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Reshma B. V., Nithin Manohar R.* and Anaha V. I.


Lac is the scarlet resinous secretion of a number of species of lac insects, of which the most commonly cultivated species is Kerria lac.Lac (also called Laksha) is a slick serum and secretion from a scale insect species Laccifer lacca. These insects suck the sap of several plants and bushes and secrete lac as a protective covering. Laccifer lacca looks like tiny spots on plants. Lac/Lakh or Laksha is a resin and wax mixture secretion from the scale insects as a hard protective covering. It is a natural commercial resin of animal origin. It has a reddish or dark-brown colour with a disagreeable smell. Laccifer lacca is used in the conditions of injuries, fungal infections, eczema, scabies and herpes. Internal uses include treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, intestinal parasites (worms), internal bleeding disorders, hiccup and cough. In Unani, Lac is considered tonic for liver, stomach and intestine. It is a haemostatic. Shellac is a form of purified Lac and thin yellow and orange flakes. The purification process of Lac involves heating and filtering. Sometimes, it is also bleached to get white Shellac. In Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani system of medicine Lac is used for treatment of variety of diseases. Lac is used in various industrial purposes, used as a dye in textile industry.

Keywords: Laccifer lacca, Lac insect, Resin secretion, Synthetic dye, Bleeding disorders.

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