Category Archives: Animal Hide, Shell & Others

Shark Cartilage

What is Shark Cartilage?
Shark cartilage is extracted from the heads and fins of sharks. Cartilage is a type of connective tissue that is found in the skeletal systems of many animals, including humans. Sharks’ skeletons are made up almost entirely of cartilage. The major compounds in shark cartilage are proteoglycans and glycoproteins (large molecules with protein and carbohydrate components), as well as protein and calcium salts. Shark cartilage is promoted mainly as an alternative to conventional cancer treatment, but some forms are being studied for use along with standard therapies.

.CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES…..>..(1).….(2)

Although some laboratory and animal studies have shown that some components in shark cartilage have the ability to slow the growth of new blood vessels, these effects have not been proven in humans. The few small clinical studies of shark cartilage products published to date have not shown any benefit against cancer. Further clinical trials of the supplements and of a purified cartilage extract are currently under way.

How is it promoted for use?
Supporters believe that shark cartilage supplements or cartilage from other animals, such as cows, can slow or stop the growth of cancer (see also Bovine Cartilage). According to its supporters, shark cartilage contains proteins that stop angiogenesis, the process of blood vessel development. Tumors need a network of blood vessels to survive and grow, so cutting off the tumor’s blood supply starves it of nutrients, causing it to shrink or disappear. Some supporters also claim that shark cartilage can help against other diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis, psoriasis, macular degeneration, and inflammation of the intestinal tract.

In what form  it is taken?

Most shark cartilage products are sold as dietary supplements in the form of pills or powders. Most have not been tested for effectiveness, safety, or to verify the purity of ingredients. Available scientific evidence does not support claims that shark cartilage supplements sold as food supplements are an effective treatment for cancer, osteoporosis, or any other disease. One shark cartilage product, called AE-941, is in the early phases of development as an investigational new drug.
Shark cartilage, the tough material that a sharks’ skeleton is composed of, is dried and powdered to create this popular dietary supplement.
Shark cartilage is usually taken by mouth as a capsule, powder, or liquid extract, but some people have trouble taking it by mouth because of the strong fishy smell and taste. It is sometimes used as an enema. The dose and length of treatment varies widely. Manufacturers often recommend large doses (up to 1 cup a day). Chondroitin, a supplement often used with glucosamine to help arthritis, is also made from cartilage. Either bovine or shark cartilage may be used to produce chondroitin.

Shark cartilage dietary supplements are different from AE-941, a liquid shark extract known as Neovastat. This extract is regulated by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an investigational new drug. AE-941 is being used in carefully controlled clinical trials for people who have agreed to be part of the study.

History:
A New York surgeon named John Prudden began investigating the use of animal cartilage as a medical treatment in the early 1950s. He used powdered cow cartilage to help heal the wounds of surgical patients and later used it to treat cancer. He reported that tumors shrank in more than half of the patients he treated, but the results have not been repeated in other studies.

Since then, many kinds of cartilage, from animals such as pigs, sheep, chickens, cows, and sharks, have been studied. After the 1992 publication of a popular book titled Sharks Don’t Get Cancer, written by I. William Lane, PhD, shark cartilage supplements became very popular among people interested in alternative medicine. The idea was that since cancer does not seem to develop in sharks as much as in humans, there may be something in the sharks’ systems that protects them from the disease.

Interest in shark cartilage increased after a television news magazine aired a segment in 1993 showing a study of patients with advanced cancer in Cuba who had gone into remission after being treated with shark cartilage. The results, however, have not been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) later concluded that the results of the Cuban study were “incomplete and unimpressive.”

According to the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission, some manufacturers of shark cartilage supplements have been fined and/or forced to remove their products from the market for making unproven claims that they have cancer-fighting abilities. Such claims can only be made for drugs with proven effects.

Finding drugs that halt the spread of cancer by stopping the growth of blood vessels has been the subject of many conventional research studies in recent years. Some researchers believe that this therapy, called anti-angiogenesis therapy, holds a great deal of promise for certain types of cancer. A number of anti-angiogenesis drugs are currently being studied, and one is already approved to treat certain types of cancer. In addition, several drugs that were approved for other uses, including cancer treatment, have anti-angiogenic effects. These are now being studied more carefully for their role in anti-angiogenesis. Some researchers are trying to purify compounds in cartilage that stop the growth of blood vessels. But the most promising anti-angiogenic substances now in existence are those that have been purified from sources other than cartilage or have been made in laboratories.

