ACIPENSER HUSO LINN. OR A. STELLATUS
(Class - Pisces: -Fishes)
Eng.-Sturgeon's air bag or Swimming bladder; Isinglass or Icntryocolla prepared from it. Bam. -Aisinglasa. Arab. - Gerius Samak. Hind. & Duk. -Machhika-Siras. Pers.-Serasham-e-Mahi. Tam. -Minvajaram. Tel.-Cheppu vajaram. Malay. -Palog-pongikan; Ari-ikan.
Japanese or Chinese isinglass is known as Agar Agar.
*Aci-swift. Pinna-wing or fin. Huso-A bladder from Huyzen blas. The swimming bladder is so called as by its expansion and contraction these fishes swim. It contains oxygen and nitrogen.
The swimming bladder or sound found in front of the abdomen of several species of Sturgeons prepared and cut into fine shreds called Isinglass. American isinglass obtained from Gadus Marluccius (Hakefish) and from Otolithus regalis (weak-fish) occurs in thin sheets or ribbons.
It is white, inodorous and very 1ight. It is a kind of gelatin, but it is insoluble in cold water. An aqueous solution of 1 in 32 of boiling water forms on cooling a good, transparent, hard jelly.
In composition it is similar to albumen; it contains pure gelatin, an insoluble membrane 5 to 30 per cent and ash 0.5 per cent. It is a constituent of animal tissue, chiefly of bones.
ACTION & USES
It is highly nutritious, demulcent and emollient. Mixed with starchy food and with soups it is given in chronic diarrhoea in children and for invalids. As an emollient a plaster of isinglass, made of isinglass 10, alcohol 40, glycerin 1 part and hot water, is applied on one side of the cloth for cuts and abrasions.
Animal gelatin is obtained from gelatinous tissues such as skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilages of bones etc. It is prepared by boiling these tissues in water and drying the resulting jelly in the air; it forms translucent sheets, layers or shreds. It dissolves in hot water and solidifies into a jelly on cooling; it is insoluble in alcohol or ether. It contains carbon 50 p.c., nitrogen 18, hydrogen 7, oxygen 24 and sulphur 0.5 p.c. It is used as Calf's feet jelly, it is a basis for suppositories, pessaries, pills, lozenges etc.
Chondrin is obtained from the cartilages of the ribs and other non-ossifying cartilages and is analogous to gelatin. It is used as emollient, nutritive and protective. The watery solution of its jelly is precipitated by alum acetate of lead, ferric salts, acetic and mineral acids but not by tannin and mercuric chloride.
Sanskrit writers divide flesh into two classes, namely Jangla or land, and Anupa or water animals:-Anupa mansa (flesh of Anupa animals) is said to be "sweet, soothing, heavy of digestion, demulcent, fattening, checking appetite, phlegmatic, excitive of wind. (vata) and generative of flesh"-(N.N. Sen Gupta). Animals living on land are sub-divided into eight orders as follows:-Jangla or animals living in the wilderness as deer, antelopes etc. The meat of Jangla animals is broadly speaking sweet and astringent causing slight constipation. It is light, easy of digestion, strengthening and appetizing, checking tridosha and increasing vitality.
Vilastha or animals living in holes underground as scrpents, lizards, porcupines etc.-Meat of such animals checks Vayu, is sweet to taste, heaty, increases pitta, is strengthening, lessens excretion of urine and faeces. Guhasaya or animals living in caverns, as tigers, lions, bears, etc.-Meat of such animals checks Vayul. Is difficult of digestion, strengthening, somewhat good for those suffering from eye and rectal diseases. Parnamriga or animals living on trees, as monkeys, squirrels, etc.-Meat of such animals stimulates vitality, is good for eyes, promotes flow of urine and faeces and is good in certain respiratory diseases and piles. Vishkira or birds which take their food after tearing or scattering it, as fowls, peacocks, quails, partridges, etc.-Meat of such birds is sweet and astringent, cooling, easy of digestion, strengthening, checks tridoshas and is very good. Pratuda or birds which strike with their beaks, as pigeons, wagtails, cuckoos, etc.-Meat of such birds is similar to those of Vishkira. Except that it increases Vayu, but checks Kapha and Pitta. Prasaha or birds of prey, as the hawk, felcon etc.-The meat of such birds is very heaty, deranges pitta, induces acidity and diseases like ulcers and sinuses, general weakness and even insanity. Gramya or domestic animals, as ox, goat, horse, sheep, etc.-The meat of such animals relieves flatulence, produces kapha and pitta, nourishes, is sweet in taste, non-acidifying in reaction, stimulating and enhancing metabolism-(Susruta).
