Abuta grandifolia (Mart.) Sandwith. Menispermaceae. "Abuta", "Motelo sanango", "Trompetero sacha". The decoction of the stems and roots mixed with wild bee honey is used to treat sterile women. Root decoction used for post-menstrual hemorrhages.

Ananas comosus L. Bromeliaceae. "Piña", "Piña negra", "Huacamayo piña", "Gebero piña", "Garrafón piña", "Lagarto piña", "Jambo piña", "Pineapple". . A refreshing drink is made from the pericarp decoction, which is also added to "chicha" to improve its taste. Preserves made with the fruit. The juice is astringent and anthelmintic. In the Philippines the fiber yields a very fine white thread (SOU). "Tikunas" grate the green fuits in water and take in the first or second month of pregnancy as abortifacient. Amazonian Brazilians take the fruit for dyspeptic flatulence (SAR). In Piura, practicing food "farmacy", the fruit is ingested for blenorrhagia, kidney stones, rheumatism, and worms.

Annona cherimolia Mill. Annonaceae. "Chirimolia", "Custard apple". Fruit edible. Chopped leaves applied to the nape of the neck for headache; leaf decoction drunk for dysentery; crushed seeds used to kill parasites (FEO).

Annona muricata L. Annonaceae. "Guanábana", "Chirimoya", "Chirimoya brasilera", "Soursop". Cultivated. Fruit edible fresh or in ice creams. Leaf decoction used for catarrh in Piura; crushed seed to kill parasites (FEO). Colonists from Risaralda use the plant for rachitic children. Bark, roots and leaves are used in teas for diabetes; also used as a sedative and antispasmodic (RVM). "Créoles" use the decoction of the leaves and bark as a sedative, yet heart tonic. They use A. montana the same way (GMJ). Tapajos natives use the leaf tea for the liver (BDS). Elsewhere used for chills, colds, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, fever, flu, gallbladder attacks, hypertension, insomnia, kidneys, nervousness, palpitations, pediculosis, ringworm, sores and internal ulcers (DAW).

Annona squamosa L. Annonaceae. "Anona", "Sweetsop". Cultivated. Fruit edible (RVM). Elsewhere used for abortion, bruises, carbuncles, chancre, cold, diarrhea, dyspepsia, fever, puerperium, rheumatism, spasm, syphilis, tumors, ulcers and venereal disease; considered astringent, insecticide, pectoral, pediculicide, purgative, soporific, tonic and vermifuge (DAW). Brazilians use the leaves in cough syrup (BDS). Like so many Annonaceae with seeds used to control insects and lice, this contains pesticidal acetogenins (JAD).

Arrabidaea chica (HBK) Verlot. Bignoniaceae. "Puca panga". Fresh leaves used in decoction alone or mixed with the fruits of Renealmia alpinia to dye fibers of Astrocaryum chambira or to make tattoos. This dye is also used to treat skin infections and herpes (RAR). Leaves also used as anti-inflammatory. "Chami" from Risaralda extract the red tint to dye baskets (RVM). "Tikuna" use leaf infusion for conjunctivitis (SAR). Achual "Jivaros" chew the leaves with clay to blacken the teeth (SAR). Tapajos residents use leaf tea for anemia, blood disorders, inflammation.

Banisteriopsis caapi (Spruce ex Griseb.) Morton. Malpighiaceae. "Ayahuasca", "Soul vine", "Spirit vine", "Yagé". In some cases semicultivated by witches, shamans and ayahuasqueros. Stems used by native farmers and city folk as a purge. The "ayahuasca" is an hallucinogenic drink, much used in the old days in rituals. Now it is used for medicinal purposes and divination. It is said not only to cure all kinds of sickness, but to help in diagnosis, divination, and telepathy. It is also laxative and emetic. To prepare the "purge" it is recommended that the stem collector (the brujo) abstain from sex for at least a week before cutting the stems, and in the day of the gathering he should go without eating. This should be done either Tuesdays or Fridays in the morning. They have to cut and grind the stems and boil them until the liquid becomes dark; then pass through a sieve; once cool, it is ready to be taken. They generally use one species, sometimes mixed with other species of Banisteriopsis, as B. longialata, and occasionally with other plants, such as: Psychotria viridis, P. carthaginensis, Nicotiana tabacum, Brugmansia suaveolens, Malouetia tamarquina, etc. Tabernaemontana sp., Brunfelsia, sp., Datura suaveolens, Iochroma fuchsioides, Juanulloa, cactus, ferns, etc. Contains alkaloids such as harmaline, tetrahydroharmine, harmol, harminic-acid methyl-ester, harminic acid, acetyl-norharmine, N-norharmine, N-oxyharmine, harmalinic acid, ketotetrahydronorharmine (RVM).

