Carbohydrates - a large group of natural organic compounds consisting of carbon, oxygen and water. There are mono-, oligo-and polysaccharides, as well as complex carbohydrates - glycoproteins, glycolipids, glycosides, etc. The plants are the primary products of photosynthesis and the main source products of biosynthesis of other substances that are included in the composition of cell membranes and other structures, involved in the defense response (immunity) provide all the energy of living cells (fructose, glucose and its replacement form - starch, glycogen).
Using sunlight by photosynthesis, green plants combine carbon dioxide of air and water, and receive sugar, or as they are known, carbohydrates, and moreover, release oxygen.
Carbohydrates make up the bulk of many preventive and therapeutic drugs. Especially is widely used glucose, which improves liver function, easily absorbed by the body.
Among the carbohydrates contained in plants, protozoans are monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, etc.). Interconnected, they form more complex compounds - disaccharides (sucrose, maltose), polysaccharides, the latter refers to a number of substances, used in medicine, - starch, inulin, pectin, gums, mucilages, cellulose, etc. Carbohydrates constitute the bulk of many therapeutic drugs. Some carbohydrates derived from plants used in medicine as independent therapeutic agents - glucose, starch, gums, mucilages, pectins, etc. In the composition the gums and mucilages, except monosaccharides, are contained residues of uronic acids and their calcium, potassium, salts magnivye . Gums and mucus are readily hydrolyzed by acids. Under the influence of NaOH solution, they acquire a lemon-yellow color. Starch and gums mucus and pectic substances constituting the intercellular gluing substance having no therapeutic value, chemically are carbohydrates - polysaccharides. They also include different sugar often presented in plant cells. Starch and sugar plant lays as replacement of nutrients in the seeds or rhizomes, and other organs, providing food plants in early spring, before the advent of green leaves.
The polysaccharides in the form of cellulose, starch, pectin are contained mainly in vegetables, fruits, grains, flour, bread are carbohydrate-based food and feed. The demand for these products is huge. Crop is 50% of the fiber. Microbiologically by cellulose is prepared alcohols, acids, sugar. On the processing of fiber are based textile and paper industries. Wadding, gauze and bandages are almost pure cellulose fibers of cotton. In medicine are used the enveloping properties of starch, gums and mucilages. Polysaccharides are a reservoir of water for the plants, protective biocolloids. By raising the solubility in water are classified into soluble polysaccharides or arabin (acacia) semisoluble or bassoic (gum of plums, cherries), insoluble, but water-swellable (ceresin) - Elaeagnus gum.
Glucose is obtained from potato, corn starch.
Glucose is used particularly well. When introduced into the body in the form of tablets, powders, subcutaneously, intravenously, it improves the liver and heart, blood pressure increases, increases metabolism, easily digested.
Sucrose - sugar - the main filler powders and tablets, especially with highly toxic and bitter medicinal ingredients. Sugar is used in the manufacture of a variety of syrups and juices. The main source of sugar is currently serving as sugar beet, sugar cane. Because of the sugar content of most honey has medicinal value. Honey is produced by bees sweet juice, extracted from the flowers of some plants contain up to 75% of a mixture of glucose and fructose, as well as enzymes, a variety of organic acids (lactic, malic, citric, oxalic, etc.).
Starch - the end product of assimilation of carbon dioxide by plants. Is an essential nutrient reserve for plant, 96-98% consisting of polysaccharides. The main plant starches are cereals (wheat, rye, barley, rice, etc.), potatoes. It is deposited mainly in tubers, fruits, seeds, core of the stem.
Starch is widely used in dusting powders and ointments - for diseases of the skin. Starch is insoluble in cold water and forms a hot viscous solution under cooling in turning jelatinous mass. In diluted form is used as a coating agent for gastrointestinal diseases (raw potato juice, jelly) is used in enemas, in surgery for still are produced starch bandages. The starch is used as a filler and binder in the manufacture of tablets. Especially prized rice starch, consisting of very small starch grains, so it is best used for powder, powder and ointment. Starch is a vegetable carbohydrate, which is included in the diet of humans and animals. In the digestive tract it is cleaved to give readily soluble sugars - glucose. Reduces cholesterol in the liver and serum, promotes the synthesis of riboflavin intestinal bacteria, and contributes to the intensification of metabolism of fatty acids. The experiment shows that by increasing the secretion of insulin, starch reduces hyperglycemia. Starch accumulates cells of almost all higher plants. Starch is insoluble in water, it is washed with cold water from the tissues.
