


Information is given in this department under the following conditions only: (1) No queries are answered by mail; (2) queries must reach us before the 15th of the month to be answered in the BULLETin of the month following: (3) inquirers must in every instance be regular subscribers; and (4) names and addresses must be affixed to all communications.

Powdered borax is claimed to be a successful antexterminator. It should be scattered about the floor of the fountain and thrown or blown into all crevices and corners. Ants are said to be partial to lard, and a tray smeared with it will entangle many of them. Chloroform or gasoline sprayed into crevices or corners, or into their nests, if found, will destroy them. Gasoline must be used with caution, owing to its inflammability, and therefore chloroform should be preferred. A sponge moistened with weak syrup will entangle many ants, which may then be killed by dipping the sponge in hot water. It has also been suggested to boil Peru balsam with water, about one ounce to the gallon, and to wash the shelves and floor with this liquid while hot. Alum in hot solution may also be used in the same manner. An experienced pharmacist claims to have had excellent results in driving ants from the fountain by making a mixture of equal parts of tartar emetic and sugar into a thick paste with glycerin and distributing small particles of the mixture where the pests can get at it.

Prescription Difficulties. H. E. N. writes: (1) Will you kindly explain the reaction which takes place in the following? Sodium nitrite.....

2 drachms. Compound digestive elixir. .4 fluidounces. (2) What is the best method to follow in compounding this mixture?

Creosote carbonate (Creosotal)...2 fluidrachms.
Sherry wine..

.4 fluidounces. (3) Is it possible to obtain a clear mixture from the following ? Glycerin

4 fluidrachms.
Tincture of iron citrochloride. 2 fluidrachms.
Dilute phosphoric acid... .3 fluidrachms.
Tincture of nux vomica.

.2 fluidrachms. Aromatic elixir, to make. .4 fluidounces. (1) The acids in the compound digestive elixir decompose the sodium nitrite and liberate nitrous acid, which causes the reaction you notice. To first neutralize the acids is poor pharmacy, as to do so would probably destroy the efficiency of some of the ferments. It is best not to dispense the prescription as it stands.

(2) A presentable mixture of creosote carbonate with sherry wine can be made by emulsification. Condensed milk or egg yolk are the best agents to use. To prepare a milk emulsion triturate the creosote carbonate with one fluidounce of condensed milk and incorporate the wine gradually.

(3) When mixed as written, citro-phosphate of iron is precipitated. This is soluble in stronger acid solutions, in alkali solutions (ammonia, sodium hydroxide, etc.), and in the presence of alkaline citrates.

In the case of this prescription a clear solution can be obtained by the addition of sodium citrate in sufficient amount. By using tincture of ferric chloride in place of tincture of iron citrochloride a clear solution is obtained without the use of a citrate.

If the substitution of tincture of ferric chloride is acceptable to the physician, the plan of using it is the best one to follow.

A Dyspepsia Tablet and a Kidney Pill. W. P. W. & Co. writes: "We would like formulas for (1) a dyspepsia tablet containing pepsin, pancreatin, diastase, rennin, ginger, peppermint, and calcium carbonate; (2) a kidney pill or tablet containing buchu, juniper, potassium acetate, uva ursi, stone-root, capsicum, and methylene blue.” Experiment with the following proportions:

(1) DYSPEPSIA TABLET. Pepsin (1:3000)

1 grain. Pancreatin

2 grains. Diastase

2 grains. Rennin

18 grain. Powdered ginger.

.% grain. Oil of peppermint..

.1/10 minim.
Calcium carbonate.

.2 grains.
Extract of buchu.

72 grain.
Oil of juniper.

14 minim. Potassium acetate.

.1 grain. Extract of uva ursi.

14 grain. Extract of stoneroot.

4 grain.
Capsicum, in fine powder.

A grain.
Methylene blue

%2 grain. The proportions given are for one tablet and one pill.

Ants at the Fountain. M. R. W. writes: "The ants are about to walk away with my fountain. What will rid me of the pests? I have tried insect powders and carbon bisulphide without result."

First of all, let us suggest that you give your fountain a thorough going over, particularly of the inner parts which are not ordinarily touched by a superficial cleaning. Syrups, crushed fruits, and melted ice cream are sometimes likely to be found in not easily-accessible parts of the fountain, and if they are present, even in small amounts, they are sure to attract ants.

