Spirit of Nitrous Ether

Nitrous Oxide compound, also known as Sweet Spirit of Nitre. Spiritus Nitri Dulcis.

"Sweet spirit of nitre appears to have been known so early as the fifteenth century, if not previously. It is a nervous stimulant, with the property of increasing the secretion of urine or perspiration, (according as it may be directed to the kidneys or the skin). In its local action, it is somewhat excitant to the stomach, and, therefore, operates as a carminative. If allowed to evaporate on the surface, it occasions a sensation of coldness and it probably produces a similar effect in the stomach upon its first administration, whence its reputation as a refrigerant may have originated.

It is frequently given, in connection with other diuretic medicines such as cream of tartar and squill, to encourage urination. This condition attends febrile diseases, and occurs in children without assignable cause, suggesting some disturbance in the nervous functions. In such cases, sweet spirit of nitre is habitually resorted to, and often with complete success. When there is uric acid deposition in the urine, it may be usefully combined, in many instances, with the alkaline carbonates or bicarbonates. in strangury it is frequently useful by diluting the urine, and is much employed in that affection resulting from blisters."

"Dr. Bowditch, of Boston, has used it advantageously, by inhalation, in several cases of cough, hoarseness, and irritation of throat, which it sometimes relieves almost instantaneously. From what has been said, however, of its poisonous effects, when too freely taken in this way, it is obvious that its administration requires caution. "

- from A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica Vol. 2 by George B. Wood

Spirit of Nitrous Ether