Related entry: Aralia Nudicaulis.—False Sarsaparilla
Preparation.—Take of the roots of small spikenard, yellow dock, burdock, and ground guaiacum-wood, each, 10 troy ounces; bark of the root of sassafras, of southern prickly ash, elder flowers, blue flag root, each, 8 troy ounces. First grind and mix the articles together, moisten with diluted alcohol and place in a percolator, cover with the same menstruum, and macerate for 2 days. Then gradually add diluted alcohol until 2 pints of percolate have been obtained, which retain and set aside. Continue the percolation until the drug is exhausted and distill or evaporate the alcohol from it. Mix the solutions, add 12 pounds (av.) of refined sugar and water enough to make 16 pints of syrup, using a gentle heat to effect solution of the sugar. Each pint will contain the virtues of 4 ounces of the ingredients. It may be flavored with essence of wintergreen, sassafras, or prickly ash berries, etc.
"In the early editions of this work this preparation was termed Compound Syrup of Sarsaparilla (Syrupus Sarsaparillae Compositus). On account of the difficulty met with among druggists in filling orders for compound syrup of sarsaparilla, when it is not indicated to them what syrup of this name is required (as there are several), I have deemed it best to change the name, that no such difficulty may occur hereafter. This article has also been termed Alterative syrup, but it is much superior to the compound formerly known by this name. In the present case I have substituted the roots of Aralia nudicaulis for the Honduras sarsaparilla of the former formula, as it is considered by physicians to be the more active agent; those, however, who prefer the Honduras sarsaparilla, will, of course, retain it in their preparation of this syrup" (J. King).
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—"This forms a valuable syrup, which may be used in all cases where an alterative is indicated; in chronic hepatitis, rheumatism, syphilis, scrofula, cutaneous diseases, ulcers, white swellings, rickets, necrosis, and every taint of the system. Some physicians add an ounce of the iodide of potassium to every pint of syrup. The dose is from a teaspoonful to a tablespoonful, 3 or 4 times a day, in about a gill of water" (J. King).
King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.