Kermes mineral

Kermes mineral

Kermes mineral or "Alkermes mineral" (Sb2S3) is a compound of antimony oxides and sulphides, more specifically, antimony trioxide and trisulphide. This substance occurs in nature as the mineral Kermesite. It can be made or obtained in the laboratory by the actions of Potassium Carbonate (K2CO3) on antimony Sulphide. The compound is reddish brown in color and described as a velvety powder which is insoluble in water. It was used extensively in the medical field until the general use of antimony compounds declined due to toxic affects.

History and Uses

The name is derived from the word Kermes as denoting the compound’s red color. The origins of the term is from the French "kermès", which is short for "alkermès", from the Arabic "al-qirmiz" a reference to crimson dye made from the bodies of insects (see Kermes (dye)). I was also known as poudre des Chartreux from a story of how it saved the life of a Carthusian monk in 1714. Because of its reputation as a medication and heal-all (or panacea), the formula and production process for Kermes mineral was purchased by the French government in 1720. Used for centuries in medicine as a health treatment, diaphoretic (causing sweat), anti-inflammatory and emetic it was used through the 19th century and its use extended to epilepsy treatment in addition to hectic fever.

References

* [http://webmineral.com/data/Kermesite.shtml Kermesite]
* [http://people.depauw.edu/bhanson/hutchings/HutchingsAntimony.pdf Paschal, Ashley and Prof. Bryan Hanson "Dr. William D. Hutchings, 19th Century American Medicine and the Use of Antimony Compounds: A Chemist’s Perspective" (pdf)]


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  • Kermes mineral — Kermes Ker mes, n. [Ar. & Per. girmiz. See {Crimson}, and cf. {Alkermes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) The dried bodies of the females of a scale insect ({Kermes ilices} formerly {Coccus ilicis}), allied to the cochineal insect, and found on several species of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Kermès minéral — ● Kermès minéral synonyme de kermésite …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • kermes mineral — noun also kermes : a soft brown red powder consisting essentially of antimony trisulfide and antimony trioxide and used formerly as an alterative, diaphoretic, and emetic …   Useful english dictionary

  • kermes mineral — ker·mes mineral kər (.)mēz n a soft brown red powder consisting essentially of oxides and sulfides of antimony and formerly used as an alterative, diaphoretic, and emetic …   Medical dictionary

  • kermès — [ kɛrmɛs ] n. m. • 1440; ar. al qirmiz, par l esp. alkermes → cramoisi 1 ♦ Insecte hémiptère (cochenilles) parasite de certains chênes, et dont les œufs séchés et traités servaient à fabriquer une teinture écarlate. Cette teinture. 2 ♦ Kermès ou… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Kermes — is a term that can refer to : * the insect genus Kermes , which includes Kermes ilicis and Kermes vermilio * Kermes (dye) made from it, of a crimson color * Kermes Oak the insect lives on *Kermes the name of a berry, used in the once famous… …   Wikipedia

  • Kermes — Ker mes, n. [Ar. & Per. girmiz. See {Crimson}, and cf. {Alkermes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) The dried bodies of the females of a scale insect ({Kermes ilices} formerly {Coccus ilicis}), allied to the cochineal insect, and found on several species of oak… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Kermes ilices — Kermes Ker mes, n. [Ar. & Per. girmiz. See {Crimson}, and cf. {Alkermes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) The dried bodies of the females of a scale insect ({Kermes ilices} formerly {Coccus ilicis}), allied to the cochineal insect, and found on several species of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Kermes ilices — Kermes Ker mes, n. [Ar. & Per. girmiz. See {Crimson}, and cf. {Alkermes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) The dried bodies of the females of a scale insect ({Kermes ilices} formerly {Coccus ilicis}), allied to the cochineal insect, and found on several species of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • kermès — (kèr mès ) s. m. 1°   Terme d histoire naturelle. Petite coque ronde et rouge que forme la femelle du puceron dit coccus ilicis sur les feuilles, les tiges ou les branches d une espèce de chêne vert nommé quercus coccifera, L. ; cette coque donne …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

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