This section is from the book "Materia Medica: Pharmacology: Therapeutics Prescription Writing For Students and Practitioners", by Walter A. Bastedo. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica: Pharmacology: Therapeutics: Prescription Writing for Students and Practitioners.
These are silicates with powerful adsorptive properties. They have been employed locally as applications to wounds and infected mucous membranes, especially in diphtheria and ozena. Hektoen and Rappaport found that the dry powder of kaolin blown into the nose several times a day for 3 or 4 days removed not only diphtheria bacilli but practically all the nasal bacteria. In the intestinal tract kaolin has been employed to adsorb toxins as in ptomaine and food poisoning, to delay ferment activity, and in conjunction with animal charcoal to adsorb bacteria and check bowel movements in the treatment of severe diarrheal conditions, as in dysentery and cholera. Hess found fullers' earth of more value than kaolin in the intestinal disorders of infants, and Peterson noted that it had a much greater retarding influence on the proteolytic, diastatic and lipolytic activities in intestinal contents. In cholera and dysentery Wolff-Eisner recommends a tablespoon-ful each of kaolin and charcoal mixed with oatmeal gruel three times a day, and Stumpff uses 4 ounces (120 gm.) in 4 ounces (120 c.c.) of water every three hours. If it is not well taken thus, he ices it and gives one dram (4 gm.) every two minutes. Fantus experimented with alkaloids and concluded that fullers' earth has decided antidotal value for morphine, cocaine, nicotine and ipecac; less for strychnine and aconitine, and none for colchicine. He noted that the adsorptive properties varied greatly in commercial preparations. Fullers' earth is known as terra silicea puri-ficata. For kaolin poultice, cataplasma kaolini, see Counterirri-tants.