Copper is an essential nutrient for humans, and all tissues in the human body contain traces of it. The total amount in the adult body is 100– 150 mg. Many essential enzyme systems are dependent on traces of copper; on the other hand, there is no evidence that dietary deﬁciency of copper ever occurs in humans. Infants are born with an ample store, and the normal diet for an adult contains around 2 mg of copper a day. It is used in medicine as the two salts, sulphate of copper (blue stone) and nitrate of copper. The former is, in small doses, a powerful astringent, and in larger doses an irritant. Both are caustics when applied externally. Externally, either is used to rub on unhealthy ulcers and growths to stimulate the granulation tissue to more rapid healing.
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