They are very astringent, haemostatic and sedative; the strong solution of the subacetate is powerfully caustic and is rarely used undiluted.
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.
It is a powerful local haemostatic, but it only checks haemorrhage when brought directly in contact with the bleeding point.
In pill, and is said to be analgesic and haemostatic in its action.
Medicinally, gallic acid has been, and is still, largely used as an astringent, styptic and haemostatic. Gallic acid, however, does not coagulate albumen and therefore possesses no local astringent action.
So far is it from being an haemostatic that, if perfused through living blood-vessels, it actually dilates them.
This action on the vessels is so marked as to constitute the drug a haemostatic, not only locally but also remotely.
This gives it the rare and valuable property of a remote haemostatic, erroneously supposed to be possessed by so many useless drugs.
Ergot is used in therapeutics as a haemostatic, and is very valuable in haemoptysis and sometimes in haematemesis.