Information about: Manna

Index | Manna

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Manna. The sweet, concrete juice which is obtained by incisions made in the stem of a species of ash, Fraxinus ornus, a native of Sicily, Calabria, and other parts of the south of Europe. The manna of commerce is collected in Sicily, where the manna ash is cultivated for the purpose in regular plantations. The best manna is in oblong pieces or flakes of a whitish or pale yellow color, light, friable, and somewhat transparent. It has a slight peculiar odor, and a sweetish taste mixed with a slight degree of bitterness, and is employed as a gentle laxative for children or persons of weak habit. It is, however, generally used as an adjunct to other more active medicines. Other sweetish secretions exuded by some other plants growing in warm and dry climates, as the Eucalyptus mannifera of Australia, the Tamarix mannifera or gallica of Arabia and Syria, are considered to be kinds of manna. Small quantities of manna, known under the name of Brianlion manna, are obtained from the common larch. In Scripture we are told that a substance called manna was miraculously furnished as food for the Israelites in their journey through the wilderness of Arabia. Some persons identify it with the saccharine substance yielded by the Tamarix mannifera.

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