The jungles afford good pasturage in the hot weather, and abound in lac, silk cocoons, catechu, resin and the mahud fruit, which is both used as fruit and for the manufacture of spirits.
The betel nut is the fruit of the Areca or betel palm, Areca Catechu, and the betel leaf is the produce of the betel vine or pan, Chavica Betel, a plant allied to that which yields black pepper.
Betel nuts are further used as a source of catechu, which is procured by boiling the nuts in water.
The water of the first boiling becomes red and thick, and when this is inspissated after the removal of the nuts it forms a catechu of high astringency and dark colour called in Bombay "Kossa."
The nuts are again boiled, and the inspissated juice of the second decoction yields a weaker catechu of a brown or reddish colour.
Thus the protoand per-salts of iron, as well as the protoand per-salts of tin, including also a large variety of tannin, sumac, divi-divi, chestnut, valonia, the acacias (Areca Catechu and Acacia Catechu from India), from which are obtained cutch and gambier, &c., are no longer used solely as mordants or tinctorial matters, but mainly to serve the object of converting the silk into a greatly-expanded fibre, consisting of a conglomeration of more or less of these substances."
Besides betel-nut (Areca Catechu), the palms of India include the coco-nut (Cocos nucifera), the bastard date (Phoenix sylvestris), the palmyra (Borassus flabellifer), and the true date (Phoenix dactylifera).
Acacia arabica is the gum-arabic tree of India, but yields a gum inferior to the true gum-arabic. An astringent medicine, called catechu or cutch, is procured from several species, but more especially from Acacia catechu, by boiling down the wood and evaporating the solution so as to get an extract.
Catechu-tannin occurs in the extract of Mimosa catechu; and kino-tannin is the chief ingredient of kino (q.v.).
Reinsch on distilling catechin (the juice of Mimosa catechu); occurs free in kino and in beechwood tar; its sulphonic acid is present in the urine of the horse and man.