Animals living in water or marshy lands are subdivided into five classes as follows:-Kulechara, or animals grazing in marshes, as buffalo, yak, rhinoceros, etc.-Meat of such animals checks vayu and pitta, is strengthening, vitalising, sweet, cooling and soothing, increases kapha and promotes urinary secretion. Plava, or birds which swim in water, as geese, ducks, cranes, etc.-Meat of such birds checks pitta, is soothing, heavy of digestion but cooling, stimulates secretion of faeces, strengthening and vitalising, increases Vayu and Kapha, Kosastha or animals enclosed in shells, as conch-shells, bivalve-shells, etc.-Meat of such animals is sweet and soothing, cooling, strengthening, vitalising, increases faecal refuse, checks Vayu & Pitta. Padina, or footed aquatic animals as tortoise, crocodile etc. Meat of such animals is similar to that of Kosastha. Matsya, or fishes: -Meat of fish is soothing, but heating after digestion, increases Kapha and Pitta and checks Vayu. It is strengthening, vitalising and palatable and is especially soothing to alcoholics, good for sensuous individuals having strong digestion.
Of these classes, Jangla and Vishkira are considered superior to the others in an alimentary point of view. Flesh of the goat, domestic fowl (Gallus domesticus-flesh is stimulant, demulcent, cardiac stimulant, nutritious and generative of semen; beneficial in disturbance of the three humours, phthisis, vomiting and remittent fever), peacock and partridge is easily digested and suited to the sick and convalescent. The flesh of the francoline (see - Francolinus pondicerianus), partridge (Titir). Flesh of the white variety is astringent, refrigerant, demulcent, easily digestible, constipating, cardiac stimulant; used to improve memory, alleviative of the Tridoshas. Beneficial in cough, phthisis, fever, epistaxis and hiccup. Pigeon's flesh is demulcent, tonic, cardiac, nutritious. Used in constipation, beneficial in phlegm, bile, vitiated blood and wind, leprosy, and is prohibited in jaundice. Flesh of peacock (Nila-mayura) is "excitive of wind, cardiac, tonic, generative of memory, beneficial in the diseases of wind, ear-diseases and eye-diseases. The egg is sweet, cardiac and highly beneficial in loss of semen, heart-diseases and ulcers". Soup made from birds' meat (white meat) or from meat of deer is a diet in chronic cases of enlarged liver and spleen. Meat soup of deer and other wild animals (to replace the tissue waste, e.g., albumen in the discharge) is a diet for fistula in ano, when there is no fever. Meat of the deer, sambar, hare, quail and partridge is recommended for habitual use. Fish, beef and pork are considered hard to digest and unsuited for daily use. "Beef is very heavy and difficult of digestion, is soothing but excites Pitta and Kapha, checks Vayu, is strengthening, good in cough, chronic wasting fevers, disease of the nose, catarrh, phthisis, dyspepsia where there is a morbid craving for food, very suitable food for people of active habits and not suitable in any other season except winter. - (Charaka). From the above it is evident that the ancient Hindus used to take beef when they came from Central Asia.
Flesh of various animals is used in medicine chiefly in the form of ghrita or taila paka. Following is a list of the more important and commonly used ghritas and oils made with the flesh of different animals: - Hansadi ghrita, prepared with the flesh of geese, and used in cephalalgia and nervous diseases.
Kukkutadi ghrita, prepared with the flesh of fowls, and used in chronic cough. Siva ghrita, prepared with jackal's flesh and used in insanity. Chagaladi or Chagaladya ghrita, prepared with goat's meat and used in nervous diseases. Meat soup is contra-indicated after "Pitta" or "Vayu-Pitta" causing diarrhoea. When indicated, the meat recommended is that of game birds like partridge, "Lava", "Gonshi" and wild animals-like deer and rabbit. Meat-juice is advised for diet in "vayu" variety and "kapha" variety of "Arsa" (piles). Meat-soup of jungly animals is a diet in piles. Sambukadi taila is an oil prepared with the flesh of snails and used externally in ear diseases. Nakuladya ghrita is prepared with the flesh of mongoose and used in nervous diseases.
