The concentrated, glacial, or monohydraled acid is a powerful local irritant, inflaming and vesicating the skin, and even acting as a caustic if too long continued. it has the property of dissolving the albuminous bodies partially, and gelatin and the gelatinous tissues entirely; and hence, in part, its caustic properties.

When strong acetic acid is taken internally, it acts as a poison, and, given to the lower animals, causes death with inflammation and gangrene of the stomach, and sometimes corrosion. One fatal case, occurring in a girl of about nineteen, is reported by Orfila. She was found dying on the highway. The symptoms mentioned were violent pains and convulsions. in the case of a man reported by Dr. Melion, a tablespoonful of the strong acid was taken by mistake. He was seized immediately with intense pain, and swallowed largely of water. On the arrival of Dr. Melion, he complained of a burning pain in the chest and abdomen and a feeling of sickness, his mouth was white, the skin covered with perspiration, and the pulse very quick and small. Milk, carbonate of magnesia, and oleaginous liquids were administered; he was vomited and purged freely, and soon recovered. ( Taylor on Poisons.)

Poisoning from acetic acid should be treated with magnesia or its carbonate and free dilution, and afterwards with opiates, to relieve irritation if it continue. Symptoms of gastric inflammation must be counteracted in the usual method.

Therapeutic Application

Vinegar, diluted with water, and sweetened if desired, may be advantageously used as a refreshing and sedative drink in inflammatory and febrile diseases, active hemorrhages, and other cases of excessive vascular excitement; but, as lemon-juice is more agreeable, and less irritating to the stomach, it is usually preferred. Diluted acetic acid has been used with great success in scarlatina by Dr. J. 13. Brown, of England; and his practice has been followed by Dr. B. E. Schneck, of Lebanon, Pa., with no less favourable results. The dose employed for a child was about a fluidrachm and a half, diluted with water and sweetened, and repeated every four hours throughout the case. {Am. Journ. of Med. Sci., N. S., xxxiv. 27.) Distilled vinegar, or even common vinegar, might be used in the absence of the officinal preparation.

Vinegar is not unfrequently employed with a view to lessen obesity; and it will no doubt sometimes produce this effect; but it must usually be at the expense of the general health, and is therefore a hazardous remedy. An instance is related, in which a young lady was apparently thrown into phthisis by the habitual use of vinegar, with a view to obviate fatness; and it is very intelligible that it should produce such an effect, as nothing is more favourable to the development of the tuberculous diathesis than that depreciated condition of the general health, ascribed to the abuse of vinegar.

With a view to its refrigerant and diuretic properties, it has sometimes been used in dropsy; and I was informed by Dr. Wm. W. Gregory, of North Carolina, that he had employed it with great success in that disease, in the quantity of a pint daily. it is peculiarly adapted to the cases attended with general excitement or local inflammation. in those dependent on, or associated with anaemia, it might be hazardous.

In phosphatic deposits in the urine, it is sometimes beneficial by promoting acidity of that secretion; but its liability to injure digestion would interfere with its long-continued use in this affection.

In poisoning by the alkalies or their carbonates, it is one of the best antidotes, and generally the most convenient.

It is frequently employed with acetate of lead, to prevent its conversion into the carbonate; and, when the same salt is used externally, the turbidness caused by its solution may be corrected by a little vinegar. A few drops of it render the acetate of morphia of the shops, which frequently contains a little undissolved morphia, quite soluble in water.

As a topical remedy, vinegar has been applied to various purposes. Diluted with twice or thrice its bulk of water, it has been used as an enema to procure evacuations from the bowels, to destroy the small thread-worm of the rectum, and to check hemorrhage from the bowels and uterus. it has been thrown up the nostrils to arrest epistaxis. Used in warm fomentation or by lotion, it is supposed to be beneficial in sprains and bruises. Very much diluted, it is useful in clearing the eye from the dust of lime adhering to the conjunctiva. The vapour of vinegar is sometimes refreshing to the sick; and lotions with the liquid to the arms and face, in febrile heat of the skin, are often grateful. it is sometimes applied as a stimulant to gangrenous and ill-conditioned ulcers; and gargles of it occasionally afford relief in anginose affections.

In a memoir on the treatment of cancer, Dr. Broadbent, of London, suggested as a remedy the injection of diluted acetic acid into the tumour. The choice of acetic acid preferably to other acids for the purpose was influenced by the considerations; first, that this acid does not coagulate albumen, and might therefore be readily diffused through the tumour so as to come everywhere in contact with the proper tissue; secondly, that if it should enter the circulation, it would do no harm; thirdly, that as it dissolves the cell-wall and modifies the nucleus of cells on the microscopic slide, it might equally prove destructive to the cancerous ele-ments in situ; and, fourthly, that it had been applied with benefit to cancerous ulcerations. Several trials have been made of the proposed remedy, and reports are favourable as to its efficiency; though experience is yet too limited to admit of a positive opinion on the subject. {Med. Times and Gaz., Oct. 1866, p. 456.)

The concentrated or glacial acid has been employed for producing ru-befaction and vesication of the skin. Applied to warts and corns, it will sometimes cause their removal. it has been highly recommended in porrigo favosa, or proper scaldhead; each one of the small cryptogamic eruptions being touched with it, by means of a camel's-hair pencil. Held to the nostrils, it is serviceable by its pungency in partial or complete syncope, apnoea, languor, and nervous headache. Dropped on sulphate of potassa, with a little oil of bergamot, and enclosed in a small glass-stoppered bottle, it forms an agreeable variety of smelling salts.

Many of the above uses of acetic acid have no relation to its properties as an arterial sedative; but it is proper that they should be mentioned; and there is no other place in which this could be done more conveniently than the present.

The dose of vinegar is one or two tablespoonfuls, which may be given in a tumbler of sweetened water. Three times this quantity may be given by enema.