Acidum Gallicum. Prepared chiefly from Oak Galls. 3 HO,C14H3O7+ 2 HO.
Med. Prop. and Action. Powerful astringent. It is best given suspended in mucilage, or with some confection in the form of pills. About gr. iv. of Gallic Acid can be suspended in fl. oz. j. of Water (Garrod). It has a tendency to produce constipation, which may be obviated by an occasional aperient. It produces no sensible effect on the system, even in considerable doses. It3 properties are very similar to those of Tannic Acid, but it is weaker, probably from its inferior solubility. Dr. Garrod, however, considers that, as a remote astringent, it is more effectual than an equal quantity of Tannic Acid, for the latter becomes converted in the blood into Gallic Acid and grape sugar, and hence part only is available. It is said to be the active ingredient in Ruspini's styptic.
Dose, gr. iij. - gr. xx.
Contra-indications. Acute inflammatory states.
In HAemorrhagic Diseases, Gallic Acid is a valuable remedy. Dr. Todd* observes, "In all cases of haemorrhages, whether HAemoptysis, HAematemesis, HAematuria, or other forms depending upon the hAemorrhagic tendency, I have used Gallic Acid with the greatest advantage, and am inclined to look upon it as the best styptic we possess." It is also highly spoken of by Dr. Garrod, in this class of diseases. He observes, that it does not undergo changes in the system, like Tannin; and that it possesses the advantage over the latter, in not so frequently producing constipation. It is only applicable in atonic cases, or where inflammatory symptoms have been subdued. Its efficacy is now generally admitted. Dose, gr. v. or x. three or four times daily. In Hemoptysis, Dr. C. J. B. Williams speaks highly of Gallic Acid in doses of gr. x., and he considers that its efficacy is increased by combining it with a derivative, or, as occasion may require, with Opium, Digitalis, or Tartar Emetic. Dr. L. Earle considers that the anti-hAemo-rrhagic powers of Gallic Acid are greatly increased by its being conjoined with Sulphuric Acid, e. g. Acid. Gallic. 3ss., Acid, Sulph. Dil. f3J., Liq. Opii Sed. f3ss., Infus. RosAe Co. fvj., M., cap. coch. mag. ij., 3 vel 4 quaque hora.
* Mat. Med., p. 579.
Med.-Chir. Rev., July 1846.
1301. In Menorrhagia, it has been found also eminently beneficial; severe cases successfully treated by it are recorded by Dr. Stevenson, Dr. Simpson,§ and others. The latter gave it to the extent of 10, 15, or 20 grains daily; and continued its use during the intervals, as well as at the period of the discharge. Drs. Ballard and Garrod|| state, that in the treatment of Menorrhagia and Leucorrha, no astringent which they have employed will bear any comparison with Gallic Acid, either for the rapidity with which the cure is effected, or in the permanency of the result. In Leucorrha they employed it in injection, with evident advantage.
Ballard and Garrod.¶ They state, that although, like other medicines, Gallic Acid fails sometimes in arresting these discharges, they have more reason to be satisfied with it than with any other remedy which they had formerly been in the habit of using. The excessive expectorations of Phthisis and Bronchitis are also much influenced by its administration. Dose, gr. ij. - v. every three or, four hours.
Mr. Sampson** relates four cases in which the albuminous character of the urine was restored to a healthy standard by Gallic Acid, in doses of gr. x., thrice daily, or oftener. He considers that smaller quantities would have prored insufficient.
* Clin. Lect, Jan. 19, 1849. Lancet, April 19, 1861. Edin. Med. Surg. Journ., July 1843.
§ Loud. Monthly Journ, July 1843.
|| Mat. Med., p. 416.
¶ Op. cit.
** Lancet, Dec. 1, 1849.
1304. In Dyspepsia arising from a relaxed condition of the mucous membrane of the stomach, Mr. Sampson* derived great advantage from Gallic Acid. Excepting in one case, he never saw it produce headache, nor indeed any disagreeable effect. Where the bronchial membrane is extremely irritable, it may cause oppression of the chest. In Pyrosis, unaccompanied by extensive ulceration or malignant disease of the stomach or by disease of the liver, the most marked benefit, according to Dr. Bayes. will follow the use of Gallic Acid.
Sampson, in a case of eight days' standing. The patient took 3j. in twenty-four hours, in doses of gr. xij.; and in four days, the discharge changed from a thick consistence and yellow colour, to the smallest quantity of colourless gleet. We should expect much benefit from it in Chronic cases and in Gleet.