From The Medical Times, A Monthy Journal of Medicine, Surgery, and the Colateral Sciences,
Alfred Kimball Hills, M.D. Editor, New York
There Is a Difference. That there is a distinction in use and abuse, as well as a recognizable difference between a mild wine adapted for the sick, and the promiscuous use of strong drink, cannot be better shown than through the following extract of a recent letter referring to Vin Mariani: "The dangers of alcoholism would be avoided if no other stimulant were taken for mental or physical trials than that offered by the generous Vin Mariani.—Mesureur." The full importance of this will be better appreciated when it is recalled that Mesureur is the Director of Hygiene and Public Health in Paris, France, and it was he was approved and signed the radical governmental posters against alcoholism.
Since M. Mariani first adopted Coca to the exigencies of daily life, when nearly half a century ago he introduced Vin Mariani to the medical profession, it has been his pride to maintain its high standard as it was then presented and accepted by physicians everywhere. So positive was this recognition that endorsements have been showered upon Vin Mariani as a tonic-wine of unfailing excellence. Such testimonials have been appreciated because they were unsolicited expressions of gratification. It is proposed to jealously guard and to perpetuate this distinctive standing.
"A Conspiracy to Establish a Physicians' Trust." We have received a reprint from "The National Druggist" of St. Louis, entitled "The Legislative Schemes of the American Medical Association," with a request for publication. The article is too long for this purpose, but if any of our readers are desirous of perusing this article, they can obtain a copy from the publisher, as above.
Needed Legislation. Increased attention is wisely directed to an alarming extent of sophistication in foods and drugs; the former commonly being contaminated by preservatives which are injurious, and the latter, under guise of harmless remedies, often owing efficacy to dangerous narcotics. This deplorable practice has been officially shown to be so widespread and demoralizing as to demand rigid legislation to protect both the consumer and the reputable merchant.
Several States have framed laws against the falsity of traffic in the commodities essential to life and health, and a bill isnow before the Congress which, if enacted, will afford government protection against such abuse, and, by guarding against misrepresentation by misbranding, will extend authoritative assurance to those who place dependence upon recognized remedies in time of need.
The investigations prompted by state and national measures have necessitated critical examinations of various proprietary preparations as to their purity and fitness. Notable instances of such work were the investigations of the Ohio Pure Food Commission, the State Board of Health of Pennsylvania, and more recently the Illinois Pharmacy Board. In each instance Vin Mariani, analyzed from examples purchased in the open market, was proved to be precisely as represented and in conformity with the strict governmental analysis enacted in France, Germany, Russia and elsewhere in Europe.
This clearly indicated that the high standard of this preparation, established nearly half a century ago, continues unaltered, and is a justification for the distinctive endorsements which physicians everywhere have voluntarily accorded this unique restorative-tonic.
The New Pharmacopoeia.—The eighth decennial revision of the United States Pharmacopoeia, which was due in 1900, became official on September 1, 1905. A number of articles considered obsolete have been dismissed, and nearly an equal number of new substances have been added. An effort has been made to bring tinctures to a uniform 10 per cent, strength, while drugs containing alkaloids must be assayed and brought to a standard before being dispensed. Among the important additions are cocaine and Coca Wine, the recognition of the latter endorsing a flattering tribute to M. Mariana, who was the originator of this preparation which has only now been made official. Coca leaves, according to the U. S. P., must contain 0.5 per cent, of ether soluble alkaloids, by weight, and Fluid Extract of Coca must contain 0.5 grammes of ether soluble alkaloids, by weight, in each cubic centimeter. That means cocaine. Nothing is said of the several other alkaloids contained in Coca which are not soluble in ether. Surely great bodies do move slowly. Cocaine was discovered nearly fifty years ago, and it is an equal number of years ago that M. Mariani first introduced Coca Wine to the medical profession. Notwithstanding the fact that "Vinum Cocae" is now official, physicians who desire the original preparation must carefully specify Mariani in order to obtain the results which have for years been advocated as due to Coca—made available in Vin Mariani.—The Coca Leaf, Sept., 1905.
Always a Leader. Vin Mariani has never been a follower, and has never been driven into set lines. It is unique, and stands alone. From its first inception it was planned upon purely ethical principles. It is a remedy prepared for the medical profession from substances not readily obtainable until presented in the agreeable form offered in this unique tonic. Without legislation to compel the truth it has always stood for precisely what it is represented, a blending of true coca in a nutritious French wine, each half-litre bottle presenting the desirable medicinal constituents of two ounces of fresh coca leaves. Imitators following upon the success of Vin Mariani have attempted to foist upon the profession so-called coca-wines extemporaneously prepared from cocaine and cheap grades of wine. It has not required much investigation to piove their faltity and perniciousness while every effort to malign this standard coca preparation has invariably resulted in strengthening the vast testimony, from every part of the world where medicine is practiced, which has voluntarily endorsed the integrity and usefulness of Vin Mariani.—The Coca Leaf, May
The alkaloidal yield of coca varies with the quality as well as with the variety of leaf used. The large Bolivian leaf being rich in cocaine to the exclusion of the other alkaloids, is employed by chemists for the extraction of cocaine, while the small leaf varieties inversely being low in cocaine and rich in aromatic bodies and those alkaloids which act upon muscle, are employed medicinally for such physiological properties. A blending of these latter varieties of aromatic coca is employed in the preparation of Vin Mariani. It is the refinement of selection of appropriate coca from long years of experience, and skill in its preservation and manufacture, to which this unique tonic owes its restorative properties.—The Coca Leaf, March.