Scientific Name Corallium rubrum L. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Family (Phylum Colelenterata)


Used Part     Corals are the calcareous skeletons of the minute marine organisms of   polyps (Phylum, Coelenterata) and used part is calcareous shell.


Distribution Area They are common throughout the tropical seas, and are regular    components of the fauna  of coral reefs. The Milleporesare common near   Singapore and are mostly white, buff or yellowish in colour, while the   Stylastersare often of pink red or purple hue.


Common Uses .   In Indian medicine the calcined form of

        precious corals are used to treat a variety of disorders such as

        diabetes, bleeding piles and urinary diseases. Coral powder is also used in dental filling. Ian antitumor    drug from tobacco leaves containing coral powder as one of the    constituents is effective on tumors of stomach, pylorous, oesophagus    and duodenum.


Pharmacological Effect Coral are osteoconductive. They are used as an

alternative to bone   auto-, allo- and xenographs. A composition, Hydroxyapatite obtained   from the coral calcite is found to be a potential bone substitute for  implants. Coral implants are sterilizable, inert, biodegradable and  well-reossifying and economical which can be used without complication. Extract of alcyonarian soft coral inhilbit sperm motility in rats, indicating a new potentially useful vaginal contraceptive agent. Extract of the Gorgonian Acalycigorigia sp. is shown   to have anti-tumor activity against P388 mouse leukemia cells.   Sarcophytol `A', another potential anti-tumor compound which inhibits   this tumor promoter, teleocidin has been  isolated from the soft   coral, Sarcophyton glaucum. 15R-PGAL, isolated from Plexaura   homomalla is shown to have a number of cardiovascular effects like,  increased heart rate, myocardial contraction, etc. Diterpenoids from Gorgonian coral Pseudopterogorgia sp. are being used in the    development of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs. Venoms from the    hydrozoan corals Millepora platyphyllia Hemp.&Ehrenb. and M.  dichotoma (Forsk.) have been shown to be lethal with haemolytic and  oedema- forming activities.

Others     The precious red coral (Corallium rubrum L.) has its stem, a fused   stonelike mass carved into beads and other ornaments. They are also    used in decorating walls, pipes, weapons and trappings. Liquid transparent resins containing waste red coral powder when coated oncoral sculptures, make them more attractive and increase their value.

In agriculture, corals are used in fertilizers, animal (mineral) feed, poultry, grits and as neutralising agents. Drinking water when passed through a bed of coral sand, obtained from   the living corals, gets filtered and becomes pure, neutral and disinfected.

In the present day context coral reefs serve as a biological indicator for global warming.