Actual Evidence :
Shark cartilage is claimed to combat and/or prevent a variety of illnesses, most notably cancer. It is often marketed under the names Carticin, Cartilade, or BeneFin. A derivative of it named Neovastat was tested by AEterna Zentaris as an angiogenesis inhibitor and showed promising results in animals. Two clinical trials of Neovastat were completed in 2007, showing negative results

The consensus of available scientific evidence does not support claims that whole shark cartilage supplements are an effective treatment for cancer in humans. Although studies using cow and shark cartilage in people with cancer began in the early 1980s, few have been published. The scientific truth of many of these studies is open to question because they do not describe how treatment was given, how patients were assessed, long-term survival outcomes, or information about the cartilage used and its components.

Some experiments have shown that some forms of shark cartilage possess a modest ability to slow the growth of new blood vessels in laboratory cell cultures and in animals, but the effects on humans are not known. According to one review, results from 9 clinical series of patients receiving shark cartilage were mixed. None of the series were done under strict scientific controls.

In one clinical trial involving about 50 patients, researchers concluded that shark cartilage supplements had no effect on patients with advanced-stage cancers. When a more recent placebo-controlled clinical trial tested shark cartilage in more than 80 patients with advanced cancer, no benefit was found. “It wasn’t well tolerated, there wasn’t any suggestion of benefit in terms of quality of life, there wasn’t any suggestion of benefit in terms of survival,” commented Charles L. Loprinzi, the physician who authored the study report.

Researchers generally agree that the protein molecules in shark cartilage may be too large to be absorbed by the digestive tract and are simply excreted without ever reaching tumors in the body. However, some scientists have suggested that these substances may be more readily absorbed when taken in a liquid form. One study concluded that the liquid shark cartilage extract AE-941 (Neovastat) taken by mouth effectively slowed the growth of new blood vessels in healthy men, suggesting to the study authors that the active ingredients in liquid shark cartilage were available for use by the body’s healing systems.

A small study of the extract found that larger doses were better than smaller doses at prolonging survival in patients with advanced kidney cancer. A larger study was then done. While the results of this study have not been published, the manufacturer has stopped testing it against kidney cancer, suggesting that the results may not have been positive. The NCI sponsored a large, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial using the extract with conventional chemotherapy and radiation therapy for the treatment of advanced (stage III) lung cancer. Preliminary results in this study were reported at the 2007 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Based on analysis of outcomes from 379 patients, the researchers concluded that AE-941 did not improve overall survival.

Possible Complications:
This product is sold as a dietary supplement in the United States. Unlike drugs (which must be tested before being allowed to be sold), the companies that make supplements are not required to prove to the Food and Drug Administration that their supplements are safe or effective, as long as they don’t claim the supplements can prevent, treat, or cure any specific disease.

Some such products may not contain the amount of the herb or substance that is written on the label, and some may include other substances (contaminants). Actual amounts per dose may vary between brands or even between different batches of the same brand.

Most such supplements have not been tested to find out if they interact with medicines, foods, or other herbs and supplements. Even though some reports of interactions and harmful effects may be published, full studies of interactions and effects are not often available. Because of these limitations, any information on ill effects and interactions below should be considered incomplete.

Shark cartilage is not thought to be toxic, although it has been known to cause nausea, indigestion, fatigue, fever, and dizziness in some people. It may affect liver function, so ask your doctor before taking it if you have any kind of liver disease. It may also slow down the healing process for people recovering from surgery. People with a low white blood cell count should not take shark cartilage enemas, because there is a risk of life-threatening infection. Children should not take it because it could interfere with body growth and development.

Allergic reactions are possible. People with seafood allergies should avoid shark cartilage and chondroitin that is made from it. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should also avoid these supplements.

It is not known whether shark cartilage could cause any problems from interactions with other medicines. Relying on this type of treatment alone and avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer, may have serious health consequences.

Criticism and controversy
Proponents of shark cartilage are encouraged by anecdotal evidence from users as to its efficacy. The proponents also cite studies that show that shark cartilage has had some success in preventing angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. While angiogenesis is often a normal function, it is also consistent with the growth of malignant tumors. They argue too, that very little research (in the quantity and quality of studies) has been conducted, and thus the benefits cannot be scientifically disputed.