The following are two illustrations of preparations with animal flesh: -Chagaladya ghrita: Take of goat's meat (see Capra-aegagrus, i.e., goat whose flesh is nourishing, cardiac and stimulant) 6Â¼ seers, the ten drugs called dasamula 6Â¼ seers in all, water 64 seers, boil till the latter is reduced to one-fourth and strain. Take of clarified butter, milk and the juice of Asparagus racemosus 4 seers each; and the following substances in the form of a paste, namely, Tinospora cordifolia, bamboo manna, Withania somnifera. Hemidesmus indicus, berries called kakoli, bulbs called kshirakakoli, pulse of Phaseolus trilobus, and of Glycine debilis, Caelogyne ovalis (jivanti), and liquorice root, 1 seer in all; boil them together and prepare a ghrita. This preparation is given in facial paralysis, deafness, loss of voice or indistmet speech, convulsions, hysteria, sciatica, paralysis and other diseases of the nervous system. Masha taila:-Take of goat's meat 8 seers, water 64 seers; boil together till the latter is reduced to 16 seers. Take of the pulse of Phaseolus roxburghii, linseed, barley, root of Barleria prionites, and of Solanum jacquinii, Tribulus terrestris, bark of Calosanthes indica, jatamansi root, seeds of Mucuna pruriens, each 1 seer, water 64 seers; boil down to 16 seers. Take of cotton seeds, seeds of Crotolaria juncea, pulse of Dolichos uniflorus, dried pulp of Ziziphus jujuba, each 2 seers, water 64 seers; boil down to 16 seers. Take of ginger, long pepper, dill seeds, root of Ricinus communis, of Boerhaavia diffusa, Poederia foetida, Vanda roxburghii, Sida cordifolia, Tinospora cordifolia, and Picrorrhiza kurroa, equal parts in all 1 seer, and reduce them to a paste. Boil the above-mentioned decoctions and the paste with 4 seers of sesamum oil in the usual way. This oil is rubbed externally in convulsions, paralysis, wasting of limbs and other diseases of the nervous system.- (Bhaishajyaratnavali). Testicles of a sheep or goat are boiled in cow's milk and sugar, prepared as Payasam or Halwa, and given internally increases man's virility. - (Vatsyayana's Kamasastra). A man who eats sesamum seeds prepared again and again in milk and cooked with the testicles of a goat, or the two testicles of a goat prepared with ghee and milk, together with salt and molasses, increases virility in him. -(Ratirahasya).
(Sans. -Siktha; Madhujan. Eng.-Wax. Arab. -Shama. Pers. Hind. Ben. & Duk. -Mom. Guj. -Mina; Min. Mah. Can. & Kon. -Maena. Tam. -Mellugu. Mal.-Taenmazhacu. Tel.-Mai-nam. Kash. -Sinth. Burm. -H'pa-noung; Phayouii. Malay. -Lilin. Sinh. -Miettie; Itti) exists in the pollen and surface of the leaves of many plants, chiefly the wax myrtle. It is extracted by the honeybee and used in the construction of the honeycomb. Cera flava or yellow beeswax is obtained by squeezing or pressing the comb (when the honey is extracted) and melting it in hot water and allowing to cool. It is purified by repeating this process several times and finally casting the wax into moulds. It is a yellowish solid mass (Cera Flava B.P.) harder than butter, with honey-like odour. It is insoluble in water, soluble in cold alcohol (3 p.c.) and in chloroform (25 p.c.). It contains hydrocarbons 12 to 15 p.c, cerolein, cerinor, cerotic acid which crystallizes from boiling alcohol, myricin or myricyl and melissyl palmitate, ceryl alcohol etc. Myricin is a principal constituent, crystalline, soluble in hot ether, almost insoluble in boiling alcohol. By the action of potash it is converted into palmitic acid and myricil alcohol. Wax is an emollient and demulcent, chiefly used externally as basis, in the preparation of ointments, plasters etc. Smoking opium or beeswax in a hookah is said to give relief in scorpion bites by counteracting the effects of poison ! Equal quantities of Balsamodendron mukul, B. pubescens, wax and sesame oil are melted together and when applied over boils in the form of plaster, are effective. A paste made of wax, soap and root of the castor oil plant, in honey, is used for application to ulcers; this is used in dysentery where ulcers are suspected to be present. An oil made of wax by boiling over a fire, a mixture of yellow wax, common salt and sand and filtering and cooling the filtrate is also useful as a mild protecting sheath, when applied into the rectum in dysentery where ulcers are suspected to exist. It is also applied with benefit to painful rheumatic joints. The oil occurs generally as a liquid, but sometimes as a solid mass of a brownish, dark colour.