Vaseline is the trade mark used for a familiar brand of petroleum or petrolatum jelly, and upon other articles put out by the same manufacturer. It is a pale-yellow, translucent, slightly fluorescent, semi-solid, insoluble in water, slightly so in alcohol, freely in ether and may be mixed in any proportion with fixed and volatile oils. This substance, of American introduction, has since 1876 become of considerable importance, having been found an excellent substitute for lard in the preparation of ointments - its quality of never getting rancid giving it a decided value in all medical preparations over the animal fats - and it seems to furnish a good basis for soaps, pomades, cold-creams, etc., thus disputing the virtues of glycerine as an emollient. Taken internally it is said to be of efficiency in the cure of coughs, colds, hoarseness and irritation of the throat. It is extensively used in hospitals as a remedy for burns and scalds, to prevent pitting in smallpox and for every kind of skin disease, inflammation and irritation.
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