Bauhinia guianensis Aubl. Fabaceae. "Escalera de mono", "Monkey ladder". Used as an ornamental and for handicrafts (RVM). Amazonian "Tukuna" use stem for kidney diseases (SAR). "Taiwanos" consider the seed diuretic (SAR). The root is boiled with "sarabatuco" to treat ameba in Amazonian Brazil (BDS). Considered ichthyotoxic (RAR).

Bixa orellana L. Bixaceae. "Achote", "Achiote amarillo". Cultivated. Natives mainly use it for food coloring and to decorate their bodies. There are experimental plots for the extraction of bixin. In Piura, the shoot decoction is considered antidysenteric, antiseptic, antivenereal, aphrodisiac, astringent, and febrifugal (FEO). The foliage is used to treat skin problems and hepatitis; also used as aphrodisiac, antidysenteric, and antipyretic. Considered good for the digestive system, and for treatment of liver disease. Very effective as a gargle for tonsilitis (RVM). "Chinatecas" poultice leaves on cuts to avoid scars (RVM). People from Cojedes use the flower infusion as purge and to avoid phlegm in newborn babies. "Kayapo" massage stomachs of women in labor with the leaves. "Waunana" use to dye demijohns and baskets. Bark yields a gum similar to gum arabic. Fiber used as cordage. "Kayapo" use to tint to the body (RVM). Dye said to be an antidote for HCN (SAR). Seeds believed to be expectorant, the roots, digestive (SAR), antitussive (BDS). Around Explorama, fresh leaf stalks, devoid of blades, are inserted into a glass of water; the mucilage that forms is applied in conjunctivitis. (Fig. 36)

Brugmansia aurea Lagerhein. Solanaceae. "Toé", "Maricahua", "Floripondio", "Angels trumpet". Cultivated. Ornamental used as an hallucinogen, for telepathy and divinations. Some people smoke the leaves and the flowers in small quantities, as a substitute for marijuana. Brujos make a purge for dogs to make them good hunting dogs (EXP). Leaf decoction externally used for dermatitis and orchitis; chopped leaves antispasmodic, decongestant (FEO). The main alkaloid in Brugmansia is scopolamine, also found are: norscopolamine, atropine, meteloidine, noratropine, 3alpha,6beta-ditigloyloxytropane-7beta-ol, tropine, 3alpha-tigloyloxytropane RVM.

Brunfelsia chiricaspi Plowman. Solanaceae. "Chiricaspi", "Chiric sanango". Used as an additive in the preparation of hallucinogenic beverages (RVM). The hallucination has serious side effects, among them: chills, cold sweats, heavy tongue, itchiness, nausea, stomachache, temporary insanity, tingling, and vomiting (SAR). Used by the Indians for fever (SAR).

Calycophyllum spruceanum (Benth.) Hook. Rubiaceae. "Capirona". The wood, used for contruction, is a favorite for firewood and charcoal. Natives boil l kg of bark in l0 liters of water to obtain 4 liters of medicine from which they drink l50 ml 3 times a day for 3 consecutive months for diabetes (RVM). Peruvians use the bark against "sarna negra", an arachnid that lives under the skin. Powdered bark is applied to mycoses (SAR). Considered contraceptive, emollient, vulnerary.

Capsicum annuum L. Solanaceae. "Pimiento", "Pucunucho", "Sweet pepper". Cultivated. Natives believe that to become a good blowgun shooter, one must chew and eat slowly a half dozen fruit before breakfast for 8 days. Studies report that this species is hallucinogenic, but they don't use it for this purpose. Curanderos use it in a maceration mixed with aguardiente to give as a purge for dogs to make them good hunting dogs. This species and C. frutescens are present in this maceration and also Nicotiana tabacum, Brunfelsia grandiflora ssp. schultesii and Brugmansia spp. (RVM). "Jivaro" apply the fruit directly to toothache (SAR). In Piura, the fruit infusion is considered antipyretic, tonic, and vasoregulatory; the decoction used as a gargle for sore throat or pharyngitis; the tincture is applied to bugbites, mange, hemorrhoids, and rheumatism (FEO).

