Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Word of the day: styptic

The word of the day is styptic:
  1. serving to contract organic tissue; astringent; binding.
  2. serving to check hemorrhage or bleeding, as a drug; hemostatic.

c.1400, from O.Fr. stiptique, from L. stypticus "astringent," from Gk. styptikos, from styphein "to constrict, draw together." Spelling influenced by L. and Gk. words.


"The main medicinal use of alum was, as it still is today, as an astringent to improve wound healing. The modern styptic used to close up razor nicks occurring after wet shaving is alum-based."

 - David Rickard, "The Many Faces of Fool's Gold", May-June 2016 American Scientist (http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/feature/2016/3/the-many-faces-of-fools-gold/1)

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