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Interesting facts about Zelenka

Занимательные факты о Зеленке

Brilliant green (tetraethyl-4,4-diaminotriphenylmethane oxalate) (Viridis nitens) is a synthetic aniline dye triphenylmethane series.

Technical names - basic green 1; No. 42040; main bright green; malachite green

Antiseptic; used in the form of aqueous or alcoholic solutions to lubricate the skin with its diseases and injuries.

Not to be confused with a substance similar in structure - malachite green (tetramethyl-4,4-diaminotriphenylmethane).

Interesting facts about Zelenka

Занимательные факты о Зеленке

Zelenka, born in the USSR, is a symbol of ineradicable will and confident well-being. Zelenka was (and remains nowhere else) a universal means of combating many diseases.

However, not everyone knows what caused such popularity of this medicine, why it is “diamond” and why Western medicine is refusing to use such a magic doctor.

1. The history of its origin dates back to the 19th century and the weaving industry. A young London chemist, William Perkin, was at that time developing a cure for malaria. The result of one of the experiments was a substance colored in an unnaturally bright purple color. Wash this color from clothes was impossible. A quick-witted father from an unexpected experiment “squeezed out” practical benefits and opened an aniline dyes manufacturing plant.

2. Doctors used dyes for their own purposes. They stained the preparations in order to better see the life of microorganisms under the microscope. Suddenly, doctors discovered that one of the dyes, namely brilliant green, destroys microbes. Since then, this antiseptic drug confidently entered into medical practice. Today, many effective antiseptics have been invented, but green stuff is not in a hurry to give way to analogs.

3. Zelenka in a dry form is a lump of golden-green color. The Latin name of this substance is viridis nitentis, in literal translation - brilliant green. One of the scientists, translating the term into French, used the word brillant, which does not contradict the meaning (brillant in one of its meanings is brilliant). Confusion occurred when translating from French to Russian. Brillant was used in the sense of - brilliant. Among all dyes, only brilliant green is distinguished by its pompous name.

4. It should be noted that today brilliant green is used only in Russia and some CIS countries. What caused such hostility from the rest of the world? European scientists find it difficult to give a clear answer. They argue their dislike in the following terms:

  • The mechanism of action Zelenka insufficiently studied. Western medicine does not intend to use the unexplored scrupulously drug Western medicine. How to spend money and time experimenting with green stuff
  • Aesthetic side. Well, the extremely civilized part of the planet does not like this way of “gardening” the patient. Why spoil the appearance when around such an abundance of invisible antiseptics?

By the way, the widespread belief that brilliant green is a strong carcinogen can, in fact, be just a myth. Relevant research on this issue has not been conducted.

5. Do you know that:

  • for a white rat, a dose of 0.05 g / kg is a lethal dose,
  • green paint in industry is used for dyeing (cotton, silk, paper, etc.),
  • the chemical formula of brilliant green is C27H33N2 * HC2O4 * H2O,
  • during the time of Stalin's repressions on the body of those shot, the prisoner number was derived precisely from "brilliant green".

History and etymology

Brilliant green was first obtained in 1879 in Germany. About the antiseptic properties of this substance found out only in the next century. In the middle of the 20th century, brilliant green, durable and cheap in production, became widespread in the Soviet Union.

The name of this dye came from the French language into Russian. In its dry form, brilliant green is a golden-green lump, in Latin viridis nitens, - literally “brilliant green”. When translating into French, the word brillant was used - in French “brilliant”, which the Russian translator mechanically translated as “brilliant”.

Apart from Russia and several countries in the post-Soviet space, diamond green is no longer used anywhere in medicine, although, for example, in Europe, it is on the list of approved medical products. There are three possible reasons. First, the doctrine of evidence-based medicine has been adopted in Western countries, and the molecular mechanism of action of this (and other) dyes is still unknown. Secondly, it is still not known whether diamond green has carcinogenic properties. Thirdly, when used for a drug, the aesthetic side is also important, which is why changes in the patient’s appearance when using the drug are also taken into account in Western medicine.

In the post-Soviet space, a solution of brilliant green is widely known by the colloquial name of brilliant green. In the Soviet and Russian criminal environment there is an expression “to smear (to anyone) with a green forehead,” which originally meant execution (death penalty), and later - just murder (with the help of a firearm). This expression arose during the time of Stalin's repression, when prisoners were shot with green on their thighs when they shot or died prisoners. Therefore, the expression was originally prevalent: “spread your green leg,” and they began to talk about “forehead” later, although I had nothing to do with writing green with green.


