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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drugs Containing Lipids

It is the purified internal fat obtained from the abdomen of the hog Sus scrofa Linn., belonging to family Suidae.




Biological Source


It is the purified internal fat obtained from the abdomen of the hog Sus scrofa Linn., belonging to family Suidae.




The abdominal fat consists of omentum and parts of peritoneum. They are obtained in the form of flat, leafy masses called the ‘flare’. The fats are washed to remove the salts or the preservatives used during storage and they are hung in a current of air for drying. The omentum and parts of peritoneum are minced to break the membranous vesicles and to liberate the lard inside then It is then heated to 50–55°C, not more than 57°C to melt the lard. The melted lard is then separated by passing through muslin cloth and cooled with proper stirring. If the lard is not stirred properly it can result in the crystallization. Entrapping of air should be avoided to prevent the lard from becoming rancid on storage.




It is a soft, creamy, white, solid, or semisolid homogeneous fat with butter-like consistency. Lard has slight fatty odour but not rancid, cool in nature and sweet taste. It is insoluble in alcohol and soluble in benzene, ether, carbon disulfide, and chloroform. Refractive index varies from 1.4520 to 1.4550, saponification value is 192–198, and acid value is not more than 2, melting point 34°C to 41°C, specific gravity between 0.934 and 0.938, and iodine value 52 to 56.


Chemical Constituents


Lard consists of about 60% olein and 40% of stearin and palmitin mixture. The oil separated at 0°C is called the lard oil. About 100 grams of lard contains 900 calories, 95 mg cholesterol, 39 g saturated fat, 45 g monounsaturated fatty acids, 11 g polyunsaturated fatty acids, 0.6 mg vitamin E, 0.l mg zinc, and 0.2 mg selenium.




It is used as an ointment base and in formulations where more effective absorption is preferred. It is used in difficult bowel movements, dryness in the internal organs like dry cough, skin, eyes, nose, and stool. Lard is also used in food manufacturing. Pure lard is especially useful for cooking since it produces very little smoke when heated and has a distinct and pleasant taste when combined with other foods.


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