Chapter 28 - Medicinals A - Z

28.14 N

Naphtha. This belongs to the class of native inflammable ~ substances, called bitumenŐs. It is a transparent, yellowish white, very light and inflammable liquid, and is found abundantly in Persia. Said to have been used with advantage in Asiatic cholera. It is composed exclusively of carbon and hydrogen. Dose, from ten. to twenty drops, given in half a glass of wine or mint water. During the formation of coal gas, an artificial naphtha is obtained, which, when purified, has the property of dissolving India rubber. Medicinally, it is chiefly used for purposes of inhalation in affections of the chest.

Naphthalin. This is obtained from a distillation of coal tar. It is soluble in ether, alcohol, naphtha and oils, but not in water. It is an excellent expectorant, particularly in cases of impending suffocation of old persons from chronic bronchitis; also in asthma and other pectoral affections. Being stimulating, it is improper in acute bronchitis, and pulmonary inflammation. The dose is from ten to twenty~.. five grains, given in emulsion, or syrup, every fifteen minutes, until abundant expectoration takes place. A scruple of naphthalin mixed with five drams of lard, makes a good ointment for psoriasis, dry tetter and leprosy.

Nitrate of Silver (Argenti Nitras). Nitrate of silver is a solution of silver in nitric acid, and commonly passes under the name of lunar caustic. It is both in the form of small cylindrical rods and of crystals, the latter being more pure than the former. As an internal remedy, nitrate of silver is tonic and antispasmodic and is given chiefly in nervous diseases, as epilepsy, St. Vitus's dance and neuralgia of the heart; also in some forms of dyspepsia, attended with pain in the stomach and vomiting. The dose is from one fourth to half a grain in the form of pill. lt should never be taken regularly as an internal remedy more than two months, as it is apt, after long use, to change the skin to an indelible slate blue. Use only under the direction of a physician. But nitrate of silver is most used as an external remedy in pharyngitis, laryngitis, tracheitis and other chronic and acute inflammations of mucous membranes. For reducing these inflammations, it is very nearly a specific; certainly, it is altogether the best remedy we have. It fails in some cases; but when skillfully used it never does harm. The solutions to be applied to the throat require to have a strength of from fifteen to a hundred grains to the ounce of soft water. A solution containing one to four or more grains to the ounce of water is often used in inflammations of the eye, gonorrhea, etc.

Nitre (Potassce Nitras). Nitre, which also passes under the name of nitrate of potassa, and saltpeter, is both a natural and artificial production. As a medicine, it is refrigerant, diuretic, and diaphoretic, and is much used in inflammatory diseases. It increases the secretion of urine and sweat, and lessens the heat of the body and the frequency of the pulse. United with tartar emetic and calomel, it forms the well known nitrous powders, which promote most of the secretions, particularly those of the liver and skin. One of these powders, constituting a dose, to be given every two or three hours, is composed of eight grains of nitre, one eighth of a grain of calomel, and one eighth of a grain of tartar emetic. Use with care.

Sweet Spirit of Nitre (Spiritus Aetheris Nitrici). Sweet spirit of Nitre Is diuretic, diaphoretic, and antispasmodic. It is deservedly much esteemed as a medicine, and is extensively employed in febrile diseases, either alone or in union with tartar emetic, or with spirit of Mindererus. It is often a grateful stimulus to the stomach, relieving nausea and vomiting, and promoting sleep. It acts especially upon the kidneys, augmenting the secretion of urine, and is often given in conjunction with squills, digitalis, and acetate of potassa. The dose is a teaspoonful, given in water every two or three hours.

Nutmeg (Myristica Moschata). The nutmeg is from a tree growing in the Malacca Islands. It is stimulant and carminative, and somewhat used to remove flatulency, as well as to render other medicines palatable; it is most employed, however, to flavor drinks, and articles of diet. In large doses it is poisonous, producing stupor and delirium.

Nux Vomica (Strychnos Nux Vomica). The tree which produces nux vomica grows in Bengal, Malabar, on the coast of Coromandel, and in other regions. The seeds are the medicinal part. Nux vomica is an emphatic excitant of the brain and spinal cord, and in large doses is an active poison; frequently repeated in small doses, it is tonic, diuretic, and slightly laxative. Given in full doses, it is apt to produce muscular contraction, as in lockjaw, together with NUX VOMICA. frequent starts and twitches, as if from electric shocks. It is much employed in treatment of paralysis, and is more beneficial in general than in partial palsy. Preparations. Fluid extract, dose, two to seven drops; solid extract, dose, half a grain to a grain; tincture, four ounces to the pint of alcohol, dose, five to ten drops; strychnia, commonly called strychnia, the active principle, dose, one sixteenth to one eighth of a grain.

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