Calculus bovis, niu-huang (牛黃) or ox bezoars are dried gallstones of cattle used in Chinese herbology. In Asian countries calculus bovis are sometimes harvested when steer (Bos taurus domesticus Gmelin) are slaughtered. Their gall bladders are taken out, the bile is filtered, and the stones are cleaned and dried. The bezoars may also be surgically removed by veterinarians when working cattle become ill. In western countries they are usually discarded. Its equivalent in Vedic culture is Gorochana.
Calculus bovis have a color varying from golden yellow to brownish yellow. The shape of a stone is variable and depends on how it was formed, becoming spherical, oval, triangular, tubular or irregular.
Since natural calculus bovis are scarce they can be very expensive. There are artificial calculus bovis or bovis calculus artifactus used as substitutes. In China these are manufactured from cholic acid derived from bovine bile combined with dry bovine bile powder, porcine ursodeoxycholic acid, taurine, bilirubin, cholesterol, etc. Chinese regulations forbid the use of artificial calculus bovis in 42 drugs.
Calculus bovis can cultivated in vivo by implanting a foreign object and microbials into bovine biles.:478 It can also be cultivated in vitro from bovine bile by adding ursodeoxycholic acid, cholic acid, and calcium bilirubinate, producing calculus bovis sativus. Unlike artificial calculus bovis, either type of cultivated calculus bovis can fully replace calculus bovis under Chinese regulations.
- Ingredients, AN KUNG NIU HUANG WAN (Bezoar Chest Functioning Pills), Beijing Tong Ren Tang, Peking, China. 1980. PPRC 2015 entry
- "Cholic Acid". Archived from the original on 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2016-11-09.
- "人工牛黄". PPRC 2015 (db.ouryao.com). Retrieved 10 December 2018.
- "关于牛黄及其代用品使用问题的通知". www.sda.gov.cn. 国食药监局. 2004-01-21. Archived from the original on 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2017-05-07.
- 石元春 (2002). 20世纪中国学术大典：农业科学 (in Chinese) (第一版 ed.). 福州: 福建教育出版社. ISBN 9787533431631.
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- Pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China 2015 entries for calculus bovis:
- Bovis calculus. ≥ 5% cholic acid, ≥ 25% bilirubin by dry wright.
- Bovis calculus artifacus, artificial replacement produced from dry bovine bile. ≥ 13% cholic acid, ≥ 0.63% bilirubin by dry wright.
- Bovis calculus sativus, in vitro cultivated replacement produced from bovine bile. ≥ 6% cholic acid, ≥ 35% bilirubin by dry wright.
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