Opponents cite existing studies of shark cartilage on a variety of cancers that produced negligible to non-existent results in the prevention or treatment of cancer.[3] Most notably was the breast-cancer trial conducted by the Mayo Clinic that stated that the trial “was unable to demonstrate any suggestion of efficacy for this shark cartilage product in patients with advanced cancer.” [4] The results of another clinical trial were presented at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology. In that study (sponsored by the National Cancer Institute), “researchers did not find a statistical difference in survival” between patients receiving shark cartilage and those taking a placebo.[1]

Detractors also purport that previous beliefs in regards to sharks and cancer have been overturned, as forty-two varieties of cancer have now been discovered in sharks and related species. Also, many opponents feel that non-existent (or even limited) results do not justify the rampant over-fishing of many endangered species of sharks, further threatening their extinction.[5]

The protein involved in inhibiting angiogenesis would have to be injected into the bloodstream to have any effect on the cancer in the body. When a patient takes shark cartilage orally the protein is digested before it reaches the area of the tumor. Not all cancers rely on angiogenesis for energy.

Legal action

In the summer of 2004, Lane Labs, the manufacturers of BeneFin, was ordered to cease the promotion BeneFin as a treatment or cure for cancer, as they had not conducted any research as to their claims for the product, much less reported any potential side effects. Thus, the FDA ordered Lane Labs to “pay restitution to all of its customers from September of 1999 to the present

Resources:

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/eto/content/eto_5_3x_shark_cartilage.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_cartilage

Enhanced by Zemanta

Marguerite Concha

Latin Plant Name: Margaritaferae, Concha

Pinyin Mandarin Name : Zhen Zhu Mu

Common English Name: Mother-of-Pearl

Part of Plant Used: Whole shell………

Nature: Cold

Taste: Sweet, salty

Meridians Entered: Liver, Heart

Common Medicinal  Usages:
This herb is used in formulas to treat dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears, acid stomach, cataracts, insomnia, seizures, or night blindness.

Traditional Usages and Functions: Pacifies Liver, brightens eyes, and calms Spirit.

Common Formulas Used In: Concha Marguerita and Ligustrum.

Processing Required

Cautions in Use: Use cautiously where there is a sensation of coldness in the abdomen.

Sources:http://www.acupuncture-and-chinese-medicine.com/marguerite-concha.html

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Haliotidis (Abalone Shell)

Latin Plant Name: Concha Haliotidis
Pinyin Mandarin Name: Shi Jue Ming

Common English Name: Abalone Shell

Chinese Name:Shi jue ming

Part of Plant Used: Whole shell
....
Properties: Salty in flavour, cold in nature, it acts on liver channel. It is effective for nourishing Yin and checking exuberance of yang, clearing away the from the liver to improve vision, relieving dizziness due to liver-yang and conjunctival congestion due to liver-heat.
Origin: It is the shell of Halio tis diversicolor Reeve, H. gigantea discus Reeve and H.ovina Chemnitz, family Halio tidae.

Property, taste and attributive meridian.
Salty in taste, cold in property. Enters the liver meridian.
Effects: Calming the liver-yang and checking exuberance of Yang, clearing away heat from the liver to improve vision.

General Usage: To be decocted before adding other ingredients.
Meridians Entered: Liver, Kidneys

Common Medicinal  Usages:
Action:
To subdue hyperactivity of the liver, quench its fire and improve eyesight.

Indications: Headache and dizziness; blurred vision due to nebula, optic atrophy and night blindness.

This herb is used in formulas to treat high blood pressure, eye redness with light sensitivity, blurred vision, glaucoma, cataracts, headaches behind eyes, and spasms (TCM: Liver imbalances with heat symptoms).

Traditional Usages and Functions:
Quells fire and causes Yang to descend; brightens eyes and causes superficial visual obstructions to recede.

Common Formulas Used In : Rehmannia and Dogwood Fruit.
Processing : Required

Cautions in Use; Do not use during pregnancy. Not useful in most cases where there are no heat symptoms.