Trouble with Stearic Acid Cream. P. D. B. writes: “I prepare a stearic acid cream, containing witch-hazel, by boiling together a solution of borax and stearic acid. When the temperature is about 160° F. the witch-hazel is added. A very nice cream is produced, but with the rather serious disadvantage that it dries up considerably in a few months, due apparently to the evaporation of the spirit. It occurred to me to add some glycerin, but this addition made the cream appear quite granular, even when only comparatively small quantities of glycerin were added. Can you tell me how to overcome the difficulty? Is there any way of adding glycerin so that the granulation will not take place? There is a witch-hazel cream which is very popular here (Australia) and which has a characteristic silky sheen. Can you tell me how to produce this appearance?"

All creams of the greaseless (stearic acid) type tend to dry out, and for that reason they should be dispensed only in containers which, as much as possible, readily colored with these dyes. If you find it to be so in your case, it would be advisable first to mix the color with a small quantity of some fixed oil. The mineral oil will then be found to take up the color readily. If you desire to use annatto as a coloring agent, proceed in a similar manner-dissolve it by means of a little fixed oil.

prevent the access of air. If feasible, collapsible tubes should be used.

Adding about 5 per cent of liquid petrolatum (to the stearic acid) will help retard evaporation.

Glycerin also serves to prevent drying of the cream, and from 15 to 25 per cent should be used. The borax should be dissolved in the glycerin before mixing it with the stearic acid.

Where borax is used it is impossible to prevent granulation, but the granulation may be lessened if part of the borax is replaced by potassium carbonate or ammonia water. Using potassium carbonate or ammonia water will give the silky sheen you desiredue to the formation of crystals of potassium or ammonium stearate. Granulation may also be prevented to a considerable extent by grinding the finished cream in an ointment mill.

An Insecticide Containing Oil of Mirbane. The W. T. Drug Store asks: "Can you supply us with a formula for an insecticide that will kill bedbugs, roaches, ants, etc.? We desire an inexpensive product containing oil of mirbane."

The following might answer your requirements:

To half a gallon of kerosene add a quart of turpentine and a fluidounce of oil of mirbane.

This mixture is far less dangerous to use than benzine. The turpentine is not only poisonous but exceedingly distasteful to insects of all kinds. The kerosene, while less fatal to bugs than benzine, is cheaper and safer, and when combined with the other ingredients is said to be equally as efficient.

Eye-glass Cleaners and Moisture Preventives. The J. Drug Store writes: "Please publish a formula for an eye-glass cleaner which will prevent glasses from 'misting' when taken from a cold to a warm room.”

Many of the eye-glass cleaners on the market consist of diluted alcohol, suitably perfumed, and sometimes containing a little ammonia water or

a small amount of acetic acid.

For preventing glasses from “steaming" or "misting” a mixture of 3 parts of glycerin and 1 part of alcohol is quite commonly used. Soap, in various forms, is also employed. Soft soap, light in color, is a favorite application, as is also transparent soap. A common way in which the latter is sold is to cut a cake into strips two inches long and one-half inch square. The soap when rubbed lightly over the surface of the glass is said to prevent moisture from depositing.

Removing Blackheads. B. A. writes: “Will you please print the formula of a preparation used to remove blackheads (comedones)?"

The remedy which enjoys the best reputation for this purpose is sulphur in some form, such as: Sulphur

1 drachm. Glycerin

,1 drachm. Cold cream To be applied freely every night, short of causing pain or inflammation.

Dermatologists recommend washing the parts every night and morning with very hot water, afterwards applying friction with a rough towel, unless the blackheads be associated with pimples and inflamed blemishes.

...1 ounce.

Cocoanut Oil Shampoo. W. P. W. & Co. asks: "Will you supply us with a formula for a shampoo liquid containing cocoanut oil?”

Cocoanut oil.... .4 ounces avoirdupois.
Caustic potash (85 per

cent) in sticks. .148 ounces avoirdupois.
Potassium carbonate 16 ounce avoirdupois.

.1 fluidounce. Water, to make.

.....1 pint. Melt the oil, add to it the caustic potash dissolved in four fluidounces of water, and boil until thoroughly saponified. Remove from the heat, and then add the balance of the ingredients previously mixed together.

For a perfume, oil of lavender flowers, oil of bergamot, oil of rose geranium, or any suitable combination of odoriferous oils, may be used.


