EPSOM SALTS � MAGNESIUM
" Magnesium Sulphate contains not less than 48.60 per cent, and not more
than 53.45 per cent, of MgSO4,
corresponding to not less than 99.5 per cent, of the crystallized salt [MgSO4.,7H2O]."
Amarum, Sal Epsomense,
Sal Anglicum, Sal Sedlicense,
Sulphate of Magnesia; Sulfate de Magnesie,
Fr. Cod.; Sel d'Epsom,
Sel de Sedlitz,
Sol. amer, Fr.; Magnesium Sulfuricum,
P. G.; Magnesiumsulfat, Schwefeleaures
Magnesia, Bittersalz, G.; Solfato
di magnesio, Suifato
Sulphate is a constituent of sea water, and of some saline springs. It also
occurs native, either crystallized in slender, prismatic, adhering
crystals, or as an efflorescence on certain rocks and soils which
contain magnesia and a sulphate or sulphide. In the
the name of kieserite, a mineral is obtained from the saline deposits at
sulphate was originally procured by evaporating the waters of saline
springs at Epsom, in
Description and Physical Properties. �
"Small, colorless, prismatic needles or rhombic prisms, without
odor, and having a cooling, saline, and bitter taste. One Gm. of Magnesium Sulphate is soluble in 1.3 cc.
of water and in about 1.1 cc. of glycerin, at
25� C. One Gm. is soluble in about 0.2 cc. of
boiling water. It is sparingly soluble in alcohol at 25� C. When
exposed to warm air, the salt loses some of its water of crystallization
and is converted into a white powder. Further heating removes more
water, and at a temperature somewhat above 200� C. it is rendered
aqueous solution of the salt (1 in 20)
" In small, colorless, transparent, rhombic prisms. Taste
bitter. Soluble in 1 part of water.
Yields the reactions characteristic of magnesium and
of sulphates. When 0.5 gramme is
dissolved in 50 millilitres of water, and to
the solution 20 millilitres of solution of ammonium chloride, 20
millilitres of strong solution of ammonia, and excess of solution of
sodium phosphate are added in succession, the mixture, after well
stirring and setting aside for twelve hours, yields a precipitate which,
when collected, washed with strong solution of ammonia diluted with
three times its volume of water, dried and heated to redness, weighs not
less than 0.220 and not more than 0.226 gramme. Yields
no characteristic reactions for zinc, and not more than the slightest
reactions for chlorides. Lead limit 5 parts per million. Arsenic
limit 5 parts per million. 10 grammes dissolved in 20 millilitres of
water, and heated on a water-bath for one hour in a closed flask,
yield a clear, colorless solution (absence of insoluble impurities and
of more than traces of iron)."
usually occurs in small acicular crystals, which are produced by
agitating the solution while crystallizing. It slowly effloresces in the
air. Exsiccated magnesium sulphate is employed in some localities under
the title Magnesium Sulphuricum Siccum.
It is a fine white powder of which about 65 parts represents 100 parts
of the crystallized salt.
sulphate is completely decomposed by potassium and sodium hydroxides and
their carbonates, by lime, barium and strontium oxides, and their
soluble salts. Ammonia partially decomposes it, and forms with the remainder
a double sulphate. Potassium and sodium bicarbonates do not decompose
it, except by the aid of heat. An economic use which has been
recommended of magnesium sulphate is the addition of a strong solution
to ordinary white-wash, whereby a beautiful whiteness may be given to
walls and ceilings. A little of it, moreover, added to starch
considerably increases its stiffening properties, and at the same time
in some degree resists the action of fire.
� Magnesium sulphate is an active cathartic operating with but little
pain or nausea, and producing watery stools. Its cathartic action is due
in part to its attraction for water, but it seems also to exercise a
direct stimulant effect upon the glands of the intestinal tract. It has
but little direct effect upon peristalsis, the increased movements of
the intestinal muscles being due chiefly to the over distention with the
fluid. It may be used whenever it is desired to clean out the alimentary
canal, especially when a prompt action is desired, as in cases of
poisoning or certain types of acute enteritis. It is a valuable remedy
when it is desired to encourage the elimination of metabolic poisons
through the bowel, as in gout or uremia. It is also highly esteemed for
the evacuation of dropsical effusions. As an
habitual laxative, although widely used, it is generally inferior to the
injected into the circulation magnesium sulphate acts as a violent
poison, lessening respiration and depressing the circulation by a direct
action upon the heart. It also paralyzes the peripheral ends of the
motor nerves and, according to Meltzer and Auer (A. J. Phys., 1905, xiv,
p. 366, and xvii, p. 313), also the sensory nerves. Guthrie and Eyan
(A. J. Phys., 1910, xxiv, p. 329) dispute the conclusions of Meltzer and
Auer that it has a true anesthetic action, believing that the apparent
anesthesia is due to the motor paralysis, but the experiments of Wiki
(A. I. P. T., 1911, xxi, p. 415) seem to demonstrate that when applied
locally it is a paralyzant to the sensory nerves. -As an internal remedy
it has been employed by intraspinal
injection as an anesthetic and in the treatment of tetanus. Its action
in tetanus appears to be solely that of an antieonvulsant,
not a true curative, and whether it has any superiority over other
methods of controlling the convulsions is at present uncertain. As an antitetanic
fifteen to thirty grains (1-2 Gm.) may be injected daily into the subarachnoid
space in 10 per cent, solution. For intraspinal
anesthesia, although it has been used with apparent success in a few
cases, it appears to have no advantage over the cocaine series and has
shown itself distinctly irritant to the kidney.
