Mucilage of Acacia. Mucil. Acac.
Mucilage of Gum Arabic; Mucilage of Gum Acacia; Mucilage de Gomme, Fr.
Cod.; Mucilage arabique, Fr.; Mucilago Gummi Arabici, P. G.;
Gummischleim, G.; Mucilagine di gomma arabica. It.; Mucilago de
goma arabica, Sp.
- "Acacia, in small fragments, three hundred and fifty grammes [or 12 ounces
av., 151 grains]; Distilled Water, a sufficient quantity, to make one thousand
grammes [or 35 ounces av., 120 grains]. Place the acacia in a tared bottle or
flask having a capacity not exceeding one thousand mils [or 33 fluidounces, 6%
fluidrachms], wash the drug with cold water, allow it to drain, and then add
enough warm distilled water to make the mixture weigh one thousand grammes [or
35 ounces av., 120 grains]. Securely stopper the container, and agitate it from
time to time until the acacia is dissolved. Strain the Mucilage and preserve it
in small, well-filled bottles in a refrigerator or in a cool place. Mucilage of
Acacia should be frequently made and must not be dispensed if it has become sour
or moldy." U. S.
- "Gum Acacia, 100 grammes; Distilled Water, 150 millilitres. Rapidly rinse the
Gum Acacia with a little water; then dissolve it in the Distilled Water in a
closed vessel and strain. The Mucilage should be recently prepared. In India and
the Eastern Divisions of the Empire, Mucilage of Indian Gum may be employed in
making the official preparations for which Mucilage of Gum Acacia is directed to
be used (see 'Gummi Indicum')." Br.
- The gum used for this purpose should be in small fragments or coarse powder,
as it is more readily dissolved in this state than when finely pulverized.
Straining is necessary to separate the foreign substances which are often mixed
with gum arabic. This mucilage is semi-transparent, almost colorless, if
prepared from good gum, viscid, tenacious, of a feeble, peculiar odor, and
nearly tasteless. By straining a solution of gum through a layer of freshly
precipitated alumina it can be almost entirely decolorized, particularly if the
operation be repeated several times. By keeping, the mucilage becomes sour, and
this happens even though it be enclosed in well-stoppered bottles; but,
according to Guerin, the solution of pure gum undergoes no change in
vacuo. Heat in its preparation is said to favor the production of acid, and hence cold has been substituted for
boiling water in the present formulas.
The U. S. P. VIII directed the addition
of lime water in making this mucilage; this addition has proved advantageous by
neutralizing the acidity generally found in acacia and it promotes stability,
but the U. S. P. IX process deleted the lime water. According to R. Bother (A.
J. P., xliv, 113), if glycerin-be employed in the proportion of one to eight of
the mass, and the mixture of water and glycerin be added to the gum in a bottle
and solution secured by agitation at intervals over several hours, the resulting
mucilage does not spoil; the presence of glycerin is objectionable, however, for
many of the uses of mucilage of acacia. E. D. Oesch (West. Drug., 1892,
38) adds about 6 per cent. of alcohol as a preservative. Keller preserves the
mucilage by the addition of acetanilid (two grains in the fluid-ounce). (C.
D., 1896, 378.) Archer & Co. have found (A. J. P., xlvi, 469)
that if "Tolu water" be substituted for water the mucilage will keep for months.
The Tolu water is made by rubbing two drachms of the tincture with magnesium
carbonate and two pints of water, and filtering. Mucilage is employed chiefly in
the making of pills, and in suspending insoluble substances in water. In
prescribing it for mixtures, it should be recollected that it is a solution of
definite strength, containing, according to the U. S. formula, half an ounce of
the gum to each fluid ounce of mucilage. The British mucilage is a little
stronger. The adhesiveness of the mucilage is stated to be very much increased
by the addition of one part of aluminum sulphate to one hundred and twenty-five
parts of the mucilage, but this would not be permissible for a mucilage intended
for medicinal purposes.
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