Click to see ->:Concha Haliotidis (Shi Jue Ming) – Improves Eyesight

Resources:

http://www.acupuncture-and-chinese-medicine.com/haliotidis.html

http://www.fzrm.com/plantextracts/sea-ear_shell_extract.htm

http://www.tcmtreatment.com/herbs/0-shijueming.htm

http://www.enwei.com.cn/b2b_en/page.asp?title=shijueming

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Gelatinum Asini

yin yang

yin yang (Photo credit: Chris Blakeley)

Latin Plant Name:  Gelatinum Asini
Pinyin Mandarin Name: E Jiao
Pin Yin: ejiao-
Common English Name: Gelatin from the skin of an Ass
Common name:
ass hide glue
Other names: A Jiao, Yuan E Jiao, Chen E Jiao, Lu Pi Jiao, Lu E Jiao, Dong E Jiao, Ah Jao
Botanical family: (animal) Equidae
Botanical name: Equs asinus L.
Part of Plant Used: Prepared gelatin
Primary action: Supplement Blood
Secondary actions: Stop Bleeding; Supplement Yin
Temperature: neutral
Nature: Neutral
Taste: Sweet
Entering Channel: Lu, Lv, Kd

Meridians Entered: Lungs, Liver, Kidneys
YOU MAY CLICK TO SEE..>…..(01)..(1)…….(2).…..
Common Usages : This herb is used to stop chronic bleeding and enhance recovery from excessive bleeding. It is most often used in formulas that treat anemia, tuberculosis, dry cough with bloody sputum, bleeding fibroids, and endometriosis; also used to raise blood platelet count, and to stop bleeding and spotting during pregnancy (TCM: builds Lung Yin and nourishes Blood).

Nourishes Blood; used especially for dizziness, palpitations, and dry skin.
Stops bleeding of all types, especially in conditions of chronic wasting illnesses and Vacuity of Yin or Blood.
Supplements Yin and moistens Lungs, especially useful for the aftermath of feverish illness.

Traditional Usages and Functions
: Nourishes Blood; nourishes Blood and stops bleeding; nourishes Yin and moistens Lungs.

Common Formulas Used In : Leonuris and Achyranthes.

Processing Required : Can be used after processing

Remarks
Dissolve the gelatin in warm water before adding it to tea, or use alone after straining.

Cautions in Use
Do not use this herb where there is an exterior excess condition. Use with caution if there is deficent Spleen and/or Stomach.

You may click to see:->
The Official MartinZ Blog :

Resources:

http://www.acupuncture-and-chinese-medicine.com/gelatinum-asini.html

http://www.chineseherbacademy.org/databases/hb-db/asini.html

http://www.tcmassistant.com/herbs/e-jiao.html

Enhanced by Zemanta

Oyster Shell

 

Latin Plant Name: Concha Ostreae

Pinyin Mandarin Name: Mu Li

Common English Name:  Oyster Shell

Parts Used : Whole shell (crushed)

Nature: Cool

Taste :Salty, astringent

Click for more knowledge  on Oyster

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Meridians Entered: Liver, Kidneys

Common Usages:   Oyster shell is used in formulas to treat irritability with associated symptoms of palpitations, insomnia, and anxiety, and sometimes ringing in the ears, blurred vision, and flushed face (TCM: Yin deficiency); also used to treat night sweats, nocturnal emissions, heartburn, and goiter.

Traditional Usages and Functions:  Settles and calms Spirit; benefits Yin and restrains floating Yang; prevents leakage of fluids; softens hardness and dissipates nodules; absorbs acidity and alleviates pain.

Common Formulas Used InBupleurum and Dragon Bone; Tang Gui and Indigo.

Processing Required : Must be used after proper processing

Cautions in Use :  Do not use where there is high fever with no sweatin
You may click to see:->

Oyster Shell Calcium 500 +D – Bone Health

Calcium Oyster Shell
Calcium Oyster Shell Oral

Oyster Shell Calcium

Resources:

http://www.acupuncture-and-chinese-medicine.com/oyster-shell.html

 

Conch Shell

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Subclass: Orthogastropoda
Superorder: Caenogastropoda
Order: Sorbeoconcha
Suborder: Hypsogastropoda
Infraorder: Littorinimorpha
Superfamily: Stromboidea
Family: Strombidae
Genus: Strombus

Description:
A conch (pronounced as “konk” or “konch”) is one of a number of different species of medium-sized to large saltwater snails or their shells. True conchs are marine gastropod molluscs in the family Strombidae, and the genus Strombus.

.click to see the pictures

The name “conch” however, is often quite loosely applied in English-speaking countries to several kinds of very large snail-like shells of salt-water molluscs that are pointed at both ends. That is, a conch’s shell has a high spire and a noticeable siphonal canal. Other species often called a “conch” include the crown conch Melongena species; the horse conch Pleuroploca gigantea; and the sacred chank or more correctly Shankha shell, Turbinella pyrum. None of these are in the family Strombidae, but instead in other families of the molluscs.