Charcoal for "Box-irons." P. D. B. asks: "Can you tell me how to make compressed blocks of charcoal for use in 'box-irons'? A German line used to be on this (the Australian) market which, when ignited, gradually smoldered to ash, without giving off any smoke. What is added to the charcoal to make it burn in this way?"

We are not familiar with the composition of the blocks used in "box-irons,” but venture to say that they contain an oxidizing agent of some sort. You might experiment by adding to charcoal small quantities of potassium chlorate, sodium nitrate, or one of the peroxides.

Brown Color for Bandoline. C. R. M. writes: “Will you please tell me what is used to give bandoline a brown color?"

Ordinarily, bandolines are colored a pink tint, solution of carmine being used for the purpose. When, however, it is desired to give them a brown shade, solution of caramel is the best agent to employ. Only a small amount of the coloring agent should be used, not enough to change the color of the hair in any way.

Yellow Color for Mineral Oil. H. J. S. writes: “I wish to impart a 'butter' color to mineral oil, but so far have been unable to find any suitable coloring agent which is soluble in the mineral oil. A proprietary butter color which I have been using is too expensive. If annatto could be dissolved in the oil, it would answer my purpose.”

Probably the most satisfactory agents to use in order to produce the desired color would be those dyes that are known as oil-soluble. They may be obtained from the larger wholesalers or from houses that make a specialty of dyestuffs.

It sometimes happens that mineral oils fail to be

E. M. S.- We are not familiar with the composition of the proprietary dandruff remedy you mention.

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Long Hours in the Drug Store.

Not a Synthetic Substitute....

303 Three First Aids to Druggists...

The Metric System.....

Medicinal Coal-tar Chemicals Omitted ... 304
Army Pharmacists Receive Recognition.. 304
The Two Annual Gatherings....... 305
Aspirin Patents Expire Next Year........ 305
Minor Mention......


Fresh Fruit Formulas .

340 Movie Sodas .......

340 Stray Shots at Soda Fountain Conduct. By Francis Frawley..

341 For the Hotter Days..

341 For the Sundae Special...


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Haas ........

.... 342

The Question of Turnovers Again........ 305
The Importance of a Good Telephone

Harrison Law Regulations..

306 He Might Be Won ..

307 Six Prize-winning Photographs......... 307


'My Funniest Experience: ”
It Suie Looked Bad! By Clifford H.

Drastic Treatment. By Harry Butler 318
The Lady and the Bath Cabinet. By
Alex Peterson......

His First Hot-water Bottle. By Adolph

A Harmless Mistake. By J. Y. Allan. 320
Fifty-three Years Ago. By Lieut.
Rob Paschall

Little Giasses in Maine. By “Miss

321 A Pair of Poor Shots. By Wesley

321 The New U. S. P. and the New N. F. By Wilbur L. Scoville....

322 The Standardized Articles of the New National Formulary

324 Original Advertising Methods of a Clever

Retailer-" Square Deal Miller" (Illus

trated). By Walter M. Chase..... 326
A New Use for an Old Product. By Luther
H. Vance, B S......

Just Plain Reminiscences. By. M. K.

Money-makers and Money-savers... 832
An Iowa Examination.....

Once Again-Quinine and Aspirin........ 336
More Blue Sky...

0. M. Hicks Again.

337 Between Friends"

338 Somewhat Mixed..

338 What Price ?.



Research Receipts.....
The Pathos of Pathogenic..
About Mixing Milks.
To Dye Not to Die..
Purity vs. Economy.



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A Greaseless Cream and a Massage Cream 344
Formulas for Ices....

344 Pricing Four Dozen Powders..

344 Low-priced Disinfectants......

345 Color and Flavor for Liquid Petrolatum.. 345 Quinine in Chocolate Syrup......

345 Benzoyltetramethyldiaminoethylisopropylalcohol..

345 Mosquito Repellent...

346 Suppository Mold Soap Solution

346 Concerning a Face Cream

346 Marketing Suppositories.....

346 Coloring and Scenting Brilliantine. 346 Nitro-solvent Gun Oil.......

346 Sodium Phosphite .....

346 Thickening in Solution of Aluminum Acetate.....


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Features that Have Made Our Soda Foun-

tain a Success (Illustrated). By Francis


339 339


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Eatered at the post-office at Detroit as second-class mail matter.

Copyright, 1916, by E. G. Swift.

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