Spirits are alcoholic or hydroalcoholic solutions of volatile substances. Generally, the alcoholic concentration of spirits is rather high, usually over 60%. Because of the greater solubility of aromatic or volatile substances in alcohol than in water, spirits can contain a greater concentration of these materials than the corresponding aromatic waters. When mixed with water or with an aqueous preparation, the volatile substances present in spirits generally separate from the solution and form a milky preparation.
[wp_ad_camp_4]Spirits may be used pharmaceutically as flavoring agents and medicinally for the therapeutic value of the aromatic solute. As flavoring agents, they are used to impart the flavor of their solute to other pharmaceutical preparations. For medicinal purposes, spirits may be taken orally, applied externally, or used by inhalation, depending upon the particular preparation. When taken orally, they are generally mixed with a portion of water to reduce the pungency of the spirit. Depending on the materials, spirits may be prepared by simple solution, solution by maceration, or distillation. The spirits most recently official in the USP–NF are aromatic ammonia spirit, camphor spirit, compound orange spirit, and peppermint spirit.