by Jim Duke
Over a hundred years ago, Asian Indians imported some 2000 pounds a year of manna, a sweet exudate of this spiny shrub, from Kabul and Kandahar. I fear that trade, if it existed for long, will not continue this biowinter. I expect our bombs have shaken off the manna if not completely obliterated the plants. But afghans already know about such starvation foods as manna. And it may be all they have during the miserable winter ahead. I'm covering today just one of some 200 afghan plants that may be useful to the starving afghans this winter. And I'll donate the copyright to my afghan wild foods manuscript to the government if Bayer will donate its patent to Cipro.
Today Small pox moved into the news, taking a small percentage of the massive daily total news time donated to anthraciphobia today (October 17, 2001). Today's news hints that some other nations nearby may have lethal smallpox germs accumulated, while we have only enough smallpox vaccination to vaccinate Bush's state of Texas. Camelthorn, a Middle Eastern smallpox remedy, would also survive in Texas, just in case the strain of smallpox someone unleashes on us is not the one our vaccine helps with. If it is an overseas high-tech terrorist, chances are the camelthorn will do as much good as an old vaccine. None or little, but worth the effort in a desperate potentially lethal case. Camelthorn is not a real high scoring antiseptic. Shoot extracts were active against the bacterium Micrococcus pyogenes var. aureus. As later parts of this contribution will show, camelthorn does have some other antiseptic (read antibiotic) phytochemicals. I'd not recommend it for smallpox. But if I had nothing else, I'd use it for smallpox. Many folk remedies have proven out. Matter of fact there's where we "discovered" most of our modern pharmaceutical phytochemicals, studying the folk remedies our ancestors discovered before the pharmaceutical firms co-opted them...
It's called camelthorn because it leafs out in the dry season when so many plants are leafless. Hence it is an important fodder, especially for camels, in the dry desert summers. That;s when iut also exudes its sugary manna, a gummy liquid which soon solidifies into solid edible sugary grains. These can be gathered by shaking the branches (DEP); . Even the roots are said to be edible during famine (WO3). But the Biblical manna could be a survival food for man, like the Biblical herb could be a survival food for camel.
CAMELTHORN (Alhagi maurorum Medik.) ++
PL307B (KAB); Aagul (Arabic); Alhaju (Arabic); Al Heef (GHA); Aqui (GHA); Athariyun (Urdu); Farakiyun (Urdu); Haj (Arabic); Javasa (Urdu); Kahribuz (BAL); Kaj (GHA); Igol (GHA); Shoukuljamal (Arabic); Shutharkhar (BAL); Durlambha (Nepali)
ACTIVITIES (CAMELTHORN): Alexeteric (f; BIB); Antiatherosclerotic (1; WO3); Antibilious (f; BIB); Antiemetic (f; WO2); Antihypercholesterolemic (1; WO3); Antiseptic (1; WO2); Aperient (f; BIB); Aphrodisiac (f; BIB); Cholagogue (f; BIB); Demulcent (f; BIB); Depilatory (f; WO2); Depurative (f; BIB; KAP); Diaphoretic (f; KAB); Diuretic (f; BIB; WO2); Ergogenic (1; WO3); Expectorant (f; BIB); Febrifuge (f; KAB); Hypolipidemic (1; WO3); Hypotensive (1; WO3);Laxative (f; BIB; WO2); Orexigenic (f; KAB); Proteolytic (1; WO2); Refrigerant (f; KAB); Suppurative (f; BIB); Sympathomimetic (1; WO2); Tonic (f; KAB);
INDICATIONS (CAMELTHORN): Abscess (f; BIB); Adenopathy (f; JLH); Anorexia (f; BIB); Arthrosis (f; GHA); Asthma (f; BIB); Atherosclerosis (1; WO3); Bactericia (1; WO2); Biliousness (f; DEP); Bleeding (f; BIB); Bronchosis (f; BIB); Cancer (f; JLH); Cancer , abdomen (f; JLH); Cancer, gland (f; JLH); Cardiopathy (1; X1305866); Cataract (f; GHA); Cerebrosis (f; BIB); Corneosis (f; BIB); Cough (f; DEP); Dermatosis (f; BIB); Epistaxis (f; BIB); Headache (f; BIB; WO3); Hemicrania (f; BIB); Hemorrhoid (f; BIB); High Blood Pressure (1; WO3); High Cholesterol (1; WO3); High Triglyceride (1; WO3); Infection (1; WO2); Jaundice (f; GHA); Leprosy (f; BIB); Cataract (f; GHA); Migraine (f; BIB); Obesity (1; BIB; WO3); Opacity (f; BIB); Pain (f; GHA; WO3); Polyp (f; JLH); Pulmonosis (f; JLH; WO3); Rheumatism (f; WO2); Smallpox (f; BIB); Sore (f; BIB); Swelling (f; BIB; WO2); Water Retention (f; KAP);
DOSAGES (CAMELTHORN): 1-2 g herb(KAP); 48-96 ml herb decoction (KAP);
CONTRAINDICATIONS, INTERACTIONS, AND SIDE EFFECTS (CAMELTHORN):
ALHAGI MAURORUM MEDIK
SYN. ALHAGI CAMELORUM; ALHAGI PSEUDOALHAGI (BIEB.) DESV.
