Ointment of Cucumber. Cucumber Ointment.—An emollient ointment, prepared from the common cucumber (fruit of Cucumis sativus L., Fam. Cucurbitaceae), has been considerably employed in irritated states of the skin. The following is the mode of preparing it, recommended by Procter. Take of green cucumbers 7 pounds avoirdupois, pure lard 24 ounces, veal suet 15 ounces. Grate the washed cucumbers to a pulp, express, and strain the juice. Cut the suet into small pieces, heat it over a water bath till the fat is melted out from the membrane; then add the lard, and, when melted, strain through muslin into an earthen vessel capable of holding a gallon, and stir until thickening commences, when one-third of the juice is to be added, and the whole beaten with a spatula till the odor has been almost wholly extracted. The portion which separates is to be decanted, and the remaining two-thirds of the juice is to be consecutively incorporated and decanted in the same manner. The jar is then closely covered and placed in a water bath, until the fatty matter entirely separates from the juice. The green coagulum floating on the surface is now removed, and the jar put in a cool place that the ointment may solidify. The crude ointment is then separated from the aqueous liquid on which it floats, melted and strained, and placed in glass jars, which must be kept closely sealed. A layer of rose water upon its surface will favor its preservation. A portion may be triturated with a little rose water until white and creamy, and put into a separate jar for present use. (A. J. P., xxv, 409.)
Emile Mouchon prepares the ointment by obtaining the juice mixed with a little alcohol, and incorporating this with benzoinated lard and stearin. He directs 16 parts of the cucumber to be rendered to a pulp, 1 part of alcohol of 36° B. (&7 per cent. vol.) to be added, and the mixture to be placed on the diaphragm of a percolator. Twenty-four hours afterwards 10 parts of the liquid are obtained of 19° B. Of this liquid 6 parts are to be incorporated with 37.5 parts of benzoinated lard and 12.5 of stearin; the fatty matters having been previously melted together by means of a water bath, and beaten vigorously on cooling. The liquid is to be added before the completion of the beating, which should then be continued until the whole becomes as light and white as possible. The benzoin and alcohol enable the ointment to keep a long time. (J. P. C., Juillet, 1854, 41.) We prefer to make this ointment by incorporating one part of distilled spirit of cucumbers with seven parts of benzoinated ointment. The spirit is made by distilling a mixture of one part of grated cucumbers with three parts of diluted alcohol, retaining the first two parts or distillate which come over. This spirit is permanent, and ointment or cream made from it keeps well, and cucumber cream can be made extemporaneously.
The most frequently used preparation of cucumber at the present time is the cosmetic preparation known as cucumber jelly, which is used as a soothing application in roughness of the skin, etc. It consists of a jelly of tragacanth, quince seed, or some similar mucilaginous drug made up with cucumber juice which imparts to the preparation a characteristic odor.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.