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Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 1
DR. HARISH KAKRANI
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 2
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 3
SYNONYMS: Gambier, Gambir.
BIOLOGICAL SOURCE: It is a dried aqueous extract of the
leaves and young shoots of Uncaria gambier Roxburgh.
– Family: Rubiaceae.
South-East Asia regions like Arachipelago in Malaysia.
Indonesia- Java, Sumatra.
CULTIVATION & COLLECTION:
Cultivation is carried out in fields upto 170m height.
Propagation done by sowing seeds in damp soil.
Nursery beds are raised.
After 9 months, the seedlings are transplanted in open fields.
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 4
harvesting is done when the plant reaches a height of 2 m.
The plant yields the drug upto 20 yrs.
The leaves and young shoots collected are boiled in pot called
Cauldron, made up of wood and with iron bottom, for 3 hrs and
decoction obtained is concentrated till it becomesa pasty mass with
yellowish- green color.
This mass is moulded in cubes and dried.
Pale catechu occurs as cuboidal mass, each side of which is 2.5cm.
Sometimes cubes are broken or attached to one another.
Friable in nature.
Inner surface: porous; color is pale brown to buff.
Taste: Astringent, but sometimes bitter & later sweet.
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 5
When mounted in water, it shows minute acicular crystals.
7 to 33% catechin, which is a structural unit of catechol tannins or
White needle shaped crystals.
Soluble in hot water and alcohol.
Not real tannin, but psuedotannin.
22 to 50% catechu-tannic acid.
It is non-crystalline phloba-tannin.
On decomposition, it yields insoluble,
dark colored, phlobaphene catechu-red, which
is also present as independent constituent.
Also, quercetin and gambier fluorescin.
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 6
TEST OBSERVATION INFERENCE
Gambier- Fluorescin Test: Boil a
little powder drug with alcohol,
filter & add NaOH solution to the
filterate, stir & add few ml of light
Result due to
in pale catechu.
Chlorophyll Test: Boil powder
with 5ml. Chloroform on water-
bath & filter in white porcelain
dish & evaporate in water-bath.
in the drug.
Matchstick Test: Dip a matchstick
in decoction of pale catechu, dry
in air & dip it in conc. HCl and
warm it near the burner.
Due to formation of
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 7
Mineral matter like clay, ferric hydroxide, etc.
Starch and astringent extracts.
Gambier from Dutch East Indies.
Local astringent, in the form of a lozenge.
General astringent in diarrhoea.
Mainly used in dyeing and tanning industries.
Also for protecting the fishing nets.
Sr. No TEST OBSERVATION INFERENCE
4 Vanillin-HCl Test: Treatment of
the powdered drug with 1g
vanillin, 10ml alcohol, 10ml conc.
Pink or red color Due to formation of
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 8
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 9
SYNONYMS: Kattha, Cutch, Khadir-catechu, Catech-
nigrum, Peru catechu.
BIOLOGICAL SOURCE: Black catechu is dried aqueous
extract prepared from the heart- wood of Acacia catechu and
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCE: India, Burma.
MANUFACTURE OF BLACK CATECHU:
1. Traditional Method:
Heartwood separated Boiled in earthen vessel, till all the soluble
portion is extracted from it cooled naturally till it is
converted to semi-solid mass on cooling, less soluble fraction
separates out, which is Kattha semi-solid mass is cutch
transferred to rectangular pits, at the bottom of which sand & clay are
placed cutch part is absorbed by clay and the solid mass is taken
out & moulded into blocks.
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 10
2. Modern Method:
Red heart-wood obtained by felling the tree separate the bark &
sapwood cut into chips mechanically & put into extractors
steam is passed through the drug extract
concentrated under vacuum cooled by refrigeration
centrifuged to isolate the cake of kattha cake moulded
in desired sizes & dried mother liquor left behind is concentrated,
which on cooling gives cutch.
Occurrence: Occurs in black or brownish black irregular mass.
Outer surface: Rough & dull and rarely glossy; shows covering of
Fracture: Hard & brittle.
Fractured surface: Glassy and porous and sometimes it is soft.
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 11
Solubility: Partially soluble in cold water & alcohol; completely soluble in
Taste: Bitter I beginning and astringent afterwards.
10 to 12% Acacatechin:
It is diastereomer of 5,7,3’, 4’- tetrahydroxy flavan-3-ols.
Also called acacia catechin.
Acacatechin undergoes oxidation to catechu-tannic acid in presence of
water; and the latter constitutes about 30% of the drug.
Acacatechin contains (-) epicatechin which is the trans form of
Quercetin & Quercitrin.
Contains no chlorophyll and fluorescent- substance, present in pale
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 12
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 13
1. Vanillin-HCl Test: Because of the presence of catechin,
black catechu gives pink or red color with vanillin and HCl.
2. Matchstick Test: Woody side of matchstick is dipped in
solution of tannins. It is dried and dipped in conc. HCl and
heated over the flame of the burner. Catechin when treated
with hydrochloric acid produces phloroglucinol, which
burns along with lignin to give purple or magenta color.
3. Aqueous extract of black catechu + Lime water
Brown color red ppt, on standing.
4. Dilute solution of black catechu + ferric ammonium sulfate
green color add NaOH to this
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 14
Ash value: Not more than 6% w/w
Water insoluble residue: Not more than 25%
Alcohol insoluble residue: Not more than 90% w/w
Loss on drying: Not more than 25%
Astringent externally for boils, skin eruptions and ulcers.
Used in cough and diarrhoea.
Cooling and digestive properties.
Not much used medicinally
Other uses: dyeing & coloring, water softening, removal of mercaptans
from gasoline, protective for fishing nets, in manufacture of ion-
Dr. Harish Kakrani, Tannins, CDCP 15
1. Dr. S. H. Ansari; Essentials of Pharmacognosy; Birla Publications Pvt.
Ltd.; New Delhi; 4
E dition; 2010; Page- 342, 346.
2. S. B. Kokate, A. P. Purohit, S. B. Gokhale; Pharmacognosy; Nirali
Prakashan; Pune; 44
Edition; 2010; Section- 9.13, 9.16.
3. J. S. Qadry; Pharmacognosy; B. S. Shah Prakashan; Ahmedabad; 15
Edition; 2010; Page-299, 300.