Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 131 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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XALISCO JALISCO, Or GUADALAJARA, a Pacific coast state of Mexico, of very irregular shape, bounded, beginning on the N., by the territory of Tepic and the states of Durango, Zacatecas, Aguas Calientes, Guanajuato, Michoacan, and Colima. Pop. (1900), 1,153,891. Area, 31,846 sq. m. Jalisco is traversed from N.N.W. to S.S.E. by the Sierra Madre, locally known as the Sierra de Nayarit and Sierra de Jalisco, which divides the state into a low heavily forested coastal • plain and a high plateau region, part of the great Anahuac table-land, with an average elevation of about 5000 ft., broken by spurs and flanking ranges of moderate height. The sierra region is largely volcanic and earthquakes are frequent; in the S. are the active volcanoes of Colima (12,750 ft.) and the Nevado de Colima (14,363) ft.). The tierra caliente zone of the coast is tropical, humid, and unfavourable to Europeans, while the inland plateaus vary from sub-tropical to temperate and are generally drier and healthful. The greater part of the state is drained by the Rio Grande de Lerma (called the Santiago on its lower course) and its tributaries, chief of which is the Rio Verde. Lakes are numerous; the largest are the Chapala, about 8o m. long by to to 35 M. wide, which is considered one of the most beautiful inland sheets of water in Mexico, the Sayula and the Magdalena, noted for their abundance of fish. The agricultural products of Jalisco include Indian corn, wheat and beans on the uplands, and sugar-cane, cotton, rice, indigo and tobacco in the warmer districts. Rubber and palm oil are natural forest products of the coastal zone. Stock-raising is an important occupation in some of the more elevated districts. The mineral resources include silver, gold, cinnabar, copper, bismuth, and various precious stones. There are reduction works of the old-fashioned type and some manufactures, including cotton and woollen goods, pottery, refined sugar and leather. The commercial activities of the state contribute much to its prosperity. There is a large percentage of Indians and mestizos in the population. The capital is Guadalajara, and other important towns with their populations in 'goo (unless otherwise stated) are: Zapotlanejo (20,275), 21 M. E. by N. of Guadalajara; Ciudad Guzman (17,374 in 1895), 6o m. N.E. of Colima; Lagos (14,716 in 1895), a mining town too m. E.N.E. of Guadalajara on the Mexican Central railway; Tamazula (8.783 in 1895); Sayula (7883); Autlan (7715); 'feocaltiche (8881); Ameca (7212 in 1895), in a fertile agricultural It grows in Mexico along the mountain range of the Sierra Gorda in the neighbourhood of San Luis de la Paz, from which district it is carried down to Tampico, whence it is exported. A third variety of jalap known as woody jalap, male jalap, or Orizaba root, or by the Mexicans as Purgo macho, is derived from I pomaea orizabensis, a plant of Orizaba. The root occurs in fibrous pieces, which are usually rectangular blocks of irregular shape, 2 in. or more in diameter, and are evidently portions of a large root. It is only occasionally met with in commerce. The dose of jalap is from five to twenty grains, the British Pharmacopeia directing that it must contain from 9 to II % of the resin, which is given in doses of two to five grains. One preparation of this drug is in common use, the Pulvis Jalapae Compositus, which consists of 5 parts of jalap, 9 of cream of tartar, and i of ginger. The dose is from 20 grains to a drachm. It is best given in the maximum dose which causes the minimum of irritation. The chief constituents of jalap resin are two glucosides—convolvulin and jalapin—sugar, starch and gum. Convolvulin constitutes nearly 20 % of the resin. It is insoluble in ether, and is more active than jalapin. It is not used separately in medicine. Jalapin is present in about the same proportions. It dissolves readily in ether, and has a soft resinous consistence. It may be given in half-grain doses. It is the active principle of the allied drug scammony. According to Mayer, the formula of convolvulin is C34H60O16, and that of jalapin Ca1Hfi0Ois. Jalap is a typical hydragogue purgative, causing the excretion of more fluid than scammony, but producing less stimulation of the muscular wall of the bowel. For both reasons it is preferable to scammony. It was shown by Professor Rutherford at Edinburgh to be a powerful secretory cholagogue, an action possessed by few hydragogue purgatives. The stimulation of the liver is said to depend upon the solution of the resin by the intestinal secretion. The drug is largely employed in cases of Bright's disease and dropsy from any cause, being especially useful when the liver shares in the general venous congestion. It is not much used in ordinary constipation.

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