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.
The astringent compounds of iron with a mineral acid are excellent local styptics in all forms of capillary hemorrhage, such as from leech-bites, wounded gums, hemorrhoids, bleeding from the nose, etc. The part should be thoroughly cleansed from clot, and then a plug or compress moistened with the solution should be firmly pressed upon it, or in cavities an injection (diluted) may suffice. Sir James Simpson strongly commended a solution of the perchloride in glycerin, used it freely for all forms of hemorrhage, and with special success in some severe cases of bleeding from the vagina and uterus (Medical Times, i., 1858, p. 79). Demarquay, Lallemand, and Deleau were using the same haemostatic with great advantage in France about the same time (Gazette des Hopitaux, 1858-59).
The liquor ferri perchloridi fortior (British Pharmacopoeia) is quite serviceable for the purpose, but is more acid, and proves often more irritating than need be, and may be well diluted with an equal part of water or glycerin. The liquor ferri sulphatis is preferred by many surgeons, and by others the liquor ferri subsulphatis, or Monsel's solution 1 of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia; this is made with sulphate of iron, sulphuric and nitric acids, and is much less caustic and irritant than our solution; it is used in rectal hemorrhage - 1 part to 4 of water (Allingham: Lancet, i., 1874) - and the "haemostatic cotton" used by Marion Sims is prepared with it. The so-called "iron alum" is probably an equally effective preparation.