A bezoar is a mass found trapped in the gastrointestinal system (usually the stomach), though they can occur in other locations.
There are several varieties of bezoar, some of which have inorganic constituents and others organic.
Food boli (singular, bolus) imitate true bezoars and are composed of loose aggregates of food items such as seeds, fruit pith, or pits as well as other types of items such as shellac, bubble gum, soil, and concretions of some medications.
Pharmacobezoars (or medication bezoars) are mostly tablets or semi-liquid masses of drugs.
Phytobezoars are composed of nondigestible plant material (e.g., cellulose) and are frequently reported in patients with impaired digestion and decreased gastric motility.
Diospyrobezoar is a bezoar formed from unripe persimmons. Coca-Cola has been used in the treatment.
Trichobezoar is a bezoar formed from hair- an extreme form of hairball. Humans who frequently consume hair sometimes require these to be removed. The Rapunzel syndrome, a very rare and extreme case, may require surgery. A trichobezoar in the trachea is called a tracheobezoar.
A bezoar in the esophagus is common in young children and in horses. In horses, it is known as choke.
A bezoar in the large intestine is known as a fecaliths.
Other types of bezoars are formed from items such as stone or sand, usually in young children.
Ox bezoars are used in Chinese herbology, where they are called Niu-huang (牛黃). In some products, they claim to remove toxins from the body.
In alchemy, animal bezoar is the heart and lungs of the viper, pulverized together.
In alchemy, mineral bezoar is an emetic powder of antimony, correct with spirit of nitre, and softened by repeated lotions, which were said to carry off the purgative virtue of the antimony, and substitute a diaphoretic one. It promoted sweat like the stone of the same name.
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