Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Martindale: the extra-long title

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Back in May (2008) the Pharmaceutical Press published a reproduction of the first edition of Martindale to celebrate the 125-year history of this authoritative reference work.

The original book’s full title is ‘The Extra Pharmacopoeia of Unofficial Drugs and Chemical and Pharmaceutical Preparations, by William Martindale, FCS, Late Examiner of the Pharmaceutical Society, and Late Teacher of Pharmacy and Demonstrator of Materia Medica at University College, with References to their Uses Abstracted from the Medical Journals by W. Wynn Westcott, MB Lond, Deputy Coroner for Central Middlesex’.

With a cute title like that, how can you resist acquiring a copy?

It is a compact little pocket book, in stark contrast to the current 35th edition, which is in two volumes, contains a googillion words, weighs several tonnes and has the blunt title, ‘Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference’. William Martindale would be amazed to learn what a monster his little brainchild has become after 125 years.

The first edition contains many fascinating monographs. The first entry, Abrus, relates to the scarlet and black seeds of Abrus precatorius, also known as jequirity seeds, prayer beads or jumble beads. An infusion is used “to produce purulent ophthalmia for the cure of granular lids”.

If you want to try it, just follow the book’s recipe, apply three times a day and, hey presto, no more granular lids, whatever they might be.

As you skim through the book your eye is drawn to other captivating entries relating to exotic botanical substances, such as chaulmoogra oil and quebracho bark.

But the book is not limited to plant products, for under the heading Extractum Carnis (meat extract) you can read about concentrated beef-tea, beef lozenges and peptonised beef jelly.

The entry also includes a paragraph on desiccated beef blood, which sounds about as appealing as the phosphorated suet that appears on a later page.

The book can be purchased through the Pharmaceutical Press website (www.pharmpress.com) for £19.95 — a bargain at £330.05 less than the mammoth current edition.

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

From: Beyond pharmacy blog

Take a look here for thoughts and musings beyond the pharmacy realm

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.