Although the poisonous secretions of toads were once employed effectively as heart tonics and that of cockroach in asthma by Chinese physicians and powdered toad skins were similarly administered in mediaeval times for the treatment of dropsy, the introduction of important therapeutic agents of animal origin has depended on the logical development of physiology, biochemistry and immunology.
CLASSIFICATION OF ANIMAL DRUGS
Non-chordates do not possess a dorsal supporting rod. They show radial or bilateral symmetry. The skeleton in these animals is absent. If present, it is always external and is made up of calcium carbonate and chitin. The heart, if present, is dorsal in position.
(A) Phylum Porifera
Animals belonging to phylum Porifera are multicellular and porous. Their body is supported by spongin fibres or spicules made up of calcium carbonate or silica. These are aquatic animals, mostly marine, though a few are found in fresh water also. They show radial symmetry and are mostly sessile.
* Calcispongiae - Badiaga: Fresh water sponge - tincture of dried sponge gathered in autumn - Spongia tosta: Common sponge - whole body including skeleton roasted till brown and friable
(B) Phylum Coelenterata
These are aquatic animals, mostly marine. Body is radially symmetrical and cylindrical. Body contains a cavity inside, called gastrocoel.
* Scyphozoa - Medusa: Jelly-fish - tincture of living animal taken in summer
* Hydrozoa - Physalia: Portuguese man-of-war - tincture of living animal
* Anthozoa - Corallium rubrum: Red coral
(C) Phylum Annelida
These animals have a segmented body that is divided into a number of ring-like segments. Body is cylindrical.
* Hirudineae - Sanguisuga: Hirudo, the leech - tincture of the living animal
(D) Phylum Mollusca
These are aquatic animals, mostly marine. Body is soft, unsegmented and enclosed in a fleshy mantle that secretes calcium carbonate, forming a shell around the body
* Gastropoda - Helix tosta: Toasted snail - Murex purpurea: Purple-fish - trituration of fresh juice
* Bivalvia - Calcarea calcinata: Calcinated oyster shell - Pecten: Scallop
* Cephalopoda - Sepia: Cuttle fish - trituration of the dried inky juice found in bag-like structure in the abdomen
(E) Phylum Echinodermata
These are exclusively marine animals. Body is covered with a thick calcareous spiny exoskeleton.
* Asteroidea - Asterias rubens: Star-fish - tincture of fish
(F) Phylum Arthropoda
These are segmented animals with jointed appendages. Body is distinctly divisible into head, thorax and abdomen.
* Crustacea - Armadillo officinalis: Sow bug, Sow louse - tincture of living animals - Astacus fluviatilis: Crawfish or River crab - tincture from whole animal - Homarus: Lobster - trituration of the digesting fluid of the lobster, a thick reddish offensive liquid contained in a sac situated at the back of the mouth
- Limulus cyclops: King crab - triturations of the dried blood
- Scolopendra: Centipede - tincture of living animals
* Arachnida - Aranea diadema: The Cross spider - tincture of live spider
- Aranea scinencia: Grey spider found in Kentucky on old walls that does not spin a web - tincture of live spider - Aranearum tela: Cobweb of black spider found in barns, cellars and dark places - Araneinum: Juice of greasy spider Aranea scinencia
- Buthus australis: Algerian scorpion - tincture of venom
- Centuroides elegans: Scorpion - tincture of poison
- Latrodectus katipo: Poison spider - tincture of living spider
- Latrodectus mactans: Black widow spider - tincture of living spider
- Mygale lasiodora: Black Cuban spider - tincture of living spider
- Scorpio europus: Scorpion
- Tarentula cubensis: Cuban spider - tincture of whole spider
- Tarentula hispanica: Spanish spider - tincture of living spiders
