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VINEGAR (Acetic Acid)

Category: Medical Uses of Some Common Household Articles

Vinegar contains from six to seven per cent acetic
acid. Dilute acetic acid contains six per cent pure acetic acid. The pure
or glacial acetic acid is a crystalline solid at 59 degrees F., takes up
moisture readily so should be kept in well stoppered bottles. Acetic acid
is a strong corrosive poison; if taken internally, causes vomiting, with
intense pain, followed by convulsions and fatal coma. If the acid remains
in the stomach for some time it may eat its way through the stomach wall.
In cases of poisoning by acetic acid, milk or flour and water should be
freely given and vomiting produced. Weak alkalies should also be given as
antidotes. Glacial acetic acid is used as an application to cancer of the
skin, ulcers, warts, growths in the nose, ringworm, lupus (Jacob's Ulcer)
and other ulcerous growths. Vinegar or dilute acetic acid is given to
check night sweats and to relieve diarrhea. It is also used in treating
painter's colic after the constipation has been relieved, as an antidote
to poisoning by caustic alkalies; externally to prevent bed sores,
relieves headaches, checks moderate bleeding from leech bites, superficial
wounds, nosebleed and in post-partum hemorrhage. It inhibits the growth of
micro-organisms. Cases of catarrhal, membranous and diphtheric croup are
benefited by the vapor of vinegar diffused through the sick room. A
compress saturated in vinegar and placed over the nose until consciousness
returns is recommended to prevent or relieve vomiting, nausea and headache
following the inhalation of chloroform.

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