Alum

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Synonym(s)

Alumen; Alumina alkalicum; Aluminium-Potassium sulfuricum; Aluminium potassium sulphate; Alum stone; Potash Alum; Potassium Alum

Definition
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Double salt with the formula: K2Al2(SO4)4 + 8H2O which was formerly used in the tanning of hides and skins (see below tanning agents)

Field of application/use
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Medically, the astringent property was used to stop bleeding or to close open, weeping wounds. Here, too, the coagulating property is of primary importance.

A still common form of application today is the shaving stick (haemostatic), an alum preparation for the rapid closure of small bleeding defects during shaving.

The astringent and bactericidal effect is also used cosmetically. Today, large "alum stones" are again being marketed as "natural deodorant".