This section is from the book "A Text-Book Of Pharmacology, Therapeutics And Materia Medica", by T. Lauder Brunton. Also available from Amazon: A text-book of pharmacology, therapeutics and materia medica.
It contains 19 per cent. of the solid salt, NaC2H5O.
Characters. - A colourless liquid of syrupy consistence, becoming brown by keeping. Specific gravity 0.867.
Reactions. - When heated it boils and gives off alcoholic vapours, leaving a white salt which, on being strongly heated, chars. If the white salt be mixed with water and heated, it yields alcohol, and the solution, on evaporation, leaves a white residue consisting almost wholly of caustic soda.
Action. - It is a powerful caustic.
Use. - To destroy naevi. It should be applied by means of a glass rod to the naevus for two or three days successively, and then discontinued until the scab which forms has become detached, after which the treatment should be resumed.