MUCILAGE A sticky paste obtained from linseed and other seeds by precipitation from a hot infusion, and used as a light adhesive for paper and as a thickening agent. It contains arabinose, glucose, and galactose, and it is easy soluble in water. Mucilage as a general name also includes water-soluble gums from various parts of many plants and has the same uses. It is the stored reserve food of plants. There are two types: the cell-content mucilage, which acts as a disor- ganization product of some of the carbohydrates, and membrane mucilage, which acts as a thickening agent to the cell wall. Membrane mucilage occurs in the acacias, alga (seaweeds), linun (flax plants), ulmus (elms), and astragalus. When it is collected in the form of exudations from the trees, it is called a gum. Cherry gum, from Prunus cerasus, is this type of water-soluble gum, as is medlar gum, from a small tree Mespilus germanica, of the same family as the cherry, grown in Europe and the Near East.
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