Musk is the dried secretion from the perpetual follicles of Musk Deer (Moschus moschiferus L. ). The animal is found in India, Tibet, Nepal, China and Russia etc. at an altitude of 3000- 4000 mt rs.
Musk is found in a small sac situated at a short distance behind navel and just in front of perpetual orifice. The Musk is secreted by alveoli of the inner lining of the sac is collected in its cavity. For collection of Musk the pod is completely removed after killing the animal. The quantity available in each pod varies from 8 to 60 gm. Fresh Musk is usually moist which can be dried in open sunlight.
Uses In Ayurveda and Siddha, Musk has been considered as a life saving drug and used in various cardiac, mental and neurological disorders. It has also been included in various compound formulations like Kasturi Bhairav Ras, Kasturi Modak, Mrignabhyadi Vati and Mrigamadsar etc., which have wide therapeutic applications.
In Unani medicine , Musk is used in palpitation, melancholia, epilepsy, hysteria, dementia, tremors and whooping cough.
Chemical constituents The Musk has slightly bitter taste and strong aromatic odor. Its solubility in alcohol and water is 10-12 % and 50-75% respectively. On steam distillation it yields a ketone-Muscone which is said to be principal odorous constituents . Now synthetic Muscone is available commercially.
Pharmacological actions The Musk has anti- histaminic, anti- inflammatory, anti- spasmodic, diuretic and central nervous system stimulating actions, which can be equated with its various clinical uses in Ayurveda and Siddha.