This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Gallae Pharm. Lond. & Edinb. Galls: hard roundish excrescences, found in the warmer countries, on the oak tree; produced from the puncture of an infect, and affording a lodgment for its young till they are capable of eating a passage through: those galls, which have no hole, are found to have the dead infect remaining in them. Two sorts are distinguished in the shops, one said to be brought from Aleppo, the other from some of the southern parts of Europe. The former are generally of a bluish colour, or of a greyish or blackish verging to bluness, unequal and warty on the surface, hard to break, and of a close compact texture: the others are of a pale brownish or whitish colour, smooth, round, easily broken, less compact, and of a much larger size. The two sorts differ in strength, but in other respects appear to be of the same quality: the Aleppo or blue galls are the strongeft, two parts of these being equivalent to at least three of others.
Galbanum purificatum Ph. Lond.
This excrescence is a strong astringent; one of the strongest of those of the vegetable kingdom. It has no smell, or particular flavour; simple astringency being its medical character. The cortical hard part of the gall appears considerably stronger than the interiour more brittle matter. The virtue of both is taken up by watery and by spirituous menstrua: on in-fpiffating the tinctures, both the water and spirit rife unflavoured, leaving extracts of in-tenfe stypticity: the spirituous extract is in smaller quantity than the watery, and somewhat stronger in taste. The galls in subftance have been given in small doses in different disorders proceeding from relaxation, and recommended by some in intermitting fevers, in doses of half a dram and a dram; but it is surely imprudent to venture on such large quantities, of so strong an astringent. Among us they are employed chiefly as an external styptic, in embrocations and injections. * An ointment made with one part of powdered galls and eight of hogs lard is a vulgar remedy for the haemorrhoids in Scotland, and has been found efficacious, (a).