They contain a volatile oil which does not occur in the corm, and their proportion of colchicine is higher, for which reason the Tinctura Colchici Seminum- dose 5 to 15 minims - is preferable to the wine prepared from the corm.
It was at this time too that the many-sided Alexius invented his famous "drops," or tinctura toniconervina Bestuschefi, the recipe of which was stolen by the French brigadier Lamotte, who made his fortune by introducing it at the French court, where it was known as Elixir d'Or.
The pharmacopoeial preparations of this acid are a 2% solution, which is given in doses of from two to six minims, the tinctura chloroformi et morphinae cornposita, which contains a half-minim of this solution in each ten minims, and the aqua laurocerasi, which owes its virtues to the presence of this acid, and is of inconstant strength, besides being superfluous.
The British Pharmacopoeia contains a watery solution - the Aqua Chloroformi - which is useful in disguising the taste of nauseous drugs; a liniment which consists of equal parts of camphor liniment and chloroform, and is a useful counter-irritant; the Spiritus Chloroformi (erroneously known as "chloric ether"), which is a useful anodyne in doses of from five to forty drops; and the Tinctura Chloroformi et Morphinae Composita, which is the equivalent of a proprietary drug called chlorodyne.
Gum benzoin, which contains from 12 to 20% of benzoic acid, is used in medicine as the essential constituent of benzoated lard, Adeps benzoatus, which owes its antiseptic properties to benzoic acid; and in friar's balsam, Tinctura benzoini composita, which is an ancient and valuable medicament, still largely used for inhalation in cases of laryngitis, bronchitis and other inflammatory or actually septic conditions of the respiratory tract.