1. A viscous fluid, reddish brown to brownish black, with a strong, characteristic, empyreumatic odor, soluble in water and in glycerin; obtained by the destructive distillation of certain bituminous schists, sulfonating the distillate and neutralizing the product with ammonia. It is used in skin disorders; its beneficial effect is due to its mild irritant, stimulant, antiseptic, and analgesic action; used in 10–20% concentrations in an ointment (“drawing salve”).
Stedman’s Medical Dictionary © Wolters Kluwer Health. All rights reserved.