Lac is a scarlet resin secreted by an insect that makes its home on trees. Laccifer lacca is a commercially important Indian lac insect which is found in tropical or subtropical regions on banyan and other plants. The leading producer of lac is Jharkand, followed by Chattisghar, West Bengal, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Lac is applied over the skin in skin diseases. It stops bleeding in wounds and injuries, heals skin ulcers, speeds up recovery process of ulcer, wounds and other skin diseases. Purified Lac is used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicines. However, sourced as an animal origin, it has a great significance in management of joint disorders, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, osteoarthritis etc. It is also helpful in obesity, renal and spleen disorders, jaundice, backache problems, leprosy, ulceration, epilepsy and chicken pox. It is an amazing liver tonic when taken with other liver stimulant herbs.
Lac, the only resinous compound of animal origin has immense economic importance. No doubt the development of many synthetic products have made its importance to a little lesser degree, but still it can be included in the list of necessary articles. Lac is used in making toys, bracelets, sealing wax, gramophone records, bangles etc. Waste materials produced during the process of stick lac are used for dying purpose. From the stick lac, shellac is obtained after purification which is used as coating for medicines.