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March 24, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(12):756. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460120052008

There has been much difference of opinion as to the mode of action of the group of medicaments designated astringents, and as to whether this is merely local or general as well. Thus, the constringent effect of tannic acid has been attributed to its affinity for water, to effect its solution; it has almost been thought to act directly on the blood-vessels. Silver nitrate and lead acetate have been experimentally shown to cause contraction of blood-vessels when applied locally; and iron chlorid also in slight degree; while tannic acid was thought to cause dilatation. Tannic acid was found, further, not to interfere with the artificial digestion of proteids. Further, the ability of tannic acid to coagulate albumin was lost on the addition of sufficient alkali to yield a slightly alkaline reaction. These conditions are present in the blood and, in this way, it has been thought, tannic acid may exert

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