Capsicum conicum Mey. Solanaceae. "Carolito",* "Coralito"*. Cultivated. Considered one of the strongest chillies.

Carapa guianensis Aubl. Meliaceae. "Andiroba", "Requia", "Brazilian mahogany". An excellent wood for carpentry, comparable with the wood from Cedrela odorata and Swietenia macrophylla. The bitter bark infusion is believed febrifuge and vermifuge (SAR), also a tonic. Perhaps useful in herpes (RAR). Infusion used to wash dermatoses and sores (SAR). Seeds yield an oil, with the consistency of lard, used to coat wood to protect it from insects (SOU). Brazilians sell seed oil as antiinflammatory and antiarthritic (RVM). Also used in the soap industry. Fruit oil ingested for cough in Brazil (BDS). The "Wayãpi", the "Palikur", and the "Créoles" use it to remove ticks from their heads, also for Schongastia guianensis, which gets in the skin. Native Americans trust the oil as an emollient and antiinflammatory for skin rash (GMJ).

Carica papaya L. Caricaceae. "Papaya", "Pawpaw". Cultivated. Green fruit eaten cooked; ripe, eaten fresh or in juices. A dozen seed are swallowed as a vermifuge. For constipation, eat half a papaya. Rutter mentions use of papaya for acarosis, enteritis, and tachycardia (RAR). "Chocó" mix the latex with honey as vermifuge. Leaf infusion cardiotonic. "Cuna" use cooked roots for indigestion. Tikuna eat grated immature fruit with 2-6 aspirin, inducing abortion in about two days (SAR). In Piura, the leaf tea is considered digestive and hypotensive; chopped fruits are used as antiseptic (FEO). Brazilians make flower tea for heart and liver (BDS). Knowing that meat tenderizer (based on papaya's papain) had been used for sea nettle stings, JAD applied papaya juice to the rash Don Segundo induced by flagellating the wrist with stinging nettle. JAD had a reaction. Chymopapain has been used to dissolve herniated disks, but 1 in 4,000 people exposed to this treatment die of anaphylactic shock. Recent news has suggested that too much papaya might induce prostate cancer (JAD).

Cassia reticulata Willd. Fabaceae. "Retama". Sometimes planted as an ornamental. Flower infusion used for liver diseases, acid indigestion, upset stomach and kidney inflammation. Leaves and flowers contain antibiotics such as rhein (cassic acid), which is antibacterial against gram-positive and acid-resistant bacteria. The antibiotics reduce swellings of hepatic and renal sickness. Also used to treat venereal and skin diseases (LAE, RVM). Leaves used in baths for gastritis and ulcers (VDF). Used around Explorama for ringworm (JAD). "Boras" burn the leaves to repel sandfly Lutzomyia sp. "Manta blanca", vector of leishmaniasis. Used as a purge by the "Chocó". The Piria "Cuna" in the town of Piria (Panama) use it for stomachaches. Infusion of leaves and flowers used by the "Waunana" for stomachaches (RVM). "Witotos" use the roots in a febrifugal tea (SAR). "Tukanos" use leaves as insect repellents in clothes and hammocks (SAR). "Achuanos" value for fungal infections (SAR). Sometimes used for cardiac edema (NIC).

Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertn. Bombacaceae. "Ceiba", "Kapok", "Lupuna", "Lupuna blanca". Wood mainly used for plywood exports. Because it grows along the rivers with easy access, it has been overexploited to the point that it is disappearing. In the old days, trees served as guideposts for river navigators. "Wayãpi" associate this tree with jungle spirits. Bark decoction used in baths for fever (GMJ). Branch decoction diuretic and emetic (FEO). The cotton is used with blowguns (JAD).

Cephaelis ipecacuanha (Brot.) A.Rich. Rubiaceae. "Ipecac" Colombians chew the root as an insect repellent and amebicide. Crude extracts still find their way into millions or prescriptions a year in the US. Found in many US medicine chests to cause vomiting in children who have swallowed poison. Poison control centers should be consulted, though, as vomitting is counterindicated with some poisons. Emetine has elsewhere proved out against ameba, bilharzia, cancer, and guinea worms (JAD).

