View Full Version : Alum
I once read in a book that prostitutes in the old days (19th Century) sometimes used alum to..Um....put some "grab" in their vaginas. Anyone else heard about this or am I nuts? ( I realize that the two are not mutually exclusive 0
Your memory regarding nineteenth-century prostitutes is accurate. Alum was used as a tightening agent, not simply to add more 'grab', but also to simulate youth and virginity where these characteristics were absent.
Last season's fruit is eaten
And the fullfed beast shall kick the empty pail
I was reading that one of alum's major uses in the past was for dying clothes. Alum treated cloth held its colors better. The Medici family of Florence helped build their fortune by controlling Italian sources of alum. When a large deposit was found near Volterra, the Medicis formented a war to conquer the city.
[[The Medici family of Florence helped build their fortune by controlling
Italian sources of alum. When a large deposit was found near Volterra,
the Medicis formented a war to conquer the city.]]
Hey, thanks for the info! That's a great story, though I'm not discounting the possibility that you just completely made that up.
02-10-2000, 04:45 PM
Hey, I didn't see any mention of Alum's use in shaving, as styptic. Its the best way to seal up a nick...a wee bit painful though. -clint
02-10-2000, 06:57 PM
The column being referenced is
What is alum, and will it make someone's mouth shrink, like in the cartoons? (Apr-23-1999) (http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/malum.html)
02-19-2000, 03:54 AM
bought a new deodorant; potassium alum crystal. i'm curious about the actual chemical ingredients. i know alum can be sulfates of several metals. i just want to avoid aluminum even in a stable state. any idea if this is aluminum free or not? if not,are there any health concerns about using these crystal deodorants? it works like none other yet i want to be careful; after all, this is America, where it's legal to market a product that may well endanger our health. please advise.
02-19-2000, 04:58 PM
[[after all, this is America, where it's legal to market a product that may well endanger our health.]]
Products are more thoroughly testing in the U.S. than in most other countries. I don't think there is any evidence that the aluminum present in antiperspirants is dangerous to your health. You might try antibacterial soap instead?
C K Dexter Haven
02-20-2000, 12:43 AM
Fireswamp, let us know if it makes your armpits pucker, eh?
John W. Kennedy
02-21-2000, 11:19 AM
Products are more thoroughly testing in the U.S. than in most other countries.
Unless, of course, there's enough political clout behind something for the worms we send to Congress to tie the FDA's hands.
e.g., the vitamin scam and so-called homeopathic "medicine".
John W. Kennedy
"Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays."
-- Charles Williams
02-25-2000, 06:17 PM
Cecil has made mention of the possible health risks of aluminum exposure. Basically comes down to, "Maybe, but we're not sure." Me, I'm still using aluminum-based antiperspirant. But I'm a daring kind of guy.
Here's the link: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/971219.html
03-02-2000, 11:41 AM
You can check out this link for the "Alum War" story, and the whole history of Volterra, for that matter.
03-08-2000, 07:26 PM
Wow! I was sure suprised to find a topic I started almost a year agao still active!
Cecil said it. I believe it. That settles it.
04-02-2000, 01:32 PM
We used to put alum water on the marching band's mouthpieces as a prank to make them pucker and only able to produce squawks.
04-04-2000, 10:56 PM
The Perfumed Garden (as you probably know, a 16th century muslim book on sex), has an entry on alum too. http://www.bibliomania.com/NonFiction/Nefzaoui/Garden/chap18.html
If a woman intends to contract her vagina, she has only to dissolve alum in water, and wash her
sexual parts with the solution, which may be made still more efficacious by the addition of a little
bark of the walnut tree, the latter substance being very astringent.
Another remedy to be mentioned is the following, which is well known for its efficacy. Boil well in
water carobs (locusts), freed from their kernels. and bark of the pomegranate tree. The woman
takes a sits bath in the decoction thus obtained, which must be as hot as she can bear it; when the
bath gets cold, it must be warmed and used again, and this immersion is to be repeated several
times. The same result may be obtained by fumigating the vulva with cow-dung.
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.