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BPH 1133











1. Define the term Astringent

Astringent is one of the topical agents. It is the substances that bring about
protein precipitation.
It has low cell permeability due to the protein precipitation action. Hence, the
action is limited to the cell surface and the interstitial surface. It actions are by
contraction, wrinkling of tissues and by blanching (?)
The protein precipitation brought about by astringent is ascribed to the
presence of metallic ions having large charge/radius ratio or strong
electrostatic fields. The metal would form complex with various polar groups
present on the protein or an enzyme. This complexation of important
functional group at the active site of protein or an enzyme causes a drastic
changes in the properties of the protein.
Usually applied on damaged skin topically or to the mucous membrane of the
GIT (?) includes mouth. The precipitated protein and astringent form a
protective layer on the surface.
Astringent are used in forming protective layer, control bleeding, reduce
inflammation, and promote healing. However, many astringents are irritants or
caustics (?) in high doses and can cause redness, pain and ulceration.
Adverse(?) Viable(?) Ascribed (?)
Astringent also known to inhibit the transcapillary movement of plasma
proteins. (?) This help to reduce local edema, exudation and inflammation.
When applied topically in a low concentration, astringents will stimulate the
growth of new tissues. In a high concentration, astringents will have corrosive
effect on contact tissue.
Can be divide into metallic astringent and vegetable astringent.
Metallic astringents such as aluminium compounds (Al acetate, Al chloride),
zinc compound (Zn oxide, Zn chloride), calamine (Iron oxide with zn oxide)
and etc ( silver nitrate, potassium permanganate). Example of vegetable
astringents is tannic acid.
Astringent is basically a substance that causes body tissues such as skin to
tighten and helps in controlling bleeding or other secretion. Astringent is
derived from the Latin word which is adstringere. It means to bind fast.
It can usually divide into 3 groups based on their mode of action.
i. Those that decrease the blood supply by narrowing the blood vessels
such as epinephrine and cocaine.
ii. Those that abstract water from tissue like glycerol and alcohol.
iii. Those that coagulate the superficial tissue layers into a crust. For
example, metallic astringents such as calamine or alum.

i. Styptic action (stopping bleeding by coagulation of blood and
constriction of blood capillary)
ii. Antiperspirant by decreasing secretion of perspiration by reducing pore
size of skin
iii. Anti-inflammatory (by decreasing supply of blood to the tissues)
iv. Antimicrobial (by protein precipitation mechanism)
v. Used to treat diarrhoea
vi. Possess deodorant properties
vii. Decrease sweating and make skin toughter
Promote healing process
In medicine, astringent is used to make the mucous membrane or exposed
tissues shrink. It also mainly used internally to check the secretion of blood
serum or mucous. If astringent is used externally, it will cause mild
coagulation of skin proteins, dry, harden, and protect the skin.
Astringent usually prepared as hydrosols for inclusion in facial toners.

2. List the name of compounds as astringent

External use (have microbial astringent action):
Aluminium chloride
Aluminium sulphate
Aluminium subacetate solution
Aluminium citrate
Zinc oxide
Zinc sulphate
Zinc chloride
Zinc peroxide
Sulphur and sulphur compounds
Sublimed sulphur
Precipitated sulphur
Sulphur ointment
Selenium Sulphide

3. Describe:
SO 4 3 . x H 2 O
a) Aluminium Sulphate,(
Al 2
i. Preparation:
By interaction of freshly precipitated aluminium hydroxide with sufficient
amount of sulphuric acid

After the reaction is over, the resultant concentration get concentrated

and are allowed to crystallise
The crystals are filtered and dried
ii. Properties:
Soluble in water
Insoluble in alcohol
Forms white crystalline powder or shining plates
Almost odourless
Have sweet astringent taste
Crystalline salt dehydrates on heating at 250
Acidic (pH : 2.9)
iii. Pharmaceutical uses:
Use in 5.25% solutions topically
10% used for disinfection of dental cavities
10-15% used in cream as an antiperspirant
Used as liquid deodorant in solution
Used as flocculating (?) agent in the purification of drinking water and
waste water and waste water treatment plants and in paper
As a mordant in the dyeing process
As a coagulant
In paper manufacturing
Helps control algae growth in ponds, lakes and waterways.
Adjust pH level of basic soil
Used in firefighting foam, deodorant, baking soda, leather making,
fertilizer, soaps, drugs and chemical catalysts
iv. How are these compounds assayed
Based upon the complexometric back titration method
A known weight is dissolved in 1 N (?) hydrochloric acid
Then, excess disodium edentate (?) is added
Solution is neutralised to methyl orange
Heated and titrated with standard lead nitrate solution using xylenol
orange as indicator
b) Zinc Sulphate (Zn SO 4 .7 H 2 O )
i. Preparation:
Obtained by heating zinc sulphide in the presence of air under
standard conditions
The heated mass is dissolved in hot water and filtered
The solution is concentrated for crystallisation
ZnS +2O2 Zn SO 4

For pharmacopoeial, it is prepared by digesting metallic zinc granules

in dilute sulphuric acid
Then, the solution is filtered to separate the undissolved metallic zinc




The filtrate is treated with chlorine to oxidise any ferrous sulphate

impurities into ferric sulphate which is then precipitated by hydroxide
and removed
The filtrate is concentrated (?) and left for crystallization
Zn + H 2 SO 4 Zn SO 4 + H 2
Forms crystalline powder
Odourless with an astringent and metallic taste
Effloresces (?) in dry air
Soluble in water and glycerine
Insoluble in alcohol
Acidic (due to hydrolysis of salt; pH: 5)
Acid to solution of phenol red but not to methyl orange
With ammonium and potassium sulphate, it yields double salts
Decomposed when strongly ignited

Pharmaceutical uses:
Use internally
Acts as an emetic acting upon the vomiting reflex (actions are rapid
and not cause local irritation to gastric mucosa)
Externally, it is used in solutions and powders of astringent
0.25% solution is employed for ophthalmic purpose
Aqueous solution of zinc sulphate is employed for protein precipitation

How are these compounds assayed:

Is assayed gravimetrically (?)
Zinc sulphate is converted to zinc carbonate by sodium carbonate
Then, it is converted to zinc oxide by ignition
The residue is weighed
Zn SO 4 + Na 2 CO 3 Zn CO 3+ Na2 SO 4

Zn CO 3 ZnO +CO 2
An accurate amount of substance of about 1 g is dissolved in 100 ml of
Then, it is heated at 90
With constant stirring, solution of sodium carbonate is added until
complete precipitation of zinc carbonate is formed
Caution not to add excess sodium carbonate
The precipitate of zinc carbonate solution is boiled for few minutes
Then, it is filtered through Gooch crucible (?), which is washed with hot
water until free from alkali
The residue is dried, ignited and weight


Pharmaceutical Chemistry: Inorganix, Volume 1, Chatwal, G.R., Arora, M.,

2010, Himalaya Publishing House