Vinegar. Sp. Gr. 1.008 to 1.022. Impure Dilute Acetic Acid, prepared from French wines by the acetous fermentation.
Med. Prop. and Action. The different kinds of Vinegar (Acetum Gallicum, Wine Vinegar; Acetum Britannicum, British Vinegar; Acetum Destillatum, Distilled Vinegar), although differing considerably in strength and purity, agree very nearly in their therapeutic action. Wine Vinegar is adopted, as purer than British Vinegar, in the British Pharmacopoeia. Diluted Vinegar forms an excellent lotion for sponging the body in fevers; under the same circumstances, it is an agreeable refrigerant drink, when properly sweetened; sprinkled about a sick-room, it is extremely refreshing; and the vapour is useful in many affections of the throat. " In its undiluted state," observes Dr. A. T. Thompson,* "it is a powerful stimulant, and, when daily taken in large doses, in its diluted form, it produces great uneasiness, cramps, and colic, and gradually destroys, so effectually, the texture of the stomach, and its digestive functions, as to cause emaciation of the body." When it is only occasionally taken, Largely diluted with water, and moderately sweetened, it displays decided soothing and refrigerant properties, and is employed with advantage in inflammatory and bilious fevers, quenching the thirst, calming the vascular excitement, re-establishing the perspiratory function of the skin, and restoring the action of the kidneys. The refrigerant influence of diluted vinegar on the surface is undoubted: it not only diminishes heat, but allays pain. In. Hemorrhagic affections the cold feeling which it produces on the skin is extended to the whole system; hence the benefit derived from it in internal haemorrhages, and in inflammation of the cavities; as, for instance, in uterine hemorrhage when applied to the thighs and abdomen; and in acute meningitis, applied as a lotion, to the shaved scalp. In general fever, sponging the body with vinegar and water is applicable to every case in which the skin is pre-ternaturally hot, when no idiosyncrasy stands in the way. In combination with Ammonia (Liq. AmmoniAeAcetatis) it acts on the skin; combined with Soda and Potash, on the kidneys. In Narcotic Poisoning it has been recommended to be administered after the stomach has been evacuated by an emetic. The fact, however, of its forming a soluble salt with morphia would negative its use in poisoning by Opium. It proves a direct antidote in poisoning by the Alkalies. In these cases it is a safe and efficient remedy.
Dose, fl. drm. j. to fl. drs. iv., in any bland vehicle.
In Exanthemata, and other febrile affections, sponging the body with vinegar diluted with water (1 part of vinegar to 6 or 8 of water) is a most soothing and refreshing application. The whole surface of the body may be gently bathed with it, two or three times daily. It may be used warm or cold, according to the feelings of the patient. A somewhat similar mixture, sweetened to the taste, forms a refrigerant drink in the same class of cases.