Others (in addition to some already mentioned) are medicinal; as the palms, calabash, manchineel, pepper, fustic and a long list of cathartics, caustics, emetics, astringents, febrifuges, vermifuges, diuretics and tonics.
All these salts are mild astringents when applied externally, as they coagulate the albumen of the tissues and of any discharge which may be present.
In the surgical treatment of haemorrhage minor means of arresting bleeding are: cold, which is most valuable in general oozing and local extravasations; very hot water, 130° to 160° F., a powerful haemostatic; position, such as elevation of the limb, valuable in bleeding from the extremities; styptics or astringents, applied locally, as perchloride of iron, tannic acid and others, the most valuable being suprarenal extract.
Many species had a great repute as demulcents, febrifuges, astringents, tonics, purgatives and anthelmintics.
Abortion resembles ordinary labour in its general phenomena, excepting that in the former hemorrhage often to a large extent forms one of the leading symptoms. The treatment embraces the means to be used by rest, astringents and sedatives, to prevent the occurrence when it merely threatens; or when, on the contrary, it is inevitable, to accomplish as speedily as possible the complete removal of the entire contents of the uterus.
Even in cases of very acute intestinal diseases similar treatment is now pursued, and instead of treating dysentery simply by sedatives or astringents, an eliminative treatment by means of sulphate of magnesia is largely employed.
For the purpose of checking the inflammatory processes and lessening discharge from mucous membranes astringents are employed.
Both it and the aromatic solution are powerful intestinal astringents, and are therefore useful in diarrhoea of a serious type, being strongly recommended both as a prophylactic and as a treatment during epidemics of Asiatic cholera.
Substances containing tannic or gallic acid turn black when compounded with a ferric salt, so it cannot be used in combination with vegetable astringents except with the infusion of quassia or calumba.
Externally, it is not absorbed by the unbroken skin, but when applied to the broken skin, sores, ulcers and mucous surfaces, the ferric salts are powerful astringents, because they coagulate the albuminous fluids in the tissues themselves.
Latterly, free irrigation of the bowel with astringents, such as silver nitrate, tannalbin, &c., has been attended with success in those cases which have been able to tolerate the injections.