Ichthyocolla: medicinal 'fish glue'
Ichthyocolla is a collagen-rich medicinal simple, originally derived from many parts of the parent fish, but more commonly restricted to Acipenseriform swim bladders imported from Russia in early modern times. Used to treat headache, tetanus and leprosy in classical times, the medieval Arabic tradition saw it utilised against haemorrhoids. The colloidal nature of the processed material was exploited in early modern medicine where it was used to treat haemorrhoids, leucorrhoea, diarrhoea, and dysentery. Remarkable for its adhesive properties, it was used topically to bind the separated lips of wounds together, to stabilise broken ribs, and in medicinal plasters.
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