The hairs of the seed of Gossypium herbaceum Linne, and of other species of Gos-sypium (nat. ord. Malvaceae), freed from adhering impurities, and deprived of fatty matter.


Tropical Asia and Africa; cultivated in tropical and subtropical countries.


White, soft, fine filaments, appearing under the microscope as hollow, flattened and twisted bands, spirally striate, and slightly thickened at the edges; inodorous and tasteless; insoluble in ordinary solvents, but soluble in Copper Ammonium Sulphate solution.

Pyroxylinum. Pyroxylin. Gun Cotton. Soluble Gun Cotton. Calloxylin

Synonyms. - Gun Cotton. Soluble Gun Cotton. Calloxylin. Purified Cotton, 100; is immersed in a mixture of Sulphuric, 2200; and Nitric Acids, 1400; washed with a large quantity of Water, drained and dried.


1. Collodium. - Collodion. Pyroxylin, 30; dissolved in Ether, 750; and Alcohol, 250.

2. Collodium Flexile. - Flexible Collodion. Collodion, 920; Canada Turpentine, 50; Castor Oil, 30.

3. Collodium Cantharidatum. - Cantharidal Collodion. Synonym. - Blistering Collodion. Cantharides, 60; by percolation with Chloroform, evaporation and solution of residue in Flexible Collodium, 85.

4. Collodium Stypticum. - See Tannic Acid, p. 593.

Action And Therapeutics

The uses of cotton are well known. Cotton, lint and gauze are frequently medicated, e.g., Sal Alembroth, 2 per cent.; Boric Acid, 5 or 10 per cent.; Salicylic Acid, 5 per cent.; Carbolic Acid, 5 per cent.; Iodoform, 5, 10 and 50 per cent.

Pyroxylin is only used to make collodion. Collodion, when painted on the skin, rapidly dries from evaporation of the ether, and covers the skin with a thin protective film. Flexible collodion has the same properties, but it does not crack, as collodion often does. These preparations are protective to small wounds, and are used after slight operations. If the end of the urethra or prepuce is closed at night with collodion, nocturnal incontinence may sometimes be cured.