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Potassium Acetate.

Botanical name:

Related entries: Potassium chlorate - P. bichromate - P. nitrate

Formula—KC2H3O2.

Synonym—Acetate of Potassium.

Physiological Action—It is directly a renal depurant, increasing the amount of solids in the urine, by stimulating both the excretion and secretion it has but little influence upon the excretion of the watery portion of the urine. In large doses it produces aching and even pains in the kidneys. It promotes retrograde metabolism throughout the system and increases waste, thus acting as a direct alterative. This is plainly apparent when the sudoriparous glands are inactive and the skin becomes rough and coarse, or pimples, pustules and other skin disease is present. It stimulates excretion by the kidneys and relieves the irritation of the skin, and thus facilitates the cure of these conditions.

Therapy—This agent may be used instead of the iodide of potassium, as an alterative in eczema and other skin diseases of childhood, and will be found a valuable remedy.

In glandular diseases of childhood, where an iodide is usually prescribed, this simple remedy, combined with vegetable alteratives, will often produce all of the good effects, with none of the unpleasant results, of the iodide. In glandular inflammations, acute and chronic, it is a valuable agent. If given in full doses of from ten to fifteen grains with aconite, every two hours, in the first stages of mastitis, ovarititis or orchitis, it will often abate the disease within eighteen hours. It is most reliable.

If the kidneys are normal it will hasten the removal of morbific products in all acute inflammations, but its administration must be conducted with discretion, and the kidneys must not be over-taxed. It is best given with an abundance of water, that the solid waste stimulated in the kidneys, may be fully diluted.

It neutralizes excessive acidity probably to a limited extent by decomposition and liberation of the alkaline potassium carbonate.

It has been much used in rheumatism, but is now largely replaced by the salicylates, which accomplish the same and often increased results. It is, however, the best remedy of the two where the stomach refuses to tolerate the salicylic acid salts as it often does.

Cloths wet in a hot solution of acetate potassium are most valuable as an application to acute rheumatic inflammation of the joints.

In lithemia its influence is most direct. The dosage prescribed in these cases is usually too large. It works more satisfactorily if given in doses of one or two grains, five or six times daily, quickly relieving the aching in the back, so common to this condition, and promoting a clear and normal urine, reducing, instead of increasing, the specific gravity.

It acts upon the liver promptly, stimulating a flow of bile, and overcoming hepatic congestion. It has long been used in jaundice, and exercises a desirable influence upon the glands of the entire intestinal tract.

It is a remedy for boils and other persistent skin eruptions, and will be found valuable in carbuncle as an active eliminative.


The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.



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