RE: [Histonet] Mayer's hematox

From:"Tony Henwood"

We have used Garvies with good results:

Garvey's Modified Mayer's Haematoxylin


This solution is a progressive haematoxylin that uses 10% less alum. Chloral hydrate, because of its toxicity, has been replaced with ethanol, a more effective penetrator and bacteriostat. Mercury oxide has been replaced with sodium iodate.

Fixation:      10% buffered formalin.

Microtomy:     paraffin sections at 5um.


Dissolve 45g ammonium or potassium alum in 900ml distilled water with the aid of heat. Dissolve 2.5g Haematoxylin (CI 75290) in 100ml absolute ethanol. Combine above solutions and add 0.2g Sodium Iodate and 1g citric acid. Mix well. The solution is stable for several months.

1.   Dewax and hydrate sections.
2.   Stain in modified Mayer's Haematoxylin 40secs.
3.   Wash in warm water 5min.
4.   If required, counterstain in Eosin solution.
5.   Dehydrate, clear and mount.

Garvie, W., (1991) J. Histotechn 14(3):164-165.


Tony Henwood JP, MSc, BAppSc, GradDipSysAnalys, CT(ASC)
Laboratory Manager & Senior Scientist
The Children's Hospital at Westmead,
Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, 2145, AUSTRALIA.
Tel: 612 9845 3306
Fax: 612 9845 3318

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Anthony Reilly
Sent: Thursday, 6 April 2006 3:52 PM
To:; julien_lambreydesouza@UQAR.QC.CA;
Subject: Re: [Histonet] Mayer's hematox

We have been using Mayer's in our lab for over 30 years.  The mixture 
we use is similar to John Kiernan's except we use acetic acid and do 
not boil.  A number of years ago we tried this mixture without the  chloral hydrate due to the inconvenience of having to continually 
renew our licence to handle it.(chloral hydrate is a drug often  prescribed for use as a sedative) There was no change in staining without chloral hydrate and as 
John states I query the 'preservative' tag.  It certainly does not  preserve the quality of the stain as we generally make large  batches for use in the lab.

We use it as a progressively for 1-2 minutes as a counterstain for IHC, PAS etc and regressively  for H&E staining with a time of 4 minutes. Though as stated it can be applied for up to 10 minutes depending of differentiation used.


Tony Reilly
Chief Scientist
Anatomical Pathology
QHPS-Prince Charles Hospital
Rode rd Chermside Q 4032
Ph: 07 3350 8543
Fax: 07 33508546

>>> "John A. Kiernan"  04/06/06 7:31 am >>>
You should have said!  Its:

Haematoxylin  1G
Sodium iodate  0.2G
Potassium alum  50G
Citric acid  1G
Chloral hydrate  50G
Dist. water  1000ml

Allow the first 3 items to dissolve in the water
overnight. Add citric acid and chloral hydrate,
then boil for 5 mins. Ready for use when cool.

D & W call the chloral hydrate a "preservative,"
which is a statement I don't understand.
Preserving what? This matter has been discussed on
Histonet in the past (not by me), and the
assertion has been made that Mayer's haemalum
works just as well without the chloral hydrate. I
can't remember who said that; I've used only the
complete mixture myself. It would be worth
searching in 
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,   Canada   N6A 5C1
Julien Lambrey de Souza wrote:
> Thanks,
> but actually I meant I needed the recipe for making Mayer's hematox 
> according to Drury and Wallington (We don't have the book here and 
> although I ordered it, I won't have it in time for the due dates...).
> Julien.
> Le 06-04-05, à 13:09, John A. Kiernan a écrit :
> > From the 4th edition (1967), p.127:
> >
> > "Stain for 5-10 minutes."
> > --
> > -------------------------------
> > John A. Kiernan
> > Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
> > The University of Western Ontario
> > London,   Canada   N6A 5C1
> >    kiernan[AT]
> > 
> >
> > _______________________________
> > Julien Lambrey de Souza wrote:
> >>
> >> Hello,
> >>
> >> Does anyone have the protocol for Mayer's hematox from Drury and 
> >> Wallington's book (Carleton's histological techniques)? I need to 
> >> compare with other protocols I have.
> >>
> >> Thanks'
> >>
> >> Julien Lambrey de Souza
> >> Research assistant, Evolutionary biology
> >> University of Quebec at Rimouski
> >>
> >> Tel: (418) 723-1986 #1714
> >> Fax: (418) 724-1849
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Histonet mailing list
> >>
> >> 
> >

Histonet mailing list

This email, including any attachments sent with it, is
confidential and for the sole use of the intended recipient(s).
This confidentiality is not waived or lost, if you receive it and
you are not the intended recipient(s), or if it is transmitted/
received in error.

Any unauthorised use, alteration, disclosure, distribution or
review of this email is strictly prohibited.  The information
contained in this email, including any attachment sent with
it, may be subject to a statutory duty of confidentiality if it
relates to health service matters.

If you are not the intended recipient(s), or if you have
received this email in error, you are asked to immediately
notify the sender by telephone collect on Australia
+61 1800 198 175 or by return email.  You should also
delete this email, and any copies, from your computer
system network and destroy any hard copies produced.

If not an intended recipient of this email, you must not copy,
distribute or take any action(s) that relies on it; any form of
disclosure, modification, distribution and/or publication of this
email is also prohibited.

Although Queensland Health takes all reasonable steps to
ensure this email does not contain malicious software,
Queensland Health does not accept responsibility for the
consequences if any person's computer inadvertently suffers
any disruption to services, loss of information, harm or is
infected with a virus, other malicious computer programme or
code that may occur as a consequence of receiving this

Unless stated otherwise, this email represents only the views
of the sender and not the views of the Queensland Government.

Histonet mailing list

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete it and notify the sender.

Views expressed in this message and any attachments are those of the individual sender, and are not necessarily the views of The Children's Hospital at Westmead

This note also confirms that this email message has been
virus scanned and although no computer viruses were detected, the Childrens Hospital at Westmead accepts no liability for any consequential damage resulting from email containing computer viruses.

Histonet mailing list

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>