Gage's Alum Hematoxylin

Ingredient Amount Function
Hematoxylin 1 g Dye
Potassium alum 40 g Mordant
Distilled water 1 L Solvent
95% ethanol 20 mL Solvent
Chloral hydrate 20 g Oxidant


Compounding procedure
Not given, but based on experience:–
Dissolve the hematoxylin in ethanol.
Dissolve the Alum in water.
Combine solutions, and add chloral hydrate.


  1. Bring sections to water with xylene and ethanol.
  2. Place into the staining solution for an appropriate time.
  3. Rinse with water and blue.
  4. Rinse well with water.
  5. Counterstain if desired.
  6. Dehydrate with ethanol, clear with xylene and mount with a resinous medium.

Expected results


  1. The formula indicates the solution is progressive.
  2. As no oxidising agent is present the solution needs ageing.
  3. The appropriate time should be determined by trial, but 5-10 minutes should be adequate.
  4. Blueing is done with alkaline solutions such as hard tap water, Scott’s tap water substitute, 0.1% ammonia water, 1% aqueous sodium acetate, 0.5% aqueous lithium carbonate etc.


Gray, Peter. (1954)
The Microtomist's Formulary and Guide.
Originally published by:– The Blakiston Co.
Republished by:– Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co.




Translate in
Google Translate