The true conch species within the genus Strombus vary in size from fairly small to very large. Several of the larger species are economically important as food sources; these include the endangered queen conch or pink conch Strombus gigas, which very rarely may produce a pink, gem quality pearl.

About 74 species of the Strombidae family are living, and a much larger number of species exist only in the fossil record.  Of the living species, most are in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Six species live in the greater Caribbean region, including the Queen Conch, and the West Indian Fighting Conch, Strombus pugilis.

Many species of conch live on sandy bottoms among beds of sea grass in warm tropical waters.

Live animal of fighting conch ->.…CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Anatomy:
Like almost all shelled gastropods, conches have spirally constructed shells. Again, as is normally the case in many gastropods, this spiral shell growth is usually right-handed, but on very rare occasions it can be left-handed.

True conchs have long eye stalks, with colorful ring-marked eyes. The shell has a long and narrow aperture, and a short siphonal canal, with another indentation near the anterior end called a stromboid notch. This notch is where one of the two eye stalks protrudes from the shell. The true conch has a foot ending in a pointed, sickle-shaped, operculum which can be dug into the substrate as part of an unusual “leaping” locomotion.

True conchs grow a flared lip on their shells only upon reaching sexual maturity. Animals which are harvested by fishermen before they reach this stage are juveniles, and have not had a chance to reproduce.

Conchs lay eggs in long, gelatinous strands

Species :-
Strombus alatus
Strombus gigas
Strombus luhuanus
Strombus pugilis
Strombus tricornis
Strombus canarium
Strombus dolomena
Strombus gibberulus
Strombus conomurex
Strombus lentigo
Strombus doxander
Strombus urceus
Strombus fragilis
Strombus gallus
Strombus dentatus
Strombus marginatus
Strombus raninus
Strombus buvonius

Different Uses:
As food
Second in popularity only to the escargot for edible snails, the “meat” of the conch is used as food, either eaten raw, as in salads, or cooked, as in fritters, chowders, gumbos, and burgers. All parts of the conch meat are edible. However, some people find only the white meat appetizing.

In East Asian cuisines, this seafood is often cut into thin slices and then steamed or stir-fried.

In the Bahamas and Haiti, natives eat conch in soups and salads, and restaurants all over the islands serve this particular meat.

In El Salvador, live conch is served in a cocktail of onion, tomato, cilantro, and lemon juice. Lemon juice is squeezed onto the cocktail, causing the conch to squirm, and then the whole thing is slurped down whole, as in the manner of oysters.

As musical instruments:-
Conch shells can be used as wind instruments, by cutting a small hole in the spire and then blowing into the shell as if it were a trumpet, as in blowing horn.

Conch shell trumpets were historically used throughout the South Pacific, in countries such as Fiji. In resorts in Fiji they still blow the shell as a performance for the tourists. The Fijians also used the conch shell when the chief died: the chief’s body would be brought down a special path and the conch would be played until the chief’s body reached the end of the path. Only the chief’s body could go down that path.

The American jazz trombonist Steve Turre also plays conches, notably with his group Sanctified Shells.

A partially echoplexed Indian conch was featured prominently as the primary instrument depicting the extraterrestrial environment of the derelict spaceship in Jerry Goldsmith‘s score for the film Alien. Director Ridley Scott was so impressed by the eerie effect that he requested its use throughout the rest of the score, including the Main Title.

Composer John Cage has used partially water-filled conch shells, which, when tilted slowly, create gurgling sounds beyond the player’s control, which are then amplified. This sound effect was used by James Horner in the film Troy and by Annea Lockwood in her compositions.

Pearls:
Many gastropods (snails and sea snails, of which the conch is the latter) produce pearls, and those of the Queen Conch, Strombus gigas, have been collectors’ items since Victorian times. Conch pearls come in a range of hues, including white, brown and orange and many intermediate shades, but pink is the colour most associated with the conch pearl. Conch pearls are sometimes referred to simply as ‘pink pearls’. In some gemmological texts, non-nacreous gastropod pearls used to be referred to as ‘calcareous concretions’ because they were ‘porcellaneous’ (i.e. shiny and ceramic-like) in appearance rather than ‘nacreous’ (i.e. with a pearly lustre sometimes known as ‘orient’). However, Kenneth Scarrat, the director of GIA in Bangkok recently argued that conch calcareous concretions should be called ‘pearls’. Although non-nacreous, the surface of fine Conch pearls has a unique and attractive appearance of its own. The microstructure of conch pearls comprises partly-aligned bundles of microcrystalline fibres which create a shimmering, slightly iridescent effect known as ‘flame structure’. The effect is a form of chatoyancy, caused by the interaction of light rays with the microcrystals in the pearl’s surface, and it somewhat resembles Moiré silk.

