The dried secretion from the preputial follicles.
Habitat. Central Asia, from India to Siberia, Thibet; Himalayas, 900-4,200 M. (3,000-14,000°) elevation.
Syn. Mosch., Tonquin Musk, Deer Musk, Moschus Orientalis - Sinensis (Chinensis) - Tibetanus; Fr. Musc; Ger. Moschus, Bisam.
Mos'chus. L. musk. Gr.
fr. Skt. mushka, testicle, orig. a little mouse. Mos-chif e-rus. L. moschus, musk, +ferre, to bear - i. e., musk-producing.
Animal. - About 1 M. (3°) long, .6 M. (2°) high, haunches higher than shoulders, having a canine tooth (tusk) from the upper jaw, on either side, projecting downward 2 inches out of the mouth, which is curved backward and serves to extract roots and other food material; ears long, narrow; hair undulated, strong, elastic, iron-gray, whitish toward the root, blackish near the apex. Secretion (musk), in small, irregular granules, 1-2 Mm. (1/25-1/12) thick, blackish with a few brown fragments, grayish on aging; glistening, somewhat oily; odor peculiar,
Fig. 439. - Musk deer.
Fig. 440. - Chinese musk sac; a, lower surface; b, upper surface.
penetrating, powerful, persistent; taste somewhat bitter. Tests: 1. A few granules in water 2 Ml. (Cc), in a watch-crystal, stirred with a glass rod - light brown solution, with undissolved portion of fine granules, numerous rod-like bacteria, few hyphae of a fungus; in 2 Ml. (Cc.) of alcohol grains sink, on stirring with glass rod - pale brown, slightly cloudy solution, leaving oily stain upon evaporating and undissolved portion less disintegrated than with aqueous mixture; in 2 Ml. (Cc.) of chloroform grains float - on stirring with glass rod solution nearly colorless, which upon evaporation separates around the particles a whitish, oily (fatty) substance. 2. At least 50 p. c. soluble in water (solution having strong characteristic odor and slight acid reaction); 10 p. c. soluble in alcohol (solution yellowish-brown, slightly turbid upon adding water); 15 p. c. of moisture (lost by drying in desiccator over sulphuric acid). Solvents: diluted alcohol; ether; hot water partially. Dose, gr. 1-10 (.06-.6 Gm.).
Adulterations. - Artificial musk bags made of hairy skin and filled with foreign substances; these possess none of the characteristics belonging to the true bag as previously described. Often the natural sacs are opened, the secretion in part or whole abstracted, and the sac refilled with dried blood, resin, lead, sand, iron filings, hair, bird dung, wax, storax, benzoin, asphaltum, artificial musk, starch, etc.; in these sacs the sewed-up seam should at once excite suspicion, and lead to testing the contents.
Commercial. - The musk deer, in spite of having no horns but a tusk on each side, resembles closely our own deer in shape, size, and habits, being timid, active, fleet-footed and apparently intelligent; it inhabits the pine forests of high mountains, seeking inaccessible snowy recesses and cliffs, hiding by day and searching for food at night, owing to which, although abundant, comparatively few are captured (20,000 annually, male and female), and then only by snares, pitfalls, or shooting. It is hunted for the hide and secretion (musk) found in a projecting, hairy sac (bag, pod, pouch) between the umbilicus and prepuce of male animals, being 5-7.5 Cm. (2-30 long, 2.5-5 Cm. (1-2') broad, upper side flat with smooth membrane, under side convex, covered with stiff appressed, grayish hairs concentrically arranged around 2 orifices near the centre, the anterior small, hairy, the posterior marked by a furrow corresponding with the opening of the prepuce, and the interior lined by a smooth membrane, much convoluted to form incomplete partitions, which produces the secretion. As soon as killed the sac is cut off, dried by pressing against heated stones, and sent into market, those of well-developed adults yielding 2-6 drachms (8-24 Gm.) of chocolate-brown, thickish liquid secretion, that of the young deer being milky. There are several varieties: 1, Tonquin (Chinese, Thibet), best, claimed to come from Tonquin, but much from Yun-Nan, S. China, shipped via Shanghai, some via Calcutta, in lead-lined boxes containing 25 sacs, nearer round than all others, each wrapped carefully in paper; 2, Siberian (Russian), sometimes scarcely inferior to the Tonquin, but generally weaker, and with a more fetid odor and ammoniacal smell; enters commerce via Petrograd (St. Petersburg); when in flat, oval sacks, its usual form, with thin light hairs, it is known as Gabardine; 3, Bucharian (Assam), in small sacs, often with portions of hide adhering, rarely in our market; 4, Canton (Tonquinol, Bauer, Artificial), brown resinous mass capable of being powdered, musk-like odor, quickly lost on exposure; it is trinitro-isobutyl-methyl-benzol, obtained by acting on tertiary butyltoluene with nitric and sulphuric acids, heating for 8 hours, or by treating rectified oil of amber with fuming nitric acid. The homologues of isobutylxylol have an analogous odor.
Constituents. - Volatile oil .5-2.07 p. c, ammonia, an acid, cholesterin, fat, wax, gelatinous and albuminous principles, ash 8 p. c.
- mostly NH4, Ca, K - chlorides. The odorous principle is believed to be more than the volatile oil, and as yet has not been determined definitely; it volatilizes partly with steam, and is formed probably by slow continuous decomposition of one of the constituents in the presence of moisture; this is so powerful that a few grains, well protected, will impregnate a room for years without material loss of weight; also 1 part will saturate strongly 3,000 parts of an inodorous powder. This odor, however, may be removed by triturating with camphor, hydrocyanic acid, ergot, fennel or oily seeds, or by prolonged drying over sulphuric acid, but odor returns upon absorbing moisture. The German Pharmacopoeia requires musk dried by this last process. Alkalies render musk more soluble and the odor more pronounced.
Preparations. - 1. Tinctura Moschi. Tincture of Musk. (Syn., Tr. Mosch.; Fr. Teinture de Musc; Ger. Moschustinktur.)
Manufacture: 5 p. c Triturate to smooth paste musk 5 Gm. with water 45 Ml. (Cc), gradually added, macerate in bottle for 24 hours, add alcohol 45 Ml. (Cc), macerate for 6 days, occasionally shaking, transfer to a plain paper filter, drain, wash residue on filter with diluted alcohol q. s. 100 Ml. (Cc). Dose, 3ss-2 (2-8 Ml. (Cc)).
Unoff. Preps.: Emulsion. Enema. Pill (Pilula). Suppositories.
Properties. - Antispasmodic, nervine, anodyne, diffusible stimu-lant, aphrodisiac - similar to valerian, asafetida, camphor, ammonia. Acts directly on the heart and nervous system, producing alcoholic symptoms, stimulates respiratory centre; may cause headache, nausea.
Fig. 441. - Castor Fiber: b, scales of the tail.
Fig. 442. - Castor follicles: one-fourth natural size.
Uses. - Typhoid fever, typhus and eruptive fevers, pneumonia, infantile convulsions, hiccough, pharyngeal spasms, spasmodic croup or cough, whooping-cough, vomiting, colic, hysterical convulsions, tetanus, delirium tremens, rheumatism, cholera infantum, false croup; externally in plaster for muscular rheumatism, sprains, etc