CRE'ASOTE, or KateAsoTE, is an artificial organic substance, generally obtained from the products of the destructive distillation of wood. It is procured incidentally as one of the constituents of wood-tar, from which it is separated by a tedious process. The principal supplies are obtained from Stockholm, Archangel, and America. In the pure condition, C. is a colorless oily liquid, with high refractive powers; but the commercial specimens are generally colored yellow or light brown. It boils at 398' F.; does not readily inflame; but when set fire to, burns with a smoky flame. It has a hot burning taste, and is very poisonous to plants and animals. It has a great power of coagulating albumen, and hence may be employed with advantage in toothache; a drop placed on the exposed nerve coagulates the albuminous tissue, and destroys its vitality and sense of pain. The most important property possessed by C.. however, is its antiseptic or preserving power over vegetable and animal organs and structures. Thus, ordinary
meat treated with only one-hundredth of its weight of C., and exposed to the air, does not putrefy, but becomes hard and dry, and assumes the taste and odor of smoked meat. Again, timber treated with C. does not suffer front or other disease; and thus C., in a crude form, is employed in the preservation of wood (q.v.). The crude py-rolig neous acid of commerce, which is often employed in the curing of hams, etc., owes part., at least, of its preserving powers to the presence of a trace of C., which leaves its characteristic odor so v e 11 known as obtained from the burning of wood for the smoking of hams, etc. When used medicinally, C. acts externally by destroying the cuticle; internally, in small doses of a drop or two, it is serviceable in arresting obsti nate vomiting; whilst in large doses it produces nausea and severe vomiting, and, in many cases, fatal results.