Excrescences on the young twigs, induced by punctures (stings) on the leaf-buds and by the deposited ova of Cynips tinctoria, Hartig.
Habitat. Mediterranean Basin, eastward; Greece, Persia, Asia Minor, Syria.
Syn. Gall, Aleppo Galls, Smyrna Galls, Turkey or Mecca Galls, Galls, Oak Warts, Mad-, Oak-, or Dead Sea-Apple, Apple of Sodom, Dyers' Oak, Galla Hale-pense-, Turcica-, Levantica-, Tinctoria-, Quercina; Fr. Galle d'Alep - de Chene, Noix de Galle; Ger. Gallae, Gallapfel, Gallen.
Quer'cus. L. oak, fr. Celtic quer, fine + cuez, a tree - fine, stately tree; or fr. Gr.
a pig - i. e., pigs love and feed on the acorns.
In-fec-to'ri-a. L. infectorius, dyeing, staining; in, in + facere, to do, make, taint - i. e., species easily infected or stung, thereby yielding dyeing product.
Gal'la. L. for gall, fr. Eng. gallen, galled = chafed, as a horse, or from its gallish taste.
Plant. - Polymorphous shrub, 1.3-2 M. (4-6°) high; leaves obovate, shallow rounded lobed, 5-7.5 Cm. (2-3') long; flowers May, catkins; fruit Sept., acorn, 2.5-4 Cm. (1-1 3/5) long. Excresences (nutgall) subglobular, 1-2 Cm. (2/5-4/5') broad, upper portion tuberculated, basal portion nearly smooth and contracted into a short stalk, olive-green, blackish-gray; heavy, sinking in water (excepting the smaller, of which
Fig. 83. - Galla: a, entire; b, vertical section.
there should be not more than 5 p. c); fracture short-horny; internally grayish, centre radiating and resinous, occasionally hollow and traversed by a narrow radial canal to the exterior; stone cells outside of cavity, parenchyma containing tannin more exteriorly; odor slight; taste strongly astringent. Powder, grayish-yellow; microscopically - numerous fragments of starch-bearing parenchyma, starch grains
(1/5000-1/800') broad, few stone cells resembling those in fruits and seeds, tracheae. Tests: 1. Fragments mounted in dilute ferric chloride T. S. - deep blue, greenish-blue (tannin). 2. Macerate for a few minutes .5 Gm. in alcohol 2 Ml. (Cc.), + water 50 Ml. (Cc.), stir
5 minutes; 1 Ml. (Cc.) of yellowish filtrate + water 10 Ml. (Cc.) + a drop of ferric chloride T. S. - blue, violet-blue. Solvents: alcohol; water. Dose, gr. 5-30 (.3-2 Gm.).
Commercial. - Plant differs from the once official Q. alba, in seldom being tree-like, less indented leaves, larger acorns, and dissimilar cupules. The leaf-buds and tender bark of shoots are stung (punctured) easily by the horny evipositors of the female hymenopterous insects which deposit one or more eggs in such galled places (wounds), and thereby establishes morbid growth that quickly leads to the formation of a small tumor of hypertrophied tissue enclosing the egg; upon the gall reaching full development the egg hatches into a larva or grub that at once begins feeding on juices of the central cavity, which, never larger than the larva, soon becomes lined with a wall of hard cells that gradually extend to the periphery, causing the gall to harden. The grub when grown passes into the pupa (chrysalis) stage, thence into a 4-winged fly, 6 Mm. (J') long, that must either die or cut itself out with its mandibles, thus making a small round opening midway the gall; should this not be accomplished the insect remains will be revealed upon cracking open the unpunctured gall. Color is the guide to quality - the whitish, light, and spongy being rejected. There are several varieties: 1, Aleppo (Syrian), best, bluish, usually collected before the fly escapes; 2, Smyrna, grayish-olive, intermixed with white galls (least valuable, generally with large perforation); 3, Sorian, blackish, size of a pea; all three varieties exported from Trebizond, Smyrna, Bassora, Calcutta, Bombay; 4, European; light-color, more spongy, produced by a different cynips; much tannin; 5, American: (a) Q. alba, light, spongy; little tannin; (b) Q. virginiana (virens), Texas - resembles Aleppo but not tuberculated; tannin 40 p. c; (c) Q. lobata, California, 5 Cm. (2') broad, orange-brown, glossy, soft, spongy interior; much tannin.