It is consumed in the form of bread and cereal or in the form of boiled potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, sago etc. When removing drugs from plant, starch, certainly, serves ballast.
Natural gum is known since ancient times. They are described by Theophrastus (IV century. B.C.), Dioscorides (I c.), Pliny (I c.). It is talked in the "Canon of Medicine" by Avicenna (X c.), in the other works of Arab scholars. Natural gum is high-carbohydrate, translucent, colloidal, stickers of different chemical composition. Natural gum is formed as a response to tissue irritation and covers the damaged areas for burns, cracks, punctures, cuts wood. It is formed more often in the form of a sag on the trunks of trees and shrubs, rarely on roots, fruits as a result of degeneration of the cell walls of the cells and the intercellular substance, and sometimes whole sections of tissue. Natural gum is most solid, amorphous lumps. The cause of the gums is believed, mechanical injury, damage by insects or their larvae, bacterial or fungal infections. On the intensity of gummosis can affect the nature of the soil, fertilizers, heavy watering, planting density of trees, etc.
Sometimes these lesions are made in order to artificially stimulate the process on plums, cherries, cherry, larch, etc. Natural gums are tasteless, but some of them have a sweet, at least - a slightly bitter taste. If gums are clean and do not include contaminants, they do not have an odor. They are not soluble in alcohol, ethanol, ether, chloroform and other organic solvents (their main difference sag resins and materials of rubber nature). As the hydrophilic substances, gums are soluble in water, forming solutions that occupy the middle ground between true and colloidal solutions. Gum is dissolved in water to form a viscous, water-swellable adhesive solutions, thus are widely used in the manufacture of emulsions, pills, ambient and blood substitutes.
By water solubility gum is separated into three groups:
1. Soluble - fully soluble in water to form a more or less transparent adhesive solutions (apricot gum, acacia);
2. Semisoluble - partially soluble in water, the rest of them are swell, forming a jelly-like mass which passes into solution only at high dilution (gum, cherry, plum);
3. Insoluble - absorbing significant quantities of water and swell, forming a jelly-like mass (tragacanth, gum of sucker, etc.).
3. Insoluble - absorbing significant quantities of water and swell, forming a jelly-like mass (tragacanth gum, Elaeagnus (silverberry) etc.).
On chemical grounds gum can be divided into the following groups:
1. Acidic polysaccharides, acidity of which, is caused by the presence of glucuronic and galacturonic acids (different species of acacia gum, etc.);
2. Acidic polysaccharides, which is caused by the presence of acidic sulfate groups (algae, mosses);
3. Neutral polysaccharides, constituting of galactomannans or glucomannans (found in the seeds).
Natural gums often form a very complex plant exudates, mingling with tannins (spontaneously-gum), resins (gum resin), resins and essential oils (aromatic gum resin). Formation of gums is common to many plants. In the family Rosaceae, for example, 32 families are the sources of essential oils. Most of the gummy families are tropical. The ability to form gums is only true for long-term life forms of plants, trees and shrubs, and to a lesser extent - herbaceous perennials with lignescent roots and the base of the stem. Natural gum is produced by different organs of the plant - roots, trunk, branches (even petioles), fruits, seeds. The question as to which tissues are exposed to gumming and how the formation of gums takes place, is poorly understood, as well as the question of the value of gums formation for the plants themselves. There are various explanations that are true for certain plants. One thing is certain, that the gum is formed by the degeneration of the cell walls of the parenchymal tissue of the core and the medullary rays. There have been cases of mucosal degeneration and in the cortical parenchyma. It is believed that a significant role in gums formation in stone fruit and acacia belongs to starch and possibly other content of cells. The origin of the gums is different in individual plants. In stone fruit, such as gum may be formed as in phloem cells and medullary rays and in special cavities in the wood and bark parenchyma. They have long been used in traditional Arabic and European medicine. Currently are used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, and also in the food, textile and printing industries. Vegetable gums are used as industrial adhesives, stabilizers and emulsifiers for the production of artificial fiber.