In Russia, the quality of the Brilliant Green dye is regulated by TU 6-09-4278-88. The quality of the medicinal product Brilliant green is regulated by the regulatory documentation (ND) of the manufacturers of this antiseptic.


  • Greenish golden lumps or golden green powder.
  • It is difficult to dissolve in water (1:50) and ethanol, soluble in chloroform.
  • Solutions in water and ethanol have an intense green color.
  • The maximum absorption curve at 625 ± 0.5 nm.


  • Upon addition to a 0.2% solution of brilliant green with concentrated hydrochloric acid, an orange coloration appears, and when a solution of NaOH is added, a pale green precipitate of the base precipitates (these reactions are used to establish authenticity).
  • Incompatible with disinfectant drugs containing active iodine, chlorine, alkali (including ammonia solution).


Diamond green is obtained only by synthetic means. Synthesis is reduced to the condensation of diethylaniline with benzaldehyde; 4,4'-bis-diethylaminotriphenylmethane formed in this process is oxidized with lead (IV) or manganese (VII) oxide; the carbinol base obtained in this way, when interacting with oxalic acid, forms brilliant green.

Interesting facts about Zelenka


Занимательные факты о Зеленке

It is produced in the form of bis- (para-diethylamino) -triphenyl-anhydrocarbinol salts with various anions:

  • Oxalate (CAS 23664-66-6) is the most widely used in medicine.
  • Sulfate (CAS 633-03-4) is used for the photometric determination of certain chemical elements and as a pH indicator.
  • The base (CAS 630-98-8).

In medicine

On the territory of the former USSR, a solution of brilliant green is used as an antiseptic drug (in the United States and the European Union, it is permitted but not used as an antiseptic).

As a drug, 1% or 2% alcoholic solution of oxalate is used (in 57% ethanol, less often in the form of an aqueous solution, from 0.1% to 2%, in accordance with the recommended dosage), also available in the form of a pencil.

Is indicated for the decontamination of fresh post-operative and post-traumatic scars, umbilical cord of newborns, abrasions, cuts, and other disorders integrity of the skin, in the treatment of inflammatory processes of the skin - sty ( "barley") meybomita, blepharitis, pyoderma, furunculosis, karbunkuloza, local staphylococcal infection. Used externally, the drug is applied to the damaged surface, capturing the surrounding healthy tissue.

It is highly active and fast-acting antiseptic (active against gram-positive bacteria), also has a fungicidal effect against some pathogenic fungi. Gram-negative bacteria practically does not affect.

In the aquatic environment, it has a detrimental effect on the culture of Staphylococcus aureus (Staphylococcus aureus) at a concentration of 1:10 000 000, its phenolic coefficient is 40 000. Diphtheria stick (Corynebacterium diphtheriae) is highly sensitive to brilliant green.

In the presence of organic substances, the antimicrobial activity decreases: when evaluating the activity of this dye in a medium containing 10% serum, the phenol coefficient is 120 (0.3% of the value in an aqueous medium).

Also used in veterinary medicine.

In medical microbiology

In bacteriology and histology is used for staining cellular media.

Also used for the preparation of agar nutrient medium with brilliant green, intended for replanting crops and identifying bacteria of the genus Salmonella.

In industry

Brilliant green is used as a dye for cotton and silk, paper, wood (stains are unstable to the action of light and wet treatments), used for the manufacture of fan varnishes.

In agriculture

Included in the preparation "Zar-2" used to limit the growth of strawberry and strawberry antennae (composition: chlorocholine chloride - 40%; acetic acid - 6.0%, brilliant green - 0.1%, drinking water - up to 100.0% ).

In chemistry

In analytical chemistry, brilliant green is used in the form of sulfate for the photometric determination of B, V, Sb, Re, Au, Ta, Tl, Hg, Zn, which are part of some anions, for the spectrophotometric determination of iodine.

In toxicological chemistry and forensic toxicology is used as a qualitative reagent on thallium salts.

Also used as a pH indicator for microscopy; with the transition from green at pH 0.1 to yellow at pH 2.6.

In art

The writer N. V. Gornov has a fantastic story "Brilliant Green".

Toxic effect

Under production conditions, causes workers inflammatory skin diseases. With medical use, allergic reactions (itching, hives) are possible. At hit on a mucous membrane of eyes there is a burning sensation, dacryagogue, the burn is possible.

Absolutely lethal dose for white rats is 0.05 g / kg.