Homoeopathic medicines intended for oral use are made either in the liquid form or in the solid form.
* Substances soluble in liquid menstrua or vehicle are made into mother tinctures or mother solutions and then subsequently potentized.
* Substances that are not soluble in liquid menstrua or vehicle are converted into solid form of preparation - mother substance.
* Soluble substances may also be made into solid preparations by trituration with sufficient care to prevent deterioration.
* Similarly substances that are not soluble in liquid vehicle may also be converted into liquid potencies at a subsequent stage (after the sixth potency in the decimal scale).
VEHICLES USED FOR PREPARATION OF HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICINES
1. Purified water
Aqueous solutions are made of substances that are soluble in water but not in alcohol or of those which, when soluble in alcohol are liable to chemical change or decomposition in it.
The advantage water has, apart from its universal solvent properties, is that it is cheap, non-toxic and non-inflammable.
As moulds and bacteria grow in aqueous media, water is a bad preservative. Hence adding a suitable proportion of ethanol must stabilize most preparations made with water or alternatively, aqueous preparations have to be prepared fresh for use.
According to the Old Method of preparation, purified water is used in preparing aqueous mother solutions as per directions given under Class V. It may also be a constituent of the menstruum used to prepare tinctures according to Class I - IV.
These are to be dissolved in different proportions as prescribed in monographs depending upon the degree of solubility of the substance. No such preparation can be considered satisfactory unless the solution is perfectly free of all sediment and stays clear and transparent. If after a time, it deposits any crystals or if any of the salt effloresces around the neck of the bottle or if a fibrous looking sediment (conferva) appears in the solution or if the solution changes colour materially, in all such instances the preparation should be rejected and a fresh quantity made. Since many aqueous solutions do not keep well fresh for long, the first decimal or centesimal potency should be freshly prepared.
Alcoholic solutions are made of substances that are soluble in alcohol and which do not undergo chemical change or decomposition in it.
Moulds and bacteria cannot grow in solutions containing 20 Pecent or more of ethanol. It is also non-toxic in the quantities present in homoeopathic doses. It is neutral, hence preparations made with it are unlikely to be incompatible with other products. Presence of ethanol in preparations promotes rapid absorption of constituents.
Strong alcohol is used in practically all tincture preparations as it has excellent extractive, solvent and preservative properties. Dispensing alcohol is used in preparation of mother solution of Thymolum. According to the Old Method of preparation, strong alcohol is used in preparing alcoholic mother solutions as per directions given under Class VI. It is also an important part of the menstruum used to prepare tinctures according to Class I - IV.
Hence, in many cases, a combination of strong alcohol and purified water, in definite proportion, as per Pharmacopoeia is used as menstruum for extraction of tincture.
Glycerin is an excellent solvent, although its range is not as extensive as that of water or alcohol. It is used for the preservation of poisonous animal products and venom of snakes like Elaps, Crotalus, etc. It is used for preparation of mother tinctures and lower dilutions of certain poisonous and toxic products like Apis mellifica, Arsenicum album, Crotalus horridus, Elaps corallinus, Naja tripudians, Tarantula hispanica and Theridion.
4. Saccharum lactis Drug substances those are insoluble in liquid vehicles like water and alcohol are triturated with sugar of milk. According to the Old Method of preparation, sugar of milk is used in the preparation of mother substances, according to class VII, class VIII and class IX.
Sugar of milk is devoid of all medicinal action. Its crystalline particles are very hard and gritty and hence are of great use in grinding down the particles of drugs submitted to the process of trituration.
The preservative properties of sugar of milk are superior to cane sugar and most other substances, keeping the minutest particles of triturated metals untarnished by oxidation, for an indefinite time. Even readily deflorescent substances like potassium iodide and others that are easily decomposed, are preserved by trituration with equal parts of milk sugar, even if kept in paper capsules, for a much longer time than without the milk sugar.
It is a solution, pharmaceutically prepared from a drug substance of plant or animal kingdom by the process of extraction (maceration or percolation) using a suitable menstruum, in a definite proportion as per pharmacopoeia.
It is denoted by ?
It is a homogenous mixture of a drug substance and a suitable solvent or vehicle (ethanol or purified water) by the process of dissolving in a definite proportion as per pharmacopoeia.
It is denoted by '? solution'
MOTHER TRITURATION OR SUBSTANCE
It is a solid mixture, pharmaceutically prepared from a drug substance, by trituration with a suitable vehicle like sugar of milk, in a definite proportion as per pharmacopoeia. It is denoted by triturate '0'
UTILITY OF MOTHER TINCTURE, MOTHER SOLUTION AND MOTHER SUBSTANCE
Mother tinctures and mother solutions are the first potencies prepared from the crude drug substance, in the liquid form and form the reference for further potentization. They are the lowest potency of the drug substance in the potentized form. Mother substance is the first potency of the drug substance in the solid state. Triturates can be converted into liquid potency at a subsequent stage, i.e. after the sixth potency in the decimal scale (6X) and after the third potency in the centesimal scale (3C).
According to the Old Method of preparation, mother tinctures, solutions and triturates have variable drug strengths.
Class I, II - 1/2
Class III - 1/6
Class IV - 1/10
Class VA, VIA - 1/10
Class VB, VIB - 1/100
As per Pharmacopoeia, preparations of mother tinctures, solutions and triturates have been standardized in decimal scale and have uniform drug strength of 1/10.
TINCTURES, SOLUTIONS AND TRITURATIONS OTHER THAN 10 PERCENT DRUG STRENGTH
* Acidum butyricum - 1/100
* Acidum hippuricum - 1/1000
* Acidum hydrocyanicum - 1/100
* Acidum picricum - 1/100
* Acidum sulphurosum - 1/100
* Ambra grisea - 1/100
* Ammonium aceticum - 1/100
* Antimonium arsenicum - 1/100
* Arsenicum album - 1/100
* Arsenicum iodatum - 1/100
* Arsenicum metallicum - 1/100
* Arsenicum sulph flavum - 1/100
* Arsenicum sulph rubrum - 1/100
* Aviaire - 1/100
* Bromium - 1/100
* Bufo rana - 1/1000
* Cactus grandiflorus - 1/20
* Calcarea arsenicum - 1/100
* Calcarea bromata - 1/100
* Calcarea caustica - 1/1000
* Causticum - 1/2
* Chlorinum - 1/1000
* Crotalus horridus - 1/100
* Croton tiglium - 1/100
* Cuprum aceticum - 1/100
* Diphtherinum - 1/100
* Elaps corallinus - 1/100
* Glonoinum - 1/100
* Heloderma - 1/100
* Iodium - 1/100
* Kali arsenicosum - 1/100
* Kali chloricum - 1/100
* Kali cyanatum - 1/100
* Kali ferrocyanatum - 1/100
* Kali permanganicum - 1/100
* Lac vaccinum defloratum - 1/100
* Medorrhinum - 1/100
* Mephitis - 1/100
* Mercurius cyanatus - 1/100
* Moschus - 1/20
* Naja tripudians - 1/100
* Natrum arsenicum - 1/100
* Oleum animale - 1/100
* Oleum santali - 1/100
* Phosphorus - 1/667
* Strychninum nitricum - 1/100
* Strychninum phosphoricum - 1/100
* Strychninum sulphuricum - 1/100
* Sulphur - 1/5000
* Tuberculinum - 1/100
* Vipera torva (trituration) - 1/100
* Discuss the utility of vehicles used in the preparation of homoeopathic medicines
* Define mother tincture, mother solution, mother substance.