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Hyraceum

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									Hyraceum
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hyraceum ( /haɪərˈreɪsiəm/) is the petrified and rock-like excrement composed of both urine and feces excreted by the
Cape Hyrax, (Procavia capensis), commonly referred to as the Dassie. After aging and petrifying over hundreds if not
thousands of years, it is a sought-after material that has been used in both traditional South African medicine and perfumery.

Hyraceum in perfumery
The material hardens and ages until it becomes a fairly sterile, rock-like material (also referred to as "Africa Stone") that
contains compounds giving it an animal, deeply complex fermented scent that combines the elements of musk, castoreum,
civet, tobacco and agarwood. The material is harvested without disturbing the animals by digging strata of the brittle, resinous,
irregular, blackish-brown stone; because animals are not harmed in its harvesting it is often an ethical substitute for deer
musk and civet, which require killing or inflicting pain on the animal.

Hyraceum in traditional South African medicine
After it has been fossilized hyraceum has been used as a traditional folk medicine in South Africa for treating epilepsy. [1] One
clinical study of 14 samples of the material collected at various geographical locations in South Africa tested the material for
its affinity for the GABA-benzodiazepine receptor, a neurologic receptor site that is effective in the treatment of seizures with
benzodiazapines such as diazepam and lorazepam in western medicine. Four of the hyraceum samples assayed positive for
having an affinity for the receptor sites, however extracts in water were inactive. The results of the study supported the
potential use of hyraceum as a treatment for seizures.

References
   1. ^ Olsen, Andreas; Linda C. Prinsloo, Louis Scott, Anna K. Jägera (November/December 2008). "Hyraceum, the fossilized metabolic
      product of rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis), shows GABA-benzodiazepine receptor affinity"  . South African Journal of Science
      103.



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