Page:Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition, v. 11.djvu/290

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Gum tragacanth is used in calico-printing as a thickener of colours and mordants; in medicine as a demulcent and vehicle for insoluble powders, and as an excipient in pills; and for setting and mending beetles and other insects. The imports during 1878 were—

Packages. Value.

To London.........cccceseeeeee cee eee 2570 £46,200 To Liverpool, about...... ee . 1200 21,600 3770 «£67,800

Gum kuteera resembles in appearance gum tragacanth, for which the attempt has occasionally been made to substitute it. It is said to be the product of Sterculia urens, a plant of the natural order Sterculiacee, and is un- known to British commerce.

Cherry Tree Gum is an exuijation from trees of the genera Prunus and Cerasus. It occurs in shiny reddish lumps, resembling the commoner kinds of gum arabic. With water, in which it is only partially soluble, it forms a thick mucilage. The soluble portion is arabin, the insoluble cerasin, which according to Frémy is a calcium salt of meta- gummic acid (C,.H,,O0,,). It is not used commercially.

Gum of Bassora, from Bassora or Bussorah in Asia, is sometimes imported into the London market under the name of the hog tragacanth. It is insipid, crackles between the teeth, occurs in variable-sized pieces, is tough, of a yellowish-white colour, and opaque, aud has properties similar to gum tragacanth. Its specific gravity is 1°3091. It contains only 1 per cent. of soluble gum or arabin. Under the name of Caramania gum it is mixed with inferior kinds of gum tragacanth before exportation.

Muciluge.—Very many seeds, roots, &c., when infused in boiling water, yield mucilages which, for the most part, consist of bassorin. Linseed, quince seed, and marsh- mallow root yield it in large quantity (see also Gumbo). In their reactions the different kinds of mucilage present differences ; ¢.g., quince seed yields only oxalic acid when treated with uitric acid, and with a solution of iodine in zinc iodide it gives, after some time, a beautiful red tint. Linseed does not give the latter reaction; by treat- ment with boiling nitric acid it yields mucic and oxalic acids.’

Gum Resins.—This term is applied to the inspissated milky juices of certain plants, which consist of gum soluble in water, resin and essential oil soluble in alcohol, other vegetable matter, and a small amount of mineral matter. They are generally opaque and solid, and often brittle. Their chief uses are in medicine. They include the follow- ing:—ammoniacum, asafcetida, bdellium, euphorbium, frankincense or olibanum, galbanum, gamboge, myrrh, opoponax, sagapanum, and scammony. Several of the resins are often improperly called gums; eg., benzoin or ben- jamin, copal, dammar, elemi or animi, kawrie or cowdie or Australian copal, mastic, sandrac, and shellac.

(j. st.)

GUMBINNEN, the chief town of a government district of the same name in the Prussian province of East Prussia, - is situated on the Pissa, an affluent of the Pregel, and on the Eastern Railway, 22 miles south-west of Eydtkuhnen on the Russian boundaries. The surrounding country is pleasant and fruitful, and the town is well built, with spacious and regular streets shaded by linden trees. It has three Evangelical churches, a synagogue, a gymnasium, a higher burgher school, a public library, a hospital, and an infirmary, In the market square there is a statue by Rauch of Frederick William I., who in 1724 raised Guin- binnen to the rank of a town, and in 1732 brought to it a number of persons who had been driven from Salzburg by religious persecution. On the bridge over the Pissa a monument has been erected to those of the inhabitants who fell in the Franco-German war of 1870-71. Iron founding and the manufacture of machinery, wool, cotton, and linen weaving, stocking-making, tanning, brewing, and brandy-making are the principal industries, There are horse and cattle markets, and some trade in corn and linseed. The population in 1875 was, including the garr.- son, 9114.

