Green polka dot chicken pox cure!
July 24, 2008 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Help me figure out what was the green stuff, "zelionka," that was used on me as a kid when I had the Chicken Pox in Russia!

In Soviet Russia, Chicken Pox has you. Just kidding. OK, now seriously..

Don't know what made me think of this today, but it's really bugging me. In Russia, anyone who got the chicken pox, or any other cut or scrape, would get this bright green liquid put on the wound, it's called "zelyonka" in Russian, which just means "green stuff" more or less. It stung like hell. I'm assuming it's some kind of antiseptic, and it worked really well against chicken pox. Is there any equivalent of it in the US? Does anyone know what the active ingredient was, or what the drug is called, other than "green stuff"?

Yea, imagine all the russian kids running around with green polka dots on their skin (the stuff doesn't wash off right away). Silly. But it worked. So what was it?
posted by KateHasQuestions to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This Post refers to your Zelionka. I couldn't find much else though.
posted by alcoth at 8:40 AM on July 24, 2008

The post referred to by alcoth also names Zelyonka as "brilliant green spirit" and states this is mostly used as a veterinary antiseptic in the west.

There are a number of references to brilliant green on pubmed. I also have found its descriptive name (I think): N-ethyl-ethanaminium sulfate.

WikiPedia has more.
posted by splice at 8:51 AM on July 24, 2008

Wikipedia says it's Brilliant Green. "In Eastern Europe and Russia (and formerly the USSR) the dilute alcoholic solution of Brilliant Green is sold as a topical antiseptic, also known under a Latin name Viridis nitentis spirituosa and a Russian name зелёнка [zelyonka]."
posted by pocams at 8:52 AM on July 24, 2008

There is a product in the US called Absorbine Jr that is green and comes in a clear glass bottle with a sponge applicator on top. It smells. My parents used it for mosquito bites, but it could also be used to cuts/scrapes or other anti-itching needs. I'd supposed it would be around the calamine lotion in the pharmacy.
posted by ijoyner at 9:57 AM on July 24, 2008

That green stuff is used in Armenia too! It is for sure not the same as Absorbine (a product my boyfriend is obsessed with and I hate the smell!).
posted by k8t at 10:34 AM on July 24, 2008

Absorbine is actually sold as a Linament for sore muscles and joints. Most everybody just uses it on misquito bites.
posted by Megafly at 2:30 PM on July 24, 2008

I want me some of this and some of the bright PURPLE stuff my Mum used on me (iodine?), and then all I'd have to do is get chicken pox to have green and PURPLE polka-dot-chicken-pox.

Er, maybe I'll skip that last bit?
posted by Elysum at 4:42 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Your bright purple stuff was probably not iodine, which is more of brownish, and a lot of people are allergic to it, by the way. This is a scientific wild ass guess, but I'd bet the purple stuff was gentian violet.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 5:44 PM on October 9, 2008

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