Acidum Tannicum. Tannic Acid, HC14H9O9, official. - (Syn., Acid. Tann., Gallo-tannic Acid, Tannin, Digallic Acid; Fr. Tannin officinal, Acide tannique; Ger. Gerbsaure.) Obtained by exhausting powdered nutgall with warm water, cooling, agitating the filtrate with one-fourth volume of ether; the emulsion separates in 10 days, yielding an upper ethereal layer (coloring matter, fat, resin, gallic and ellagic acids), which is discarded, and a lower aqueous fluid, containing tannin, which under reduced pressure, is concentrated in a still to syrupy consistence, cooled, and spread on thin glass plates to dry - these being placed on a steam table and covered over to produce puffy, spongy character. It is a yellowish-white, light brown amorphous powder, darker on exposure to air and light, usually cohering as glistening scales, spongy masses; odorless, faint characteristic odor; strongly astringent taste, acid reaction; soluble in water, alcohol, diluted alcohol, slightly in dehydrated alcohol, glycerin (1) heated, almost insoluble in ether, chloroform, benzene, petroleum benzin; owing to weak combination with variable proportions of glucose once considered a glucoside. Tests: 1. Aqueous solution + ferric chloride - bluish-black color or precipitate. 2. Aqueous solution precipitates nearly all alkaloids, glucosides, solutions of gelatin, albumin, starch (dist. from gallic acid). 3. On drying - loses 12 p. c; incinerate 1 Gm. - ash .6 p. c. Impurities: Gum, dextrin, resinous substances. Incompatibles: Alkalies, alkaloids, emulsions, gelatin, ferric salts, mineral acids, salts of antimony, lead and silver. Should be kept cool, dark, in well-closed containers. Dose, gr. 1-20 (.06-1.3 Gm.).
Acidum Gallicum. Gallic Acid, HC7H5O5 + H2O, official. - (Syn., Acid. Gallic, Trihydroxybenzoic acid, Dihydroxysalicylic acid; Fr. Acide gallique; Ger. Gallussaure.) This organic acid usually is prepared from tannic acid by boiling 15 minutes 1 part (or 2 parts nutgall) with sulphuric acid (1) and water (5); strain while hot, set aside for crystallization; a once popular method consisted in exposing to the air a mixture of nutgall and distilled water in a thin paste for a month, adding water occasionally to keep semi-fluid, expressing, rejecting liquid, boiling residue with distilled water, filtering hot through animal charcoal, setting aside to crystallize. It is in white, pale fawn-colored, silky, interlaced needles or triclinic prisms; odorless; astringent, slightly acidulous taste; permanent, soluble in water (87), boiling water (3), alcohol (4.6), glycerin (10), ether (100), almost insoluble in chloroform; on drying loses 12 p. c; saturated aqueous solution - acid; incinerate 1 Gm. - ash .1 p. c. Tests: 1. Neutralize saturated aqueous solution with few drops of sodium hydroxide T. S. - gradually a deep green, changing to reddish by acids. 2. With ferrous solutions - neither colors nor precipitates; with ferric solutions - bluish-black precipitate. 3. Cold, saturated aqueous solution with alkaloids, glucosides, albumin, gelatin T. S., starch T. S. - no precipitate (abs. of tannic acid). It is the hydride of tannic acid, the latter being the anhydride of gallic acid, a relationship and convertibility shown by the equations: (1) 2HC7H5O5 - H2O = HC14H9O9. (2)HC14H9O9+H2O = 2HC7H5O5. Impurities: Tannic acid, etc. Incompatibles: Ferric and metallic salts, spirit of nitrous ether. Dose, gr. 5-20 (.3-1.3 Gm.).
Preparations. - I. Nutgall. 1. Unguentum Galloe. Nutgall Ointment. (Syn., Ung. Gall., Ointment of Galls; Fr. Pommade de Noix de Galle; Ger. Gallapfelsalbe.)
Manufacture: 20 p. c. Rub nutgall 20 Gm. with ointment 80 Gm., gradually added, until thoroughly mixed, avoiding metallic utensils; externally.
Unoff. Preps.: Fluidextract, dose, v-30 (.3-2 Ml. (Cc.)). Infusion, 5 p. c, dose, ℥j-2 (30-60 Ml. (Cc.)). Tincture, 20 p. c. (alcohol 90, glycerin 10), dose, 3ss-2 (2-8 Ml. (Cc.)). Unguentum Galloe cum Opii (Br., nutgall 18 p. c. + opium 7.5 p. c).