Characters. - In colourless, transparent prisms or halves of prisms, of the right rhombic order, generally eight-sided; tasting like common salt.

Impurity. - Bitartrate of potassium.

Test. - Entirely soluble in cold water.

Reactions. - Heated with sulphuric acid it blackens, evolving inflammable gases and the odour of burnt sugar (tartrate). It imparts a yellow colour to flame (sodium). A strong solution gives a crystalline precipitate with a small quantity of acetic acid (potassium).

Dose. - As a purgative, 1/4 to 1/2 ounce; as a diuretic, 30 to 60 grains.

Uses. - In large doses it retains water, quickens peristalsis, acts as a purgative, and is chiefly used as such. In small doses it is absorbed from the intestines, is converted in the blood into carbonate of potassium and sodium, causes diuresis and renders the urine alkaline. It may be used as a remote antacid.

Sodii Acetas, B.P. Appendix, and U.S.P. Acetate of Sodium, U.S.P. NaC2H3O2.3H2O; 136.

Uses. - In testing and in preparing acetic ether.