Natural gums are most typical for plants of hot climate in which they serve a protective role. The Mucus - it's nitrogen-free substances similar in chemical composition to pectin and cellulose. Represent primarily polysaccharides - thick mucous substances are readily soluble in water. Mucus is usually in the form of aqueous, viscous and sticky colloid solutions. They are colorless or yellowish, odorless, slimy, sometimes of slightly sweet taste. Produced in plants as a result of the degeneration of the mucous cells and the intercellular substance in the course of normal metabolism, without external stimulation - these are different from the mucus gum.sources of the gums are the trunks of apricot, astragalus, some acacias. Chemically, the mucus is difficult to distinguish from the gums. The main difference is significant prevalence of pentosan (this number can reach up to 90%) over hexosans. Mucus unlike gum is obtained not in solid form and by extracting with water. They differ from the starch by the lack of grains specific and reaction with a solution of iodine, from gums - settleability neutral solution of lead acetate. Mucus is removed from the raw material by dissolving in water. This is the basic pharmaceutical method for preparing dosage forms, containing mucus. Among the plants that contain mucus are prepared emollient poultices and their aqueous extraction is used in the therapy of inflammatory diseases of the upper respiratory tract as ambient, expectorants, gastrointestinal tract (especially diarrhea and bleeding of various nature). Treatment with mucous plant produces good results in gastritis with high acidity of gastric juice, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, diseases of the genitourinary system, eczema, difficult to heal wounds, burns. They are used in diseases of the nose and throat, bronchitis. Mucous substances other than anesthetic and anti-inflammatory action, contribute epithelialization of diseased mucous membranes and skin. It is found that certain polysaccharides improve immunity, have hemostatic properties. Most often they are assigned in conjunction with other drugs. Mucous substances promote slow absorption and hence longer duration of action of drugs in the body.
Rich in mucus marshmallow roots, leaves of plantain, tubers salep, flax seeds, quince seeds, rye, Coltsfoot, thallus of seaweed kelp, plants from the orchid family (orchids, Platanthera, Gymnadenia, etc.).
Mucus is built up in the roots (marshmallow), fruits (flax, quince, psyllium). They play the role of food reserves, as well as protect the seeds from drying out and helps germination.
In the plant, gums and mucus (when they are not the result of painful transformation of the cell walls) are formed as a spare or substances that interfere with the growth and are consumed by the plant itself, or perform a particular role. For example, slime that is formed on the surface of quince seeds and flax seeds glues these seeds to the soil and thus prevents them from blowing away by the wind. Mucus have a high water holding capacity, that is able to absorb a lot of water, without thinning out. Therefore, mucous degeneration of cell membranes is adaptation to drought and is common in many plants of deserts, which thus retain a water they need, do not evaporate, even under the hot sun, such as cacti. Mucus is often formed in algae, plants of the Malvaceae families, plantain, aster, flax. Epidermal cells are in slime flux (flax seeds), parenchymal tissues (marshmallow root), bark and wood (fruit trees), where the mucus and gum are accumulated. Sometimes the mucus and gums are bulking agents that interfere with the allocation of the necessary drugs, which they obduce with a thick jelly. The maximum accumulation of mucus in the underground parts of plants is accounted for the fall phase of decay in the seeds - the period of maturation. Contribute to the formation of mucus heat, moisture, light energy. First, in “Chlorophyll Laboratory” using a light beam, water and carbon dioxide are synthesized various simple carbohydrates that are subsequently converted into the mucus and gums. Sleazy as polysaccharides are a reservoir of water for the plants, protective biocolloids.
Mucus and gum are easily fluxed in water, so the raw material should be collected in dry weather. If necessary, are quickly washed in cold running water. They are dried by thin layer with good ventilation and frequent stirring at a temperature of 50-60 C, stored in a dry place. When moistened raw is getting moldy, sour, dark, affected by microorganisms.
On a background of black ink, mucus looks like a colorless clot.