This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
Schottin states that tartaric acid relieves this unpleasant condition, and I can corroborate the observation. For the feet it may be used sprinkled in the stockings, or these may be washed in a strong solution. The powder may also be rubbed into the axillae, with the caution that if irritation be produced it must be replaced by some soothing powder.
This acid, dissolved and sweetened, is sometimes used as a refrigerant drink; and it exerts a slightly sedative effect on the circulatory system. It is sometimes used in place of citric acid, but is not so pleasant to the taste, nor so well borne by the stomach. Of seidlitz powders, the "white paper" contains about 35 to 40 gr. of this acid, which, when dissolved and mixed with the same quantity of soda bicarbonate and 120 gr. of tartarated soda (the contents of the "blue paper"), forms a sedative, refrigerant, and slightly aperient draught. Annesley considered tartaric acid of service in excessive secretion of mucus by the stomach or intestine. In cases of ammoniacal urine with cystitis from calculi, prostatic disease, etc., I have often found it relieve the symptoms, and render the secretion duly acid and clear: full doses of 20 to 40 gr. well diluted should be given three or four times daily for a short time.
Acidum tartaricum: dose, 10 to 30 gr. or more dissolved in water, and sweetened. For effervescent draughts, 20 gr. neutralize 26 gr. of potash bicarbonate, 22 gr. of the soda salt.
Oxalic acid and lime, sulphuric acid, cream of tartar, and alum are sometimes found in samples of tartaric acid; also lead, which may be derived from the vessels in which it is crystallized.