Spirit of Nitre

Files

Nitre.jpg

Title

Spirit of Nitre

Description

Spirit of Nitre, sold by Andrew Robertson, Chemist & Druggist, Markinch; supplied by Duncan, Flockhart & Co., Edinburgh. Spirit of Nitre, or Sweet Spirit of Nitre, is the popular term for the chemical compound ethyl nitrite. Ingested orally, spirit of nitre was prescribed to prevent and treat cold and flu symptoms. Although it was first used in the thirteenth century and maintained popularity for over six hundred years, ethyl nitrite has been declared as extremely dangerous in the United States and is reported to cause fatalities. In spite of this, a traditional Afrikaans and Amish remedy known as Witdulsies which has ethyl nitrite as its main ingredient is still available for sale today.

Directions for use: drink 2.5ml in a wineglass full of water three times a day.

Date

19th century

Archive Reference

OBJ/OBJ/3/2

Collection

Citation

“Spirit of Nitre,” RCPE Artefacts, accessed December 15, 2019, http://artefacts.rcpe.ac.uk/items/show/318.