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Gombault's Caustic Balsam

    Gombault's Caustic balsam was a famous French Veterinary remedy that became quite popular in the United States through marketing by the Lawrence Williams Company of Ohio. This is basically a counter-irritant type of mediciation. It is thought that the formula for this medication is similar to the below as written in the Physicican's Formulary of 1912.

 

Croton oil. . . . . . . . . . . .4 drams

Cotton seed oil. . . . . . . . 2 oz.

Oil of camphor. . . . . . . . .1 dram

Oil of turpentine. . . . . . . . 1/2 dram

Kerosene. . . . . . . . . . . . .4 dram

sulphuric acid. . . . . . . . . .20 minims

 

         To the mixture of croton and cotton seed oils, add the sulphuric acid, stirring continually, then add the other constituents. After standing a few days, it resembles the original preparation fairly well. -- (Western Druggist)

     There is a lot of evidence on the internet that colza oil was the original oil used in the French version of this formula. Colza oil is the same thing as Cannola oil. I would think Cannola oil could be used as well as the above listed cottonseed oil. Much easier to fine!

Oil Of Croton. . . . . . . . A fixed oil expressed from the seeds of Croton Tiglium which naturally inhabits India and the Philippine Islands. It is a powerful purgative, irritant poison, rubefacient--all due to local action. Internal overdoses can cause death. It has been used externally for neuralgia, glandular swellings, pulmonary troubles, and pluerisy. One often can apply .06 to .13 cc of the oil directly to the skin's surface or infuse it in ether, chloroform, olive oil, soap liniment, oil of turpentine as a carrier. Another common horse medication that contained croton oil was Dr. Smith's Vita Oil which was very good when applied to stifles and rear-ends.

Cotton Seed Oil. . . . . . . . obviously it is the expressed oil obtained from the cotton plant seed. It has been used for years as a wholesome and digestible food, and is employed in pharmacy, medicine, and surgery in the old days for many of the purposes for which olive oil is employed. In this formula, it is used as a carrier oil.

Oil of Camphor. . . . . . . . . synthetic forms are often imployed today, but years ago it was obtained from the camphor laurel, Cinnamomum Camphora a large tree indigenous to Formosa, Japan, and China.  Essential oil of camphor is employed as a rubefacient and mild counter-irritant to rheumatic and inflamed joints. It may be applied undiluted, or mixed with an equal quantity of olive oil. It is also used as a parasiticide.

Oil of Turpentine. . . . . . . . . Oil of turpentine is the volatile constituent of the oleoresinous exudate obtained from coniferous trees and known as turpentine. The oil is separated by distillation with water or steam; the residue in the still is known as rosin. By subjecting turpentine to a dry heat, an empyreumatic oil is produced, to which the term resin oil is more properly applied. Official oil of turpentine is a thin, colorless liquid, having a characteristic odor and taste, both of which become stronger and less pleasant by age and exposure to the air.  From the King's American Dispensatory: "Externally it is a rubefacient, and is used as a counter-irritant in the form of liniment in rheumatism, paralysis, neuralgia, inflammation of internal organs, in the neighborhood of indolent tumors, to chilblains, indolent and erysipelatous ulcers, caries, sloughing, especially from pressure in exhausting diseases, gangrene, chronic inflammation of the edge of the eyelids, and, combined with linseed oil, in recent burns or scalds.

Kerosene. . . . . . . . . it is the light fraction petroleum product refined from the raw petroleum and used as a common lighting and cooking fuel.

Sulphuric acid. . . . . . . I would suspect this to be diluted sulphuric acid at 10%.

 

 

From:  Veterinary Medicine , Volumes 5-6 (1911)

 

 

Gombault's Caustic Balsam

On page 683 of the August issue a request was made for the formula of Gombault's caustic balsam. To this request about twenty-five replies were received, not all of them the same. The following formula given in "Secrets of Specialists," as that of Gombault's caustic balsam, was sent in by Drs.D. A. Gorman, Kittaning, Pa.; W. A. Penrod, Anna, Ohio; Chas.E. Walcher, Witt, 111.; D. F. Bowersox, Aaronsburg, Pa.; T. L. Brown, Janesville, Wis.; Moyle & Son, Waterford, Wis., and J. W. Morgan, Graham, Mo., all of whom say this formula produces a product essentially the same in physical appearance and therapeutic effect as the well-known nostrum of that name.

Croton oil ...............................drs. 4

Cottonseed oil...................... ozs. 2

Oil of camphor......................... dr. 1

Oil of turpentine ........................dr. 2

Oil of thyme ..............................dr. 1/2

Kerosene .................................drs. 4

Sulphuric acid .........................min. 20

To the mixture of croton and cottonseed oils add the sulphuric acid, stirring continually, then add the other constituents. After standing a few days it resembles the original preparation fairly well.

Dr. G. Ed. Leech, Winona, Minn., thinks the following formula will answer every purpose of that of the original proprietary:

Sulphuric acid............................... (by w'hl) oz. av. 1

Croton oil........................................................ fl. oz. 1

Corrosive sublimate . . ................................. .grs. 60

Camphor ........................................................ . oz.  1/2

Oil of turpentine ...............................................fl. ozs. 6

Cottonseed oil................................................. fl. ozs. 8

Mix the turpentine and croton oil, add the corrosive sublimate in line powder and the camphor, and dissolve, then add the sulphuric acid, taking care that the mixture does not become too hot; when all has been added and the mixture has become cool, add the cottonseed oil. and mix thoroughly.