GUMBO, or Okra, termed also Okro, Ochro, Ketmia, Gubbo, and Syrian Mallow (Sanskrit, 7'indisa ; Bengali, Dheras; Persian, Bdmiyah—the Bammia of Prosper Alpinus ; French, Gombaut, or better Gombo, and Aetmie comestible), Hibiscus esculentus, L. (H. longifolius, Roxb. ; Abelmoschus esculentus, Guill. and Perr.), an herbaceous hairy annual plant of the natural order A/alvacew, a native of the Old World, and now naturalized or cultivated in all tropical countries. The leaves are cordate, and 3 to 5- lobed, and the flowers yellow, with a crimson centre; the ovary 1s 9-celled, and the fruit or pod, the Dendi-Auc of the Europeans of southern India, is a tapering, 10-angled, loculicidal capsule, 4 to 10 inches in length, except in the dwarf varieties of the plant, and contains numerous oval dark-coloured seeds, hairy at the base. Three distinct varieties of the gumbo (Quiabo and Quimgomlo) in Brazil have been described by Pacheco. The unripe fruit is eaten either pickled, or prepared like asparagus. It is also an ingredient in various dishes, eg. the gumbo of the Southern United States, and the ca/alow of Jamaica; and ou account of the large amount of mucilage it contains, it is extensively consumed, both fresh and in the form of the prepared powder, for the thickening of broths and soups. For winter use it is salted, or sliced and dried. The fruit is grown on a very large scale in the vicinity of Constanti- nople. It was one of the esculents of Egypt in the time of Abul-Abbas el-Nebati, who journeyed to Alexandria in 1216 (Wiistenfeld, Gesch. d. Arab. Aerzte, p. 118, Gott., 1840), and, according to Popp, is still cultivated by the Egyptians, who called it Bummgé.

The seeds of the gumbo are used as a substitute for coffee. From their demulcent and emollient properties, the leaves and immature fruit have long been in repute in the East for the preparation of poultices and fomentations. Alpinus (1592) mentions the employment of their decoction in Egypt in ophthalmia, and in uterine and other complaints. In the Pharmacopoia of India the decoction of the fruit is recommended in catarrh, and in diseases of the genito- urinary tract, and its hot vapour in affections of the throat and fances.

The Musk Okra (Sanskrit, Latdkasturikd, cf. the Greck néorep; Bengali, Latdkasturi; German, Bisamkornerstrauch; French, Aet- mie musquée), Hibiscus Abelmoschus, lL. (Abelmoschus moschatus, Mch.), indigenous to India, and, it is said, to Guiana and Central America, and cultivated in most warm regions of the globe, is a suffruticose plant, bearing a conical 5-ridged pod about 3 inches in length, within which are numerous brown reniform seeds, smaller than those of H. esculentus. The seeds possess a musky odour, due to an oleo-resin present in the integument, and are known to per- fumers under the name of ambrette asa substitute for musk, instead of which drug it has been proposed to employ them medicinally. They are stated to be used by the Arabs for seenting coffce. In India they are employed for perfwming medicinal oils, and being regarded as tonic and carminative form part of sundry pharmaceu- tical preparations. The seeds (in the Fantee language, Jicroma- hom), as we learn from Mr E. M. Holmes, are used in Africa as beads ; and powdered and steeped in rum they are valued in the West Indies as a remedy for snake-bites. The plant yiclds an excellent fibre, and, being rich in mucilage, is employed in Upper India for the elarifying of sugar. The best-perfumed seeds are reported to come from Martinique.

See P. Alpinns, De Plantis A:gupti, cap. xxvii. p. 38, Ven., 1592; Macfadyen, The Flora of Jamaica, p. 67, 1887; J. Sontheimer’s Ald Allah ibn Ahmad, &c., i p. 118, Stuttg, 1840-42; P. P. Pacheco, “La Ketmie Potagere ou Comestible,” La Belgique Horticole, iv. p. 63,1853; Della Sudda, * De Fr Emploi & Constantinople de Ja Racine de I'Hibiscus esculentus,” Répert. de Pharm., Jan. 1860, p, 229; Vsentham and Hooker, Gen. Plant., i. pp. 207, 208, 1862; Grisebach, Fora of the Brit. West Ind. Is. p. 84, 1864; E. J. Waring, Pharm. of India, p. 35, 1868; O. Popp, “Ueber die Aschenbestandtheile der Samen von Acacia nilotica und Hibiscus esculentus in Aegypten,” Arch. der Pharm., cxev. p. 140, 1871; Tooker, Flora of Brit. India, i. pp. 342, 343, 1812; Drury, The Useful Plants of India, pp. 1, 2, 2d edit., 1873; U. C. Dutt, Zhe Mat, Med. of the Hindus, pp. 125, 821, 1877; and Lanessan, JZist. des Drogues, i. pp. 181-184, 1878.