Calcarea carbonica Hahnemannii
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Calcarea ostrearum / Ostrea edulis
Ostreon (greco), ostrea (latino)
Dal latino "calx": calcare.
Dal latino "carbo": carbone.
Italian: Guscio di Ostrica
English: Oyster shells, Carbonate of lime;
French: Carbonate de chaux;
The shell of the animal.
Animalia; Mollusca - Molluscs; Gastropoda - Snails; Bivalvia - Mussels; Eulamellibranchiata ; Anisomyaria ; Ostreidae - Oysters
Hahnemann prepared and proved this salt of calcium. Allen's Encyclop. Mat. Med. Vol. II, 351.
Description of the substance
Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound with the formula CaCO3. It is a common substance found in rocks in all parts of the world, and is the main component of shells of marine organisms, snails, coal balls, pearls, and eggshells. Calcium carbonate is the active ingredient in agricultural lime, and is usually the principal cause of hard water. It is commonly used medicinally as a calcium supplement or as an antacid, but excessive consumption can be hazardous.
Aragonite is a carbonate mineral. It and the mineral calcite are the two common, naturally occurring polymorphs of calcium carbonate, CaCO3. The crystal lattice of aragonite differs from that of calcite, resulting in a different crystal shape, an orthorhombic system with acicular crystals. By repeated twinning pseudo-hexagonal forms result. It may be columnar or fibrous, occasionally in branching stalactitic forms called flos-ferri (flowers of iron) from their association with the ores at the Carthinian iron mines. The type location for aragonite is Molina de Aragón (Guadalajara, Spain), 25 km outside Aragon. A whole aragonite cave (the Ochtiná Aragonite Cave) is situated in Slovakia. In the USA, stalactitic aragonite is known from Carlsbad Caverns.
Aragonite forms naturally in almost all mollusk shells. Because the mineral deposition in mollusk shells is strongly biologically controlled, some crystal forms are distinctively different from those of inorganic aragonite. In some mollusks, the entire shell is aragonite; in others, aragonite forms only discrete parts of a bimineralic shell (aragonite plus calcite). Aragonite also forms in the ocean and in caves as inorganic precipitates called marine cements and speleothems, respectively. The nacreous layer of the aragonite fossil shells of some extinct ammonites forms an iridescent material called ammolite. Ammolite is primarily aragonite with impurities that make it iridescent and valuable as a gemstone.
The carbonate mineral calcite is a calcium carbonate corresponding to the formula CaCO3 and is one of the most widely distributed minerals on the Earth's surface. It is a common constituent of sedimentary rocks, limestone in particular. It is also the primary mineral in metamorphic marble. It also occurs as a vein mineral in deposits from hot springs, and also occurs in caverns as stalactites and stalagmites. Calcite is often the primary constituent of the shells of marine organisms, e.g., plankton (such as coccoliths and planktic foraminifera), the hard parts of red algae, some sponges, brachiopoda, echinoderms, most bryozoa, and parts of the shells of some bivalves, such as oysters and rudists). Calcite represents the stable form of calcium carbonate; aragonite will change to calcite at 470°C.
Hahnemann used oyster as source for Calcarea carbonica.
The word oyster is used as a common name for a number of distinct groups of bivalve molluscs which live in marine or brackish habitats. The valves are highly calcified.
Some kinds of oyster are commonly consumed, cooked or raw, by humans as a delicacy. Other kinds such as pearl oysters, generally not eaten by humans, are harvested for the pearl produced within the mantle.
Almost all shell-bearing mollusks can secrete pearls, yet most are not very valuable.
Pearl oysters are not closely related to true oysters, being members of a distinct family, the feathered oysters (Pteriidae). Both cultured pearls and natural pearls can be obtained from pearl oysters, though other molluscs, such as the freshwater mussels, also yield pearls of commercial value.
The largest pearl-bearing oyster is the marine Pinctada maxima, which is roughly the size of a dinner plate. Not all individual oysters produce pearls naturally. In fact, in a harvest of three tons of oysters, only three to four oysters produce perfect pearls.
In nature, pearl oysters produce natural pearls by covering a minute invading parasite with nacre, not by ingesting a grain of sand. Over the years, the irritating object is covered with enough layers of nacre to become a pearl. There are many different types, colours and shapes of pearl; these qualities depend on the natural pigment of the nacre, and the shape of the original irritant.
Pearl farmers can culture a pearl by placing a nucleus, usually a piece of polished mussel shell, inside the oyster. In three to six years, the oyster can produce a perfect pearl. These pearls are not as valuable as natural pearls, but look exactly the same. In fact, since the beginning of the 20th century, when several researchers discovered how to produce artificial pearls, the cultured pearl market has far outgrown the natural pearl market.