Dr. Wm. A. Ewalt, Mt. Clemens, Mich., sends the following formula from the Drugstore Register, which he believes to closely simulate the original:

Oil of red thvme .................. 3 parts

Oil of amber .......................18   "

Oil of rosemary ..................10   "

Camphor ............................20    "

Alcohol ...............................30    "

Sulphuric acid ...................90    "

Oil of turpentine ...............340    "

Sulphurated oil ..............2190    "

Mix properly, stirring the acids into the other liquids, mixed and allowed to cool.

Dr. S. R. Howard, Hillsboro, Ohio, sends the following interesting account:

On page 683 of the August issue of Veterinary Medicine a subscriber asks for formula of Gombault's caustic balsam.

Gombault's caustic balsam states on its labels that it is a safe, speedy and reliable remedy for curb, splint, sweeney. poll-evil, grease heel, capped hock, strained tendons, founder, wind puffs, mange, skin diseases, old sores, dropsical affections, inflammations, throat difficulties, swellings or ulcerations, lameness from sprain, ring bone and other bony tumors, and also many other diseases or ailments of horses, cattle, sheep and dogs; will quickly remove all bunches or blemishes, without leaving any scar or other injurious effects. It can also be reduced with sweet or rawlinseed oil and used as a most valuable liniment for all kinds of simple lameness, strains, etc.

The following formula makes a preparation which replaces the secret article to good advantage:

Croton oil ...............................drs. 4

Cottonseed oil ........................ozs. 2

Oil of camphor......................... oz. 1

Oil of turpentine....................... drs. 2

Oil of thyme.............................. dr. 1/2

Kerosene ................................drs. 4

Sulphuric acid ........................m. 20

To the mixture of croton and cottonseed oils add the sulphuric acid, stirring continually, then add the other constituents. After standing a few days it resembles the original preparation fairly well.Western Druggist.

The statement on the Gombault labels bears such a striking resemblance to the one found in "The Farriers and Horseman's Complete Dictionary," by Thomas Wallas, Surgeon (Olaf Schwarzkopf take notice), London, 1764, that I have thought it might be entertaining even if not instructive to your readers.

"Accopum or Acopum, in the farrier's dispensatory, a topical medicine used by the ancients, both externally as an ointment or charge, and internally as an electrary. The accopum was in great reputation for horses, from the time of Theomnestus, who cured a horse he loved exceedingly that was frozen almost stiff, while he carried his master from Paonia into Italy over the mountains, in a violent storm, which killed many horses of the army.

"This preparation is as follows:

"Take of euphorbium two ounces, castoreum four ounces, adraces half a pound, bedellium three ounces, pepper one pound, fox-grease two ounces, oppoponax four ounces, lacerpitium three ounces, of ammoniacum half a pound, pigeon's dung as much, galvanum two ounces, of nitrum five ounces, spuma nitri three ounces, labdanum one pound, of pyrethrum and bay-berries, of each three ounces, cardamums eight ounces. rueseed half a pound, agnus caslus four ounces, parsley seeds two ounces, dried roots of iris or flower-de-luce five ounces, hyssop and caripobalsamum, of each one pound, oil of flower-de-luce and oil of bays, of each one pound and a half, oil of spikenard three pounds, oleum cyprinum, three pounds and a half, of the oldest olive oil you can possibly get six pounds, of pitch not smelling of the smoke, onepound eight ounces, turpentine one p:iund. melt all the liquid ingredients by themselves; beat the hard ingredients and mix them together over a gentle fire; and when they are dissolved and thoroughly incorporated, strain the whole composition and keep it for use.

"This is a very old composition but it is extremely hot and penetrating, and if it could be easily made might be of good service outwardly applied after the manner of a charge in all paralytic numbness, in all old griefs of the joints, sinews, and all other nervous parts where there is either dryness or too much relaxation and softness. The ancients used it in all such cases and likewise were wont to dissolve it and squirt it into the nose in violent colds and in all disorders of the head. They also gave it as a confection inwardly in all cases of malignity, dissolved in a cup of wine.

"But some of the ingredients, as the oil of spikenard and oleum cyprium are not now to be had, though they might be supplied by adding a sufficient quantity of spikenard in powder and increasing the quantity of the oil of bays."

Gibson's Farrier's Dispensatory.

Another reader sends us the same formula for the caustic balsam and adds this one, which is also given in "Secrets of Specialists," for "Kendall's Spavin Cure":

The following formula makes a preparation substantially the same as the proprietary liniment:

Turpentine ...........................oz. 1

Alcohol ................................ozs. 2

Camphor............................. drs. 4

Iodine (crystals) ...................grs. 25

Petroleum oil (heavy) dr. l4 In the mixed oils without tillering dissolve the camphor and the iodine.

Readers have asked during the month for the formulas of "Spohn's Distemper Cure," "Save The Horse," "Absorbine," "Reducine," "Visio."

All of these, like "Gombault's caustic balsam," are much used proprietaries. They are secret medicines, notwithstanding "there are no secrets in medicine."

Veterinarians who are able to inform their clients just what their (the client's) panacea is composed of and to make it for him at a fraction of the cost of the original, are in a fair way to increase their income and save money for their clients at the same time. Therefore we ask those who know the approximate formulas of any or all of the above to give us this information in order that we may pass it on to the whole profession.

 


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