Ambergris: The Search for Its Origin

  title={Ambergris: The Search for Its Origin},
  author={Karl H. Dannenfeldt},
  pages={382 - 397}
A MBERGRIS is a rare wax-like pathological growth found in the stomach and intestines of the sperm whale (Physeter catodon). Its origin is still uncertain, but the condition may be due to the irritation caused by certain indigestible food, especially when the whale has been feeding on cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis), a favorite food. The horny beaks or mandibles of the cuttlefish, almost invariably found in ambergris, are indigestible and cause the irritation. The unnatural growth is usually… 
Blattes de Byzance in India: Mollusk Opercula and the History of Perfumery 1
  • James McHugh
  • History
    Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
  • 2013
The material that I will call ‘sweet hoof’ in this article, also called blattes de Byzance and unguis odoratus, is another fragrant material derived from an animal, consisting of the opercula of certain marine snails.
Ambergris as an overlooked historical marine resource: its biology and role as a global economic commodity
Being a product typically reported in whaling data and related to the economic exploitation of the sea, it is through the historical sources that its importance is clearly demonstrated.
Ambergris and Early Modern Languages of Scent
Abstract This paper examines the cultural, scientific and poetic life of ambergris in the seventeenth century, in the context of contemporary theories about smell, and changing attitudes to style and
History of the pharmaceutical use of pumice
Pumice has been employed since classical times in preparations acting as dentifrices, cleansers for ulcers, cicatrizing agents to help wounds scar efficiently, an active ingredient in eye ointments and powders in both farriery and human medicine, sneeze-inducing powders, and abrasives for removing body hair.
Making Sea Cucumbers Out of Whales’ Teeth: Nantucket Castaways and Encounters of Value in Nineteenth-Century Fiji
This article explores the social biographies of sea cucumbers and whales’ teeth, challenging a prevalent tendency among scholars to endow objects with abstract essences. It focuses on encounters of
DNA preserved in jetsam whale ambergris
Analysis of DNA sequences from jetsam ambergris from beaches in New Zealand and Sri Lanka and sequences from Ambergris of a sperm whale beached in The Netherlands confirms that all three jetsam samples derived originally from sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus).
Occurrence of Marine Ingredients in Fragrance: Update on the State of Knowledge
The fragrance field of perfumes has attracted considerable scientific, industrial, cultural, and civilizational interest. The marine odor is characterized by the specific smell of sea breeze,
Studies on the mode of action of ambrein as a new antinociceptive compound.
  • S. Taha
  • Biology
    Japanese journal of pharmacology
  • 1992
The compound ambrein was isolated from ambergris, which is commonly used as an analgesic in the Saudi folklore medicine, and was found to possess antinociceptive activity in mice at doses which did not sedate or incapacitate the animals.
Anatomical Dissection: Thorax and Abdomen
A study of ambrein treatment for the evaluation of change in plasma biochemical parameters in rats.
Ambrein administered i.p. did not cause any toxic symptoms in the liver as revealed by the histology of the liver tissue both in acute and subacute treatments, pointing towards its potential as an anticoagulant and antifibrinogenic agent.


Dictionary of the English Language , 2 vols . ( London , 1755 ) , s . vv . " amber " and " ambergris . " For Neumann ' s views see " De Ambra Grysea
  • Encyclopedie ou dictionnaire raisonne des sciences , des arts et des metiers Early Science in Oxford
  • 1980
1755), s.vv. "amber" and "ambergris
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica, 3 vols
On the Production of Ambergris
  • Amber: All about It (Liverpool, 1892)