C3H5(OH)3. Sp. gr. 1.25.


Glycerin is obtained from the saponification of fats and fixed oils, and contains a small percentage of water. It is a colorless, inodorous, syrupy liquid, of a sweet taste, and freely soluble in water and alcohol, but not in ether or chloroform.

Medical Properties And Action

Glycerin is nutrient and emollient, possessing considerable power as a solvent and preservative. The addition of 1/4, 1/8, or even 1/16 part of glycerin to a lotion or poultice, or an external application, renders it particularly emollient and soothing. It keeps the parts moistened and soft, and corrects or prevents the disagreeable odor of discharges, and it does not evaporate or dry at an ordinary temperature. Glycerin dissolves carbolic acid, creasote, tannic acid, borax, iodine, quinine, iodide of potassium, gallic acid, etc., and its uses as a solvent and a vehicle for other remedies are very numerous. It has been prescribed as a substitute for cod-liver oil, where the latter nauseates. Officinal solutions of medicinal agents in glycerin are known as glycerites (glycerita).

Therapeutic Uses

Glycerin is rarely used alone as an internal remedy, its chief use being external, or in combination with other medicinal substances. It has been prescribed in phthisis, diabetes, acne; externally, as an emollient in acute coryza, chronic follicular pharyngitis, chapped hands and face, fissures, skin diseases, dressing for wounds and ulcerated surfaces, and as a vehicle for the application of astringents to the eye; also to soften cerumen and for the removal of insects from the ear, and for diminishing the secretion of pus; also in burns, abraded surfaces, erysipelas, etc. It has also been employed in smallpox as an emollient and to prevent pitting, a mixture of one part of glycerin and two parts of rose water being applied, after the pustules have broken and the discharge has commenced to dry. It should be applied for a few days until the scabs begin to loosen. Glycerin is also used in croup, locally applied to the glottis; also in deafness, where the auditory canal is dry and inelastic. For an emollient application it is frequently combined with other agents, and used in the form of an ointment or embrocation. Five parts of glycerin rubbed up in a mortar with four parts of yolk of egg, forms a compound which prevents the action of the air on irritated broken or abraded surfaces, and is soothing in erysipelas, cutaneous affections, etc. Although glycerin is so bland in its general character, yet it produces a smarting sensation when first applied to an abraded surface of the skin ; such an effect is thought to be due to the affinity of glycerin for moisture, which it abstracts from the skin so rapidly as to cause the smarting sensation ; mixing the glycerin with a little water will obviate this. Pure glycerin, when mixed with water, will raise the temperature eight or ten degrees, and hence the two should be combined previous to the application.


Of glycerin, Dose 1056 to

Dental Uses

Glycerine is a useful agent in dental practice as a solvent and emollient, as a solvent alone, and as both solvent and emollient, when combined with other substances.

It is employed with great benefit in such diseases of the mucous membrane of the mouth, as the different forms of stomatitis, ulcers of the mouth, aphthae, alveolar abscess, abraded surfaces from the irritation of acrid substances, artificial teeth, etc.

In the treatment of inflamed and ulcerated conditions of the mucous membrane, it is frequently combined with borax, and for chronic alveolar abscess, after the use of more active agents, and diseases of mucous membrane, it is combined with carbolic acid, iodine, sulphite of soda, etc. As an anodyne and emollient application, glycerine is combined with morphine, atropine, acetate of lead, etc., etc. To form ointments and embrocations, it is combined with gum tragacanth, lime water, oil of almonds, rose water, etc., etc.

Dental Formulae

For Chronic Abscess, Ulcerations, etc.


Tinct. iodi. comp. . . Acidi carbolici cryst. . Aquae destillatae . . . Signa. - Apply as a lotion or injection.

Dental Formulae 1058Dental Formulae 1059

For Inflammation and Ulceration of the Mucous Membrane.


Sodii boratis .... Signa. - Apply as a lotion.

Dental Formulae 1060Dental Formulae 1061

For Aphthous Ulceration of the Mouth.


Sodii sulphitis .... Signa - Apply as a lotion.

Dental Formulae 1062Dental Formulae 1063

For Aphthous Sore Mouth of Infants.



Sodium M.


Use on swab, every 2 hours.

Signa 1064Signa 1065

For Chronic Alveolar Abscess, Ulceration of Mucous Membrane, etc.

Glycerini.....partem 1

Acidi tannici . . . partes 2

Signa 1066

For Pulpitis.


Acidi carbolici . . gr.v Tr. aconit. rad., Aq. menth. pip. . aa gtt.ij Acidi tannici . . . gr.j Ol. menth. pip.,

01. caryophilli . aa gtt.xxv. M. Signa. - Apply on cotton.

Signa 1067

For a Sedative Application in Inflamed Mucous Membrane.

Glycerini, Chloroformi . . Signa. - Apply as a lotion.

Signa 1068Signa 1069

For Pulp Canals of Abscessed Teeth. Faught.


Acidi tannici ....

Morphias acetatis . ,

Iodoformi .... Signa. - Apply on floss-silk or cotton.

Signa 1070Signa 1071