"CAMEL THORN" "PERSIAN MANNA PLANT"
ALHAGAIN PL WO2 X21146
\ALHAGIDIN PL X10389270
ALHAGITIN PL X10389270
ASH 84,000-89,000 SH WO2
BETAINE SH WO2
CARBOHYDRATES 779,000-781,000 SH WO2
CELLULOSE 303,000-316,000 SH WO2
CHOLINE SH WO2
3,4-DIHYDROXY-BETA-PHENETHYLTRIMETHYL-AMMONIUM-HYDROXIDE TW WO2
FAT 29,000-31,000 SH WO2
HORDENINE TW WO2
3-METHOXY-4-HYDROXY-BETA-PHENETHYLTRIMETHYL-AMMONIUM-HYDROXIDE TW WO2
N-METHYLMESCALINE TW JBH WO2
N-METHYL-BETA-PHENETHYLAMINE TW WO2
N-METHYLTYRAMINE TW WO2
BETA-PHENETHYLAMINE TW WO2
PROTEIN 100,000-116,000 SH WO2
RUTIN LF WO2
SALSOLIDINE TW WO2
Here's what I said nearly two decades agon in my Medicinal Plants of the Bible. And yes, I did mention than in the Unani (Greek) medical system, it was mployed for smallpox eruptions.
ALHAGI CAMELORUM Fisch.
Camelthorn Manna (Biblical)
...we have sent you money to buy burnt-offerings, and sin offerings, and incense, and prepare ye manna...Baruch 1
Since the Baruch manna was for sale, it was probably the resinous gum from some tree of the Levant. During the heat of the day, a sweet gummy substance oozes from the leaves and stems. This hardens upon contact with the air and is then collected by shaking over drop-cloths. The sugary secretion (manna) obtained is edible, occuring in small round grains, consisting mostly of sugar: melizitose, 47.1; sucrose, 26.4 and invert sugar, 11.6 percent. The plant is given as fodder to camels. The twigs are much used in making screens (tatties).
Regarded as antibilious, demulcent, expectorant, and laxative, camelthorn is a folk remedy for the chest, for polyps, and for tumors, especially of the abdomen and glands (4, 41). In Iran, the white grains of manna are administered as a laxative and expectorant (31). Ayurvedics, considering the plant diuretic, laxative, refrigerant, and tonic, use it for bad appetite, brain ailments, bronchitis, epistaxis, leprosy, and obesity. Unani consider the manna as aperient, aphrodisiac, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, and expectorant, using it for asthma, nausea, piles and smallpox eruptions. They use an oil from the leaf for rheumatism. Regarding the whole plant as alexiteric, aperient, attenuate, and suppurative, they use it for opacities of the cornea and hemicrania. In the Konkan, the plant is smoked with jimsonweed, tobacco, and ajwan seeds for asthma. In Ormara, the root decoction is used to bathe abscesses and swellings (52).