Organon §268

Use of dry powders in the preparation of medicinesMedicines can be made from properly prepared, dry plant powders; however, the rational medical-art practitioner will never accept on trust and belief the powdered form of the exotic plants, barks, seeds and roots that cannot be obtained in their fresh state. Rather, he will convince himself of their genuineness beforehand, while they are still in their raw unpowdered state, before he makes the least medicinal use of them. 215

Comment

215 Properly prepared dry powders can be kept forever in well-stoppered and sealed bottles, maintaining all their original medicinal power without spoiling and becoming moldy. However, one has to take a precaution that was hitherto almost unknown to pharmacists, who were unable to store powders without their spoiling, even when they were made from well-dried animal and plant substances and preserved in well-stoppered bottles. Whole, raw plant substances, even when they are thoroughly dried, still contain a certain amount of moisture as an indispensable condition of the cohesiveness of their fabric. This is not enough moisture to allow spoilage when the substance is in its whole state, but it is far too much for a finely powdered state. Therefore, animal and plant substances that are fully dried in their whole state yield a somewhat moist powder when fully pulverized. This powder cannot be preserved in stoppered bottles without quickly becoming spoiled and moldy unless it is freed from this superfluous moisture. Further drying of the fine powder is best done as follows:1. Spread the powder out on a flat, tin plate with a high rim. 2. Float the plate in a pot of boiling water. 3. Dry it, stirring the powder, until its particles no longer stick together in clumps but easily separate, like fine dry sand, and turn into dust. 4. Store powders in well-stoppered and sealed bottles that are airtight. 5. Keep the bottles away from sunlight and daylight (in covered cannisters, chests, boxes). All animal and plant substances gradually lose their medicinal power (even when they are whole and far more so when they are powdered) if they are not stored in airtight containers away from sunlight and daylight.

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