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Preparation of Kshar Sutra (Medicated Thread)
The threads are prepared on surgical linen size 20 by repeatedly smearing it with the latex of euphorbia neriifolia and a combination of certain vegetable caustics grown on a large scale in India and other parts of Southern Asia.
These substances are:
- Fresh latex collected from the plant euphorbia neriifolia (euphorbiaceae family) by stabbing the stem at various places (figure 1).
- A specially prepared alkaline powder derived from the plant achyranthes aspera (amaranthaceac family).This powder is obtained by the evapouration of the filtered soloution of burnt ashes of this plant in water. This method is indigenous to the Indian system of medicine and is termed "Ksharapatan". The powder thus obtained, is also caustic and is locally used as a debriding agent in chronic non healing ulcers. It has a pH range of 8 to 9.2.
- A fine powder of the dried rhizomes of curcuma longa, (ascitaminacea family). These rhizomes are commonly used as ingredient of spice and are commonly termed as tumeric.
| Figure 1: Stem of Euphorbia Neriifolia. The Latex of this plant is used for smearing the threads
The processing of the thread is done inside a specially designed cabinet This cabinet is provided with a device hot blower for drying the threads and an ultra violet light for sterilization. The temprature of the chamber is recorded with the help of a thermometer.
The cabinet contains 25 hangers on which the surgical linen No. 20 is spread and hooked throughout.
After dissolving dry latex of Euphorbia Neriifolia in chloroform, the coatings are done over thread hooked in to the hanger and put in to the cabinet for drying.
This process is repeated for three times. Then fresh latex of Euphorbia Neriifolia is coated over thread and passed through alkine power of Achyranthes Aspera and put for drying in the cabinet, this process is repeated for 4 times. Last 2 coatings are done by latex of Euphorbia Neriifolia and powder of curcuma longa, in the same manner. During processing the thread are sterilized by U.V. light. In the last, after completely drying the threads are cut from the hanger and sealed in the air tight test tubes.
Figure 3:Tubes Containing caustic threads.