Glycerine is a colorless liquid now generally obtained from decomposi-tion of tallow. It is odorless and has a neutral reaction. Abstracts moisture from the air. Specific gravity is 1.25. It will dissolve in water and alcohol and to some extent in chloroform, but not in ether. In density it is about like syrup, has a sweetish taste and it feels oily to the touch. If heated much it will decompose, giving off irritating fumes. Glycerine has remarkable solvent power, dissolving alkalies, vegetable acids and neutral salts. Will dissolve iodine, bromine, tannates, chlorine, tannin and many of their compounds. Heated with strong nitric acid one of our most powerful explosives, "nitro-glycerine" results. Glycerine is a solvent of pepsin, and if taken internally will abstract this digest from the mucous membrane of the stomach. As it antagonizes decomposition it is of some value as an antiseptic although only in a mild degree. When taken internally it produces a feeling of warmth or heat and in large doses may produce irritation and symptoms similar to alcoholic poisoning. Increases the quantity of urine and colors it dark. Glycerine is readily eliminated by the kidneys. On account of its power of abstracting water from tissues it is of great value in all conditions either local or internal where there is a demand for an action of this kind. On this account it is of value in constipation as it will act as a hydragogue cathartic if given internally or per rectum. In congestion of the uterus or in subinvolution of this organ where we wish to draw the watery secretion from the parts it is of value. In some cases of acidity of the stomach it is useful. Locally we think of it in chapped hands and conditions of similar nature.
The Materia Medica and Clinical Therapeutics, 1905, was written by Fred J. Petersen, M.D.