If you have ever taken medicine in the form of a capsule, then you may have spent time wondering where this little invention came from. A man named James Murdock created the gelatin capsule in 1847. The quote from Mary Poppins, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” came from the same idea. Medicines of any kind usually have an incredibly bitter taste, and the gelatin capsule made this job much easier, and they could also be used as a suppository.
Capsules do come in an assortment of sizes, so this allows for another way to Standardized measurements. They are versatile, so not only can they be used for powders, they can be used for liquids, soft, and pelletized forms of medication. So, it is true that capsules benefit us in many ways. But have you ever wondered if there was anything to worry about? Have you had questions about what they are made from, how quickly do they melt. Do they stick to your intestines as they stick to your mouth if not swallowed quickly?
The two-piece capsules telescope one over the other, so you can open them to put the medicine inside. They are often made of gelatin manufactured from the collagen of animals and fish. Some are made from a vegetable source or starches from potatoes or tapioca. You can purchase empty gelatin capsules in bulk if you have a purpose to do so. They can be filled by hand but there are handy tools you can buy to assist in the job. It takes about 20 minutes for the capsule to fully dissolve in your stomach. The vegetable capsules take a bit longer than the gelatin ones.
There is no harm in the gelatin capsules because they do dissolve and are assimilated by the body. Actually, it is possible that gelatin is beneficial to the production of hair, nails, and skin. Gelatin is thought to improve arthritis and joint pain because it contains collagen. Collagen has long been associated with health and beauty, and once was considered the fountain of youth in Chinese folklore. So, chances are you have no ill effects from the use of gelatin capsules.
If you are vegetarian or have an allergy that would prohibit the use of capsules made from animals, then you can consider the vegan form made from vegetables. The manufacturing process has also caused some concern in the past. Questions arise over the use of sick animals or chemical additives used in the process. As with everything else it is advised to do your homework before buying and use reputable companies.
Storing capsules can be an issue at times because humidity can cause them to breakdown or stick together. Capsules left in a very dry environment can become brittle, so it is best to keep them in a tightly closed container or in the manufacturer’s packaging. And of course, you should always consult a doctor with more specific questions you might have concerning dosage and allergic reactions.