a local remedy magnesium sulphate has proven useful in a large number of
inflammatory conditions, its value probably to be attributed to its
osmotic influence. Because of the fact that it does not diffuse readily,
it attracts more �water to itself than other salts. Not only is it
employed as a local dressing in sprains and bruises, but Tucker (T. G.,
1907) and a number of subsequent investigators as Freese
(N. T. M. J., Feb. 14, 1914) have reported favorable results in
erysipelas, cellulitis, epi-didymitis,
lymphangitis and similar external
inflammations. Meltzer (J. P. Ex. T., 1918, xii), from experiments upon
rabbits as well as in observations on human beings, found a 25 per cent,
solution to be of great value in the treatment of burns of both first
and second degree. Morrison and Tulloch (Brit. Journ.
Surgery, Oct., 1915, p. 276) have even recommended the local use of a
sterilized solution of magnesium sulphate in septic wounds.
the suggestion of Meltzer that the intra-duodenal
application of magnesium sulphate produced a relaxation of the sphincter
of the common bile duct,
Dose, one to eight drachms (3.9 - 31
Off. Prep. � Infusum Sennae Compositum, U. S.; Magnesii Sulphas Effervescens, N. F., Br.; Mistura Sennee Composita, Br.; Liquor Magnesii Sulphatis Effervescens, NF.; Sal Kissingense Factitium Effervescens, N. F.; Sal Viohyanum Factitium, N. F.; Sal Vichyanum Factitium Effervescens, N. F.
Colourless odourless efflorescent crystals with
a cool saline bitter taste. A solution in water is neutral to litmus.
Contra-indications. Its use is
inadvisable in the presence of renal disease and in children with
intestinal parasitic diseases.
Exsiccated Magnesium Sulphate (B.P.). Mag.
Sulph. Exsic.; Dried Epsom Salts.
Balneum Magnesii Sulphatis (B.P.C.
Gran. Mag. Sulph. Efferv. (B.P.C. 1949).
Homeopathic Materia Medica.
skin, urinary, and female symptoms are most marked. The purgative action
of Sulphate of Magnesia is not a quality of the drug, but a quality of
its physical state, which renders its
absorption impossible. The properties inherent in the substance itself
can only be discovered by attenuation. (Percy Wilde.)
vertigo; head heavy during menses. Eyes burn, noises in ears.
tasting like bad eggs.
Rising of water in mouth.
and burning the orifice of the urethra after urinating. Stream intermits
and dribbles. The urine passed in the morning copious, bright yellow,
soon becomes turbid, and deposits a copious
red sediment. The urine is greenish as -passed; is of a clear color, and
in a large quantity. Diabetes. [Phos.
oc.: Loct. ac.; Ars.
Female.�Thick leucorrhoea, as profuse as the
menses, with weary pain in the small of the back and thighs, on moving
about. Some blood from
the vagina between the menses. Menstruation returned after fourteen
days; the discharge was thick, black, and profuse. Menses too early,
and Back.�Bruised and ulcerative pain between the shoulders, with
a feeling as of a lump as large as the fist, on which account she could
not lie upon her back or side; relieved by rubbing. Violent
pain in the email of the back, as if bruised, and as before
left arm and foot fall asleep in bed, in the morning after waking.
pimples over the whole body, that itch violently. Suppressed
Crawling in the tips of the fingers of the left
hand; better on rubbing. Wmts. Eyrsipelaa
(applied locally as a saturated solution). Dropsy
from 9 to 10 a. m. Shuddering in back; heat in one part and chill in
is claimed that the addition of a small amount of Magnes.
Sulph. to the
usual hypodermic of Morphine increases the value of the hypodermic from
50 to 100%.
Sulph. is of
diagnostic and therapeutic value in Gallstone
colic. From 2 to 4 teaspoonful in
glass hot water taken at onset of a colicky attack may abort
or stop the colic.
salt is one of the most active saline cathartics, operating with little
pain or nausea, especially if pure. It has but little if any effect on
intestinal peristalsis, its action causing a rush of fluid into the
intestine, which by producing a distention of the bowel produces
evacuation. It causes little or no irritation in the intestine. In
common with the other salines, it is the
classical evacuant to be employed in
connection with mercurials and anthelmintics
and in cases of poisoning. Epsom salt usually acts within from one to
two hours, more quickly if taken in hot water and in the morning before
breakfast. The ordinary dose as a mild laxative is a heaping
teaspoonful; as a cathartic,
its chief use as a saline cathartic, magnesium sulphate is used to a
considerable extent externally in saturated solution as an antiphlogistic
and antipruritic in erysipelas, ivy poisoning, cellulitis
and other local inflammations. Use on compresses saturated with
pure salt to the third potency. Locally 1:4 in water in septic
conditions, erysipelas, orchitis, boils,