Glycerine. (C6H8O6.) A sweet principle, obtained from fats and fixed oils, in which it exists in combination with Oleic, Margaric, and Stearic Acids, by saponification or distillation with superheated steam. It is a colourless, thick, oily fluid, without odour; freely soluble in water or alcohol. Sp. Gr. 1.26.
Med. Prop. and Action. Nutrient and emollient. It was originally discovered by Scheele, but was first introduced into practice by Mr. Startin, of London, in 1845. He states, that the addition of from 1/4 to 1/8, or even to 1/16 part of Glycerine to any lotion, poultice, or external application, renders it particularly emollient and soothing; that it keeps the parts moistened and soft, and prevents the unpleasant odour of discharges. Its value as an external application depends chiefly on the fact that it does not evaporate or dry at an ordinary temperature. It possesses great powers as a solvent, and many solutions of medicinal substances are made with it: e. g., The Salts of Morphia, Quinia, Strychnia, &c.
Dose, fl. drm. ss. - fl. drs. ij.
Skin Diseases. Mr. Startin advises the annexed formulae, in the following affections of the skin and other tissues: - For Superficial Burns, Scalds, Excoriations, Intertrigo, and Herpes Labiorum, ft Gum. Trag. Pur. 3ij- - ss., Liq. Calcis fiv., Glycerini fj., Aq. RosAe fiij-. M., to form a soft jelly, to be used as ointment or embrocation. For Chapped or Sore Nipples, Chapped Hands, Fissures of the Lips, and Pityriasis, SodAe Bibor. 3ss. - 3j., Glycerini fss., Aq. RosAe fviiss., M. For Prurigo, Lichen, Strophulus, Lepra, and Psoriasis, ft Acid. Nit. Dil. f3ss. - f3j., Bismuth. Trisnit. 3ss., T. Digitalis f3J., Glycerini fss., Aq. RosAe fviiss., M.; to be applied to the affected parts frequently. For Alopecia, Baldness, Dryness of the Scalp, and the Loss of Hair after debilitating diseases, ℞ Spt. Ammon. Co. f3j., Glycerini fss., T. Cantharidis f3j. - f3ij., Aq. Rosmar. fviij., M. Mr. E. "Wilson speaks favourably of it.
* Liverpool Med.-Chir. Journal, Jan. 1859.
Med. Times, vol. xvi. p. 469. Op. cit, 1850.
Startin advises the following liniment to be used twice daily: - ft Lin. Sapon. f3iss., Glycerini fjss., Ext. Belladon. 3j., M.
1315. In Phthisis, Glycerine has been a good deal prescribed as a substitute for Cod Liver Oil, in cases where the latter nauseates. In some cases it has appeared to do good. It is frequently administered in combination with the Syrup of the Iodide of Iron. Dr. Cotton,* however, states that he gave it a fair trial in twenty-three cases. He administered f3j-, f3ij., and even f3iij., twice daily, and from this experience he draws the following conclusions: - !. That it has generally little influence in phthisical cases; and 2. That it will bear no comparison with Cod Liver Oil.
Mayer speaks favourably of the value of Glycerine locally applied to the glottis, as an adjunct to other treatment. Under its use there was manifest mitigation of the symptoms.
Turnbull and Mr. T. Wakley.§ Mr. Wakley remarks, if the surface of the auditory canal be hard, shining, and inelastic; of a whitish appearance; if the natural secretion be wanting, and the membrana tympani be not painful to the touch, Glycerine may be employed with a tolerable certainty of success, even if a partial deafness has been of many years' duration. The meatus should be first well cleaned out, and the Glycerine either dropped into the passage, or introduced on a piece of cotton.