Acidum Tannicum.

Botanical name: 

Related entry: Gallic acid

Synonyms—Tannic acid, Tannin, Gallotannic acid, Digallic acid.


The powdered acid or the crystallized acid is administered in doses of from three to ten grains.

Specific Symptomatology—Passive hemorrhages, relaxed conditions of mucous membranes, which result in the free outpour of mucous; excessive secretions from all organs, leucorrhea with much vaginal relaxation.

Therapy—The agent is not given commonly, where there is active inflammation present. It is not as commonly used at present as in the past. It was freely given in non-irritative diarrheas, in the diarrhoea of consumption, as well as for the night sweats of that disease. It is given for all forms of chronic hemorrhage, especially passive hemorrhage. It was given in all cases of catarrh where there was an excessive outpour of mucous. The chronic forms of specific urethritis are still treated with it by many physicians. It has had at one time a wide reputation in the treatment of Asiatic cholera. Sporadic cholera is also treated by it.

Externally it is applied to excoriations, piles, fissure of the anus or rectum, prolapsed rectum and apthous ulceration of the mouth. It is commonly used as an application to ulcerated and fissured nipples and to chronic ulceration in any location, chronic granular conjunctivitis, and ulceration of the cornea, purulent conjunctivitis, with ophthalmia neonatorum.

This agent is an antidote to poisoning by mushrooms and poisonous fungi and to strychnine poisoning.

For internal use, because of its ready and direct appropriation, gallic acid is no doubt superior to tannic acid.

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.