- Theridion curassavicum: Orange spider - tincture of the living spider
- Trombidium: a parasite found singly or in groups upon the common housefly
* Insecta - Aphis chenopodii glauci: Aphides grown on the Chenopodium glaucum
- Apis mellifica: Honeybee - tincture of live bees
- Apium vivus: Poison of honeybee
- Blatta americana: American cockroach - trituration of live insect
- Blatta orientalis: Indian cockroach - trituration of live insect
- Bombyx: Procession moth - tincture of live caterpillars
- Cantharis: Spanish fly - tincture of the whole dried fly
- Cimex acanthia: Bedbug
- Coccinella: Ladybird beetle - tincture of freshly crushed beetles
- Coccus cacti: Cochineal insect - an insect infesting cactus plants. The dried bodies of the female insects are used for making a tincture or trituration
- Culex musca: Culex mosquitto
- Doryphora: Colorado beetle - tincture prepared by covering crushed live beetles with alcohol
- Formica rufa: The Ant - tincture from crushed live ants
- Pediculus capitis: Head louse - tincture of the insects
- Pulex irritans: Common flea
- Vespa crabro: Wasp, European Hornet - tincture of the living insects
Chordates possess a notochord that lies just dorsal to the alimentary canal. There is presence of a hollow tubular nerve cord lying dorsal to the notochord. The sub-phylum Vertebrata includes animals with a vertebral column. In these animals the notochord is seen only in embryonic stage. The brain is enclosed in a bony box called cranium.
These are cold-blooded aquatic vertebrates, found in both fresh water and sea water. Body is streamlined, provided with both paired and unpaired fins. Respiration is done by gills.
* Serum anguillar ichthotoxin: Eel serum - serum of the eel
* Gadus morrhua: Cod - trituration of first cervical vertebra of the fish
* Oleum jecoris aselli: Cod-liver oil - tincture of the oil obtained from the liver of cod
* Pyrarara: River fish (nosode)
These are cold-blooded animals that live in water as well as on land. Skin and lungs are important respiratory organs. Heart is three chambered
* Bufo rana: Toad - solution in rectified spirit of poison expressed from cutaneous glands
These are cold-blooded terrestrial or aquatic animals. Body is divisible into head, neck, trunk and tail. Skin is dry and covered with scales. Eggs are covered with a hard shell.
* Amphisbaena vermicularis: Snake-like Lizard - jaw, containing poison is triturated
* Heloderma: Gila monster - trituration of venom
* Lacerta agilis: Green Lizard - tincture of whole animal Ophidia
* Bothrops lanceolatus: Yellow viper - solution of the poison in glycerine
* Bungarus fasciatus: Banded krait
* Cenchris contortrix: Copperhead snake of North America - solution of venom
* Chelone: Snake-head or Turtle-head
* Crotalus cascavella: Brazilian Rattle-snake - trituration of poison
* Crotalus horridus: North American Rattle-snake - trituration of venom
* Elaps corallinus: Brazilian Coral snake - poison pressed from the venom sac of the living snake is triturated
* Lachesis trigonocephalus: Surukuku snake
* Naja tripudians: Indian hooded snake - trituration of the fresh venom
* Toxicophis: Moccasin snake
* Vipera: Common Viper - attenuations of the venom
These are warm-blooded animals with exoskeleton of feathers. Forelimbs are modified into wings for flying while hindlimbs are used for walking. Jaws are modified to form a beak. Heart is four chambered.
* Calcarea ovi testae: Egg-shell - trituration of the shell, not including its lining membrane
* Ovi gallinae pellicula: Fresh membrane of the shell of a Hen's egg
These are warm-blooded animals with presence of milk secreting glands in females. Females are viviparous. There is presence of external ear, called pinna and a diaphragm between the chest cavity and the abdominal cavity.
