Scientific American, 3: 5 (1860)

CHARCOAL AS A DISINFECTANT

A lecture was recently delivered before the Society of Arts, in London, by Mr. W. E. Newton, in which he attributed various virtues to pent and other vegetable charcoal. He stated that, in the form of a powder, put upon poultices, peat charcoal had been most beneficially employed in some of the London hospitals, especially in cases of offensive sores. It absorbed the putrid effluvia, and was of great benefit in cancers, &c. In many cases, when taken internally, it was productive of good effects in those troubled with disordered stomachs, such as heartburn, sick headache, palpitation of the heart and giddiness. In all diseases of the chest, sore throats, diptheria, or bronchial affections, peat charcoal has been found very useful. In France, a scientific commission, appointed by government to investigate this subject, has reported very favorably regarding the usefulness of this substance for a great number of purposes. A minute quantity of peat charcoal, in powder, boiled with some American corn starch and milk, has been given, with almost miraculous success (in London) for curing dysentery.