(Including Citrus Limonum, the lemon. [ “Dr. H. Bence Jones has shown that 3j of lemon-juice contains gr. 27-28 of citric acid, and only gr. 3/4 of potash; so that for all practical purposes it may be considered a solution of free citric acid.” (Stille.) ])
Citric acid. Obtained from lemon-juice, of which it is acid principle.
Dr. G. O. REES gave healthy man 3j of lemon-juice 3 times daily for 3 days. Pulse, which was naturally 75, and full, after 5 doses was 70, and much weaker and more compressible; there with feeling of general depression. On 3rd days pulse 66, and still weaker. Urine was always acid, and natural in quantity till 3rd d., when it increased somewhat: sp. gr. then 1017, lithic acid deficient. (Edinb. Medorrhinum and Surg. Journ., i, 241.)
2. When given in daily doses of 3xij lemon-juice temporarily causes an excessive acidity of the urine, and gives a deposit of free lithic acid, which is the very opposite effect to that produced by the citrate of potash and other vegetable acid salts. (BENCE JONES, Medorrhinum Times and Gaz., 1854, ii, 407.).
1. During a residence of twenty years in the West Indies I have only seen one case of scurvy, and that case was decidedly brought on by the excessive use of citric acid, which an American gentleman had been recommended to use as a preventive against the yellow fever (W. STEVENS, On the Blood, p.451.)
2. KLUSEMANN observed three cases of haemorrhage, followed by death, apparently resulting from large use of lemon-juice in disease not naturally tending to such events. The haemorrhage was in two cases from the lungs, in one from the bowels. (SCHMIDT’s Jahrbucher, lxxiv, 159.).
Experiments on animals
Orfila ranks citric acid with the irritant poisons. With 3ss Mitscherlich killed a rabbit in 20 minutes; 3j did not kill a larger animal, but killed in 27 minutes – some hour. The animals showed the strong action of the poison upon the spinal cord. There was spasm of the muscles of the back, of respiratory muscles and masseters; often opisthotonos. Sensibility was much diminished, and heart’s impulse enfeebled. On examination no inflammatory appearances were observed in stomach or bowels. The mucous membrane was uninjected, but softened in spots. The large external veins were filled with fluid blood, and the blood flowed easily from a vein when opened. The blood itself was very thin, and coagulated slightly, if at all. These conclusions agree with those obtained by Schroff. (STILLE, op. cit., sub voce.).