* Carbo animalis: Animal charcoal - made from charred ox-hide
* Castor equi: Rudimentary Thumbnail of horse. A small, flat, oblong-oval horn, breaking off in scales growing on inner side of leg - scales triturated
* Castoreum: The Beaver - tincture of secretion found in preputial sacs of beaver
* Cervus braziliens: Brazilian deer - trituration of fresh hide covered with hair
* Fel tauri: Ox gall ( Sarcode ) - trituration of gall
* Hippomanes: ( Nosode ) - prepared from a sticky mucoid substance of urinous odour floating in the amniotic fluid of mare. It is also found attached to the membrane of the foetal organ of the mare in the last month of pregnancy
* Ingluvin: Gizzard of a fowl
* Mephitis: Skunk - alcoholic dilution of the liquid contained in the anal glands
* Moschus: Musk deer - trituration of inspissated secretion contained in preputial follicles
* Oleum animale: Dippel's oil, Bone-naphtha
* Oophorinum: Ovarian extract ( sarcode ) - trituration of expressed juice of ovary of sheep or cow
* Orchitinum: Testicular extract ( sarcode )
* Pulmo vulpis: Fresh lung of wolf or fox ( sarcode )
* Sphingurus: Tree Porcupine - trituration of prickles taken from one of the sides
* Vulpis hepar: Fresh liver of fox
Lacs (milk and milk products) - Sarcodes
* Koumyss: Fermentation from ass's milk
* Lac caninum: Bitch's milk
* Lac defloratum: Skimmed cow's milk
* Lac felinum: Cat's milk
* Lac vaccini floc: Cream
* Lac vaccinum: Cow's milk
* Lac vaccinum coagulatum: Curds
COLLECTION OF DRUGS OF ANIMAL ORIGIN
1. Animals and their parts or products must be carefully and thoroughly identified and collected by a qualified Zoologist.
2. Animals must be healthy, hygienic and from good stock.
3. Secretions and excretions must be collected from animals that are certified healthy by veterinary physicians.
4. When animal substances are not available nearby, they should be procured from reliable sources.
5. Animal drugs are procured from wild or domestic animals that are either hunted or fished.
Drugs made from insects are either collected from wild insects or they are cultivated by providing food, shelter and optimum conditions for their growth. Venoms are collected from the wild or from snake farms.
6. If the specimens have to be stored before use, they should be protected from light, heat, moisture and other contaminants.
7. Venoms are obtained from serological laboratories and are quickly dry-freezed and preserved in glycerine.
* Crotalus horridus, Naja tripudians, Vipera - Venom is procured by compressing the gland when the serpent is either pinioned in a frame or under the influence of chloroform.
* Elaps corallinus - The venom is collected by compressing a butter-plate against the fangs or by letting the snake bite through a cloth covering a wide-mouth bottle.
* Lachesis - The living snake is stunned with a blow; the venom is then collected on sugar of milk by pressing the poison fang upwards against the bag.
Bufo rana - The live animal is fastened to a slab of cork by four strong pins stuck through the webs of the feet. The poles of an induction apparatus in action are slowly drawn over the back of the animal, whereupon the poison very soon issues from the dorsal glands. The poison is removed with small horn knife and triturated.
Cantharis - In May or June when the insects swarm upon the trees, they are collected in the morning at sunrise, when they are torpid from the cold of the night and easily let go their hold. Persons with their faces protected by masks and their hand with gloves, shake the trees or beat them with poles. The insects are collected as they fall upon linen clothes spread underneath. They are then exposed in sieves to the vapor of boiling vinegar and having been thus deprived of life, are dried in the sun or in apartments heated by stoves.
* What are the sources of homoeopathic medicines? Discuss classification and collection of animal drugs with examples
1. Which one of the following drugs is prepared from skimmed cow's milk
(a) Lac vaccinum
(b) Lac felinum
(c) Lac defloratum
(d) Lac vaccinum coagulatum
2. Murex purpurea is prepared from
(a) Purple fish
(b) Cuttle fish
(c) Star fish
(d) River fish
3. The following drug is prepared from the Surukuku snake
(a) Lachesis trigonocephalus
(b) Naja tripudians
(d) Crotalus horridus
4. The venom of Lachesis is collected on
(a) Distilled water
(d) Sugar of milk
5. Moschus is prepared from
(a) Musk deer
(c) Gizzard of a fowl
ANSWERS: 1 (c); 2 (a); 3 (a); 4 (d); 5 (a).