07. The constituents of manna

  • Mannitol . Manna contains 50-60% of mannitol which retains water in the intestine favoring an increase in fecal mass and thus stimulating intestinal peristalsis. The laxative effect is rather mild, constant in children, inconstant in adults.
  • Waterfall . Water is contained in manna in a percentage of 8-10%. The quantity of water affects the shelf life, the specific weight, the density, the crystallization, the viscosity, the refractive index and the quality of the manna. If the water exceeds 12-13%, the manna certainly undergoes fermentation.
  • Glucose and fructose . They both appear in the manna in a percentage of 3-5%. These simple sugars ready for use owe their action to osmotic activity and food value.
  • Sucrose, dextrin, starch . In varying percentages, they are however always present in small quantities. Sucrose is the common table sugar, dextrin is an oligosaccharide with a complex structure and various molecular weight, starch is the most widespread polysaccharide in the plant world.
  • Mannotriose . It is present in the percentage of 12-16%. It is a trisaccharide with formula C18H32O16, composed of one molecule of glucose and two of galactose, in which it is split by hydrolysis.
  • Mannotetrosio, or Lupeosio, or Stachiosio . It is found in the manna in a percentage of 6-16%. It is a tetrasaccharide with the formula C24H42O21, composed of two molecules of galactose, one of glucose and one of fructose. By partial hydrolysis from a fructose molecule next to the mannotriose trisaccharide. It appears as a white, amorphous, hygroscopic powder with a dextrorotatory power.
  • Organic acids . The organ acidsici they are present in a rather modest percentage. They affect the mineral turnover and the acid-base balance of the organism. Being partly free, but above all salified, when burned they contribute to increasing the alkaline reserve of the blood. In fact, these salts, following oxidation, release the basic ions capable of combining with the strong acids present in the body. In this way they help to neutralize the excessive acidifying substances coming from today's mainly meat diet. From a pharmacological point of view, organic acids show osmotic activity with a consequent modest laxative action similar to that turning point from simple sugars.
  • Mineral elements . They appear in a percentage of 1.5-2.5%. There are plastic minerals and trace elements, both useful for important functions in the body. They help to preserve the acid-base balance, to neutralize acidifying substances, to enter the constitution of hormones, enzymes, coenzymes and vitamins.
  • Vitamins . Vitamins are found in manna in very modest quantities. In the human organism they favor a balanced body growth and allow a healthy and scientific life.
  • Enzymes . They appear in a small percentage. They catalyze multiple chemical reactions in an adequate way for biological functions.
  • Spontaneous bacterial flora . It is very useful to the body. It acts synergistically with the intestinal flora favoring a normal development of digestive processes and helping to preserve the homeostasis of the organism.
  • Phytohormonal substances and growth factors . They favor the regular development of some physiological processes.
  • Substances with antibiotic and antibacterial activity . They are active on various germs.
  • Resin and similar substances . In varying percentages, they are however always present in small quantities. They are substances with a complex chemical structure capable of carrying out modest tissue irritation and modest local antiseptic action.
  • Mucilage and pectin . Contained in a minimal percentage, they are strongly hydrophilic heteropolysaccharides. They act as a mild laxative because they absorb water and thus increase the intestinal mass, which, by stimulating the contraction reflex, promotes peristalsis.
    Furthermore, they act as antidiarrheals because together with water they absorb any toxins present in the intestinal lumen.
  • Tannin . Present in traces, it carries out an astringent and local disinfectant action.
  • Ash . Ash, present in small quantities, is a glucoside with formula C16, H18, O10. Following hydrolysis, it splits into glucose and frassetin (or methylthrixy-coumarin) having the formula C10, H8, O5.
  • Other principles . Other principles not yet fully highlighted are contained in the manna. However, the modern laboratory methods will allow in a short time the knowledge of the whole range of principles present in the manna.