Other uses
*Conch shells are sometimes used as decoration, as decorative planters, and in cameo making.

*In classic Mayan art, conchs are shown being utilized in many ways including as paint and ink holders for elite scribes, as bugles or trumpets, and as hand weapons (held by combatants by inserting their hands in the aperture).

*Some American Aboriginals used cylindrical conch columella beads as part of breastplates and other personal adornment. See Hair Pipes.

*In some Caribbean and African American cemeteries, conch shells are placed on graves. (The Last Miles of the Way: African
*Homegoing Traditions, 1890-Present, edited by Elaine Nichols).

*In some Caribbean countries, cleaned Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) shells, or polished fragments, are sold, mainly to tourists, as souvenirs or in jewelry. Without a permit, however, export is a breach of CITES regulations, and may lead to arrest . This is most likely to occur on return to the tourist’s home country while clearing customs. In the UK conch shells are the ninth most seized import.

*Conch shells are occasionally used as a building material, either in place of bricks, or as bulk for landfill.

*In Grenada fishermen use Conch shells to announce to the community that fish is available for sale. It is also used at Carnival times in the popular Jouvert Jump where Diab Diab (Jab Jab) mas blow conch shells as part of the festivities.

Religious use:-

The Hindu tradition
A Shankha shell (the shell of a Turbinella pyrum, a species in the gastropod family Turbinellidae) is often referred to in the West as a conch shell, or a chank shell. This shell is used as an important ritual object in Hinduism. The shell is used as a ceremonial trumpet, as part of religious practices, for example puja. The chank trumpet is sounded during worship at specific points, accompanied by ceremonial bells and singing.
..

A Hindu priest blowing a Sankh during a puja.In the story of Dhruva the divine conch plays a special part. The warriors of ancient India blew conch shells to announce battle, as is described in the beginning of the war of Kurukshetra, in the Mahabharata, the famous Hindu epic.

The god of Preservation, Vishnu, is said to hold a special conch, Panchajanya, that represents life, as it has come out of life-giving waters.

As it is an auspicious instrument,it is often played in a Lakshmi puja in temple or at home.

In Bengal, Hindu house wives blow Shankha three times every evening and  also in all auspicious functions in the house .   They wear  bangles made from shankha(conch shell) after marriage.

The Buddhist tradition
Buddhism has also incorporated the conch shell, as one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols.

Ancient Peru
The Moche people of ancient Peru worshiped the sea and often depicted conch shells in their art.

In literature and in the oral tradition
William Golding’s Lord of the Flies features frequent references to “the Conch”. In the book the conch is used as a trumpet to call everyone together and held by whoever is speaking at meetings, symbolically representing democracy and order. When a boulder released by Roger, Jack’s lieutenant, smashes the conch, it is a sign that civilized order has fully collapsed since Jack’s eventual increasing influence. At the same time, Piggy dies.

The famous Old English riddle Ic wæs be Sonde describes a conch: “I was by sound, near seawall, at ocean-stream; I dwelt alone in my first resting place. … Little did I know that I, ere or since, ever should speak mouthless over mead-benches.”

In popular folklore, it is believed that if one holds an open conch shell (or any other large marine snail shell) to the ear, the ocean can be heard. This phenomenon is caused by the resonant cavity of the shell producing a form of pink noise from the surrounding background ambiance. In reality, the person is hearing their blood flow in the capillaries of their ears; the sound enters the shell and reverberates through the chambers before coming back. This sound can also be heard (though rather poorly) by covering one’s ear with one’s hand. The rushing sound is the flow of blood

Medicinal Uses:Bhasam [ashes of conch shell]: is used for the treatment of : loss of appetite, indigestion, peptic ulcers, dueodenal ulcers, hyperacidity, bronchitis, hepatospleenomegaly, Gulma, asthma, cough, respiratory disorders.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_herbs_and_minerals_in_Ayurveda

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conch