Chondrodendron tomentosum R.&P. Menispermaceae. "Ampihuasca", "Curaré". Some natives, crush and cook the roots and stems, adding other plants and venomous animals, mixing until it becomes a light syrup; they call this decoction "ampi", or "curaré", which they use on the tip of their arrows and darts. The active ingredient in "curaré" is D-tubocurarine, actually used in medicine. Brazilians consider the root diuretic, emmenagogue, and febrifuge (SAR), using it internally for madness and dropsy, externally for bruises. Used for edema, fever, kidney stones, and orchitis (RAR).

Cissampelos pareira L. Menispermaceae. "Imchich masha", "Barbasco". "Palikur" use the leaf poultice as an analgesic (GMJ). Seeds used for snakebite; diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, piscicide, POISON, for venereal disease (RAR). Contains tetrandrine, which is analgesic, antiinflammatory, and febrifuge.

Copaifera reticulata Ducke. Fabaceae. "Copaiba", "Copal". On Rio Solimoes, resin used as a cicatrizant, for gonorrhea, psoriasis, and sores (SAR); in Piura used for catarrh, syphilis, and urinary incontinence (FEO). Plotkin (1993) notes that the resin (copal) is used to coat tubules exposed by the dentist drill. Once employed in the US as disinfectant, diuretic, laxative, and stimulant, as well as in cosmetics and soaps (MJP).

Costus guanaiensis Rusby var. guanaiensis. Costaceae. "Caña agria" "Cañagre". Used to reduce internal fever, cough, bronchitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, stomatitis and tonsilitis; "Cuna" use the leaf decoction for stomachache (RVM). Maxwell chewed the cane when she had a cough (NIC).

Croton lechleri Muell.-Arg. Euphorbiaceae. "Sangre de drago", "Sangre de grado", "Dragon's blood". The latex is used to heal wounds, and for vaginal baths before childbirth. It is also recommended for intestinal and stomach ulcers (RVM). It yields the hemostatic sap that accelerates wound healing (NIC). For leucorrhea, fractures, and piles (RAR).

Curarea tecunarum Barneby & Krukoff. Menispermaceae. "Sacha ampihuasca", "Wild curaré". Sometimes used in preparation of "curaré". Used as a male contraceptive. Tests in rats show a decrease in testosterone levels (RVM). Ecuadorean "Waoranis" use it for dermatoses and fungal infections.

Curcuma longa L. Zingiberaceae. "Guisador", "Azafran", "Palillo", "Turmeric". Cultivated. Rhizome frequently used as spice. Used for hepatitis. Rhizomes are crushed fresh and mixed with water. This juice is taken one spoon for children and l to 2 for adults, once a day for l0 to l5 consecutive days for hepatitis. Some people bathe in this extract. "Créoles" use it to treat injuries. Crushed rhizome, mixed with the leaves of Siparuna guianensis and of Justicia pectoralis, salt and rum, is poulticed on bruises on their backs. (Decoction of the three plants, taken 3 times a day, adding to this 3 drops of arnica tincture, and some sugar) (GMJ). The root contains at least 3 antiinflammatory compounds, cucurmin, feruloyl, 4-hydroxy-cinnamoyl methane, and bis-14-hydroxy-cinnamoyl methane, dose dependent up to 30 mg/kg (Indian J. Mod. Res. 75:574. 1982).

Cyclanthera pedata (L.) Schrad. Cucurbitaceae. "Caigua". Cultivated. Fruit edible. It has various medicinal usages. The tea of the seeds is well known for controlling high blood pressure (RVM). De Feo suggests that the decoction of the epicarps is also antidiabetic (FEO).

Datura stramonium L. Solanaceae. "Chamico", "Jimsonweed". Chopped leaves are applied to dermatitis, the decoction used as an antiseptic in vaginitis (FEO).

Desmodium adscendens (Sw.) DC. Fabaceae. "Amor seco", "Beggar-lice", "Margarita". The plant infusion is given to people who suffer from nervousness. It is also is used in baths to treat vaginal infections. Because they believe this plant has magic powers, it is given to the lover who has lost interest in his mate, to make him/her come back. It is also used as a contraceptive (RVM). Rio Pastaza natives wash the breast of dry mothers with the leaf tea (SAR).

Dioscorea bulbifera L. Dioscoreaceae. "Ñati papa", "huayra papa", "Air potato". Cultivated. The tubers are edible. The crushed raw pulp is poulticed onto boils (RVM). Tubers considered alexeteric, antidotal, antiinflammatory, diuretic (RVM), hemostatic, even POISONOUS, and used for cancer, dysentery, fever, goiter, hernia, piles, sores, syphilis and tumors (DAW).

Dipteryx odorata Aubl. Fabaceae. "Charapilla del murciélago", "Shihuahuaco". The wood is used for bridges, dormers, posts, etc. (RVM). Seeds soaked in rum are used by the "Créoles" for snakebite, shampoos, contusions and rheumatism. The "Wayãpi" use the bark decoction as antipyretic baths, and the "Palikur" use it as fortifying baths for infants and small children (GMJ). Brazilians make a cough pill by balling up the crushed seed (BDS). Elsewhere used as anticoagulant, antidyspeptic, antitussive, cardiotonic, diaphoretic, febrifuge, fumigant, narcotic, stimulant and stomachic DAW. The coumarin explains its anticoagulant activity (JAD).

Dracontium loretense Krause. Araceae. "Hierba del jergon", "Jergón sacha", "Fer-de-lance". Tuber believed to help snakebites perhaps on account of the snakeskin like mottling of the petiole. Some people whip their feet and legs with the branches to repel snakes. The corms are used to control and steady the hands. The roots are reported to be edible (DAT).

Duroia hirsuta (Poepp. & Engl.) Schum. Rubiaceae. "Huitillo del supay". These shrubs, associated with ants, grow in small homogeneous stands called "Supay chacra" (Devil's fields). Other plant species with ant symbioses: Cecropia spp., Cordia nodosa, Toccoca spp., and Triplaris spp. The soil around Duroia is usually free of weeds, possibly because of the ants. Gentry and Blaney (pers. comm.) think it may be due to secretions or micro-organisms associated with the ants that prevent the growing of weeds and other plants. The forked stakes are occasionally used in construction. Rural people, superstitious about the "Supay chacra", avoid walking nearby. Some rural Colombians chew the fruits to prevent dental caries (RVM). "Waoranis" rub the ant pheromones inside their cheeks for oral aphthae (SAR). Putumayo natives bind a bark strip on the arm, both staining and scarring the area (SAR).

Duroia paraensis Ducke. Rubiaceae. "Pampa remo caspi". Wood for beams and decks (RVM).

Eclipta alba (L.) Hassk. Asteraceae. "Huanguilla", "Naparo cimarron", "Shobi isa sheta", "Naparo cimarron". Around Pucallpa, leaf maceration used for headache (VDF). In Brazil the plant is used as an antiasthmatic and as a depurative. "Créoles" rub the leaf decoction on children for skin blemishes. It is also used for albuminuria (GMJ). Folk remedy elsewhere for catarrh, copremia, cough, dyspepsia, elephantiasis, enterorrhagia, headache, hemorrhage, hepatitis, jaundice, lumbago, marasmus, pertussis, splenitis, toothache, and vertigo. Also considered estrogenic and insecticidal (DAW). Being seriously studied as a remedy for snakebite (JAD). The active ingredient wedelolactone is antiinflammatory and inhibits hemorrhage and the liberation of creatinine kinase induced by snake venom (Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz 86 {Suppl.II}:203-5).

Erythrina fusca Lour. Fabaceae. "Amasisa", "Gallito", "Swamp immortelle". Semicultivated. Soil conservation species, adding nitrogen to the soil, used as ornamental and living fence. Bark decoction used to wash infected wounds to treat fungal dermatoses. Effective in a skin infection called "arco". Créoles" use the root decoction as a sudorific to reduce fever caused by colds and malaria. Flowers in decoction regarded as antitussive. "Palikur" use bark of trunk and roots mixed with the bark of Parkia pendula to purify waters. Trunk bark put in hot water and poulticed onto migraine headaches (GMJ). Hartwell mentions its use for cancer (DAW).

Erythroxylum coca var. ipadu Plowman. Erythroxylaceae. "Ipadú". Cultivated, especially by the Amazonian ethnic groups of Peru, Brazil and Colombia. Cultivated by the "Boras" along the Rio Yaguasyacu; the "chacchado" or "chaw" is enjoyed during parties, work or spare time. To prepare leaves for chewing, they roast them slowly in a clay pot; they fill their mouths with these leaves, occasionally adding ashes from Cecropia leaves and other plants to give a strong and better flavor. Chewing gives the sensation ofincreased energy and strength, leaving behind fatigue and hunger; also leads to euphoria and good disposition. Leaf infusion taken for gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and indigestion. Coca is common in the religious and social life of Amazonian Peru (RVM). It is used in diarrhea and to help the mother get rid of unwanted blood after childbirth (RVM).

Ficus insipida Willd. var. insipida Moraceae. "Ojé", "Doctor ojé". Locals take latex as vermifuge, drinking one cup fresh mixed with orange juice, or with sugar cane juice. Those who take this purge must avoid greasy and salty foods for a week; they can not receive direct sun, and must avoid being seen by strangers to the family. Those not following this diet become "overo" (with white skin pigmentation) (RVM). Pucallpa residents rub the latex onto rheumatic inflammations (VDF). "Cuna" mix some latex with a liter of water, and drink some of this mixture every other day to get rid of intestinal parasites. In Piura, the leaf decoction is used for anemia and tertian fever. Contains phyllosanthine, beta-amyrin or lupeol; lavandulol, phyllanthol, and eloxanthine (AYA).

Genipa americana L. Rubiaceae. "Huito", "Huitol", "Jagua", "Genipap". Fresh fruit eaten for bronchitis; also used to make spiritous drinks. Cooking with brown sugar and aguardiente makes a nice dessert. Green fruit used to dye clothes, also used to paint and decorate their faces. Wood used in carpentry. Some people affirm that the fruit decoction is abortifacient. Don Antonio Montero claims that the strained fruit juice is good for cancer of the uterus. "Achuales" from Pastaza use the green pericarp to extract decayed teeth. "Achuales" and peasants near Iquitos cook the fruit and seeds; this decoction is use on baths for female genital inflammations. It also reduces swelling of the respiratory mucous membranes. "Kayapo" eat the fruit and use it to decorate their bodies. "Créoles" prepare a cathartic and antidiarrheic decoction; the same decoction is used in poultice to treat ulcers (GMJ). Haitians use for anemia, aphrodisia, blenorrhagia, diarrhea, gonorrhea, hepatoses, and tumors (DAW). Brazilians express the fruit juice, let stand overnight, and drink a small cup each day for 2 or 3 days for jaundice (BDC). Contains: genipin, mannitol, tannin, methyl-ethers, caterine, hydantoin, and tannic acid (RVM).

Gossypium barbadense L. Malvaceae. "Algodón", "Cotton", "Algodonero". Cultivated in small amounts. Ashes from dried buds used for diaper rash, and infected wounds. Leaf decoction used as oxytocic. Flower decoction used for hepatitis (RVM). Flower buds are used by the "Wayãpi" for earache. Leaves used for parasites, to eliminate filaria (GMJ).

Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. Sterculiaceae. "Bolaina", "Atadijo", "West Indian elm". Wood and bark for construction and ropes. Ripe fruits have a strong honey scent. Some people even chew the fruit to extract the sweet juice, spitting out the remainder. The macerated fruit mixed with aguardiente is used to scent the "siricaipe" or "mapacho". In Jamaica the bark is used to feed silkworms. Leaf decoction used for baldness, the bark decoction for dysentery (SOU). Elsewhere regarded as astringent, depurative, diaphoretic, emollient, pectoral, refrigerant, stomachic, styptic, and sudorific; used for alopecia, asthma, bronchitis, dermatosis, diarrhea, dysentery, elephantiasis, fever, hepatitis, leprosy, malaria, nephritis, pulmonosis, and syphilis (DAW, RAR).

Heliotropium indicum L. Boraginaceae. "Alacransillo", "Ihuin rao", "Ucullucui sacha". Around Pucallapa, used for scorpion stings and rheumatism (VDF). Elsewhere regarded as abortifacient (and ironically antiabortive), anodyne, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, emollient, pectoral, stomachic, and vulnerary; used for aftosa, asthma, boils, bugbites, calculus, cough, dermatoses, eczema, erysipelas, fever, furuncle, hyperuricemia, inflammation, itch, kidney stones, laziness, leprosy, myalgia, nephritis, ophthalmia, pharyngitis, rheumatism, scabies, sores, tumors, and warts (DAW). Folk remedy for cancer that contains an antitumor compound, indicine-N-oxide (JAD).

Hibiscus sabdariffa L. Malvaceae. "Rosella", Roselle". Brazilians poultice the leaves, mashed in salt and alcohol, onto wounds, especially streptococcus-infected wounds (erysipelas), which they call "isipla" on the Rio Tapajos (BDS). (They also apply the red-spotted tree frog to such wounds.)

Hyptis capitata Jacq. Coll. Lamiaceae. "Cadillo cabezon". Used in Ecuador for fungal infections (in Taiwan for asthma, colds, fever), the aerial parts contain the antioxidant rosmarinic acid, oleanolic-acid, and ursolic acid, stigmasterol, 10-epi-olguine, and 2,3-di(3',4'-methylenedioxybenzyl)-2-buten-4-olide, a lignan, and apigenin-4',7'-dimethyl-ether. No alkaloids. Crude extracts showed little fungicidal or insecticidal activity. (PC 30(8):2753-6. 1991).

Ilex guayusa Loes. Aquifoliaceae. "Guayusa". Cultivated. In Piura the leaf decoction, considered antipyretic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, and cholagogue, is used to treat venereal diseases and female sterility (FEO). Leaf infusion used by the "Achuales" as an emetic. Women get up early in the morning and prepare the infusion in the biggest pot available; then everyone, including the children, drinks as much as they can, and minutes later they all start vomiting. They do this to clean body and spirit; bad things they have consumed the day before are eliminated, to start a new day with clean body and renewed spirit (RVM). Amazonian Ecuadorians drink guayusa to settle nerves and to prevent the ayahuasca hangover. Also believed useful in aphrodisia, dysmenorrhea, fever, hepatosis, malaria, pregnancy, stomach problems, syphilis, and perhaps other venereal diseases (SAR).

Iryanthera paraensis Huber. Myristicaceae. "Cumala colorada". The fruit has edible arils (RVM). "Waorani" rub the inner bark and/or resin onto fungal infections and mites (SAR).

Jacaranda copaia Aubl. ssp. spectabilis A. Gentry. Bignoniaceae. "Asphingo", "Chichicara caspi", "Huamanzamana", "Ishtapi", "Jacaranda", "Mami rao", "Meneco", "Paravisco", "Soliman". Wood for light construction; to make furniture, pulp for paper, beams and decks (RVM). Pucallpa natives use the leaf decoction for bronchitis, fever, rheumatism (VDF). "Andoke" use crushed leaves as a cicatrizant on wounds (SAR). Rio Vaupes natives use shredded bark in teas for colds and pneumonia, the sap for skin infections (SAR). Elsewhere considered cathartic and emetic (DAW). Brazilians believe burning the leaves and bark will keep illness and mosquitoes away. Also used for sores, syphylis, and toothache (dental abscesses) (RAR). "Créoles" and "Maroons" use it for leishmaniasis (MJP).

Jatropha gossypifolia L. Euphorbiaceae. "Piñón negro", "Black physic nut". Cultivated. Latex used as a cicatrizant for infected wounds and erysipelas (BDS). Seeds contain oil and have purgative and emetic properties. The leaf decoction is used for venereal diseases as blood purifier, and as an emetic for stomachache. The roots are used as antidote to Hippomane mancinella and Guarea guara. The latex is used for hemorrhoids and burns. The leaves are poulticed onto swellings (PEA, SOU). Leaf tea used in baths for flu in Brazil (BDS). Mashed leaves poulticed onto headache (RAR). "Créoles" use seed oil and leaf decoction as a purge; "Palikur" and "Wayãpi" use against witchcraft (GMJ). Another example of a reputedly POISONOUS folk cancer remedy containing compounds with antitumor activity, e.g. jatrophone (CRC).

Laportea aestuans (L.) Chew. Urticaceae. "Ishanga blanca", "White nettle". Commonly used to relieve rheumatic pains, and to whip children when they misbehave. Used by the "Créoles" as a diuretic (GMJ). Elsewhere used for burns, constipation, dysentery, rickets, and wounds (DAW).

Lonchocarpus nicou (Aubl.) DC. Fabaceae. "Barbasco", "Cubé", "Rotenone". Semicultivated. Even though fishing with barbasco or other ichthyotoxics is forbidden, this plant is still being used in places (RVM). Brazil's "Timbo", at 3 ppm, eliminates piranha and their eggs in 15 minutes (MJB). "Ketchwa" and "Shuar" use in arrow POISONs (SAR). Brazilians use L. urucu to kill leaf cutters (SAR).

Luffa operculata (L.) Cogn. Cucurbitaceae. "Espongilla", "Sponge gourd". Dry fruit "skeleton", with a sponge consistency, used for cellulitis, etc. Fruit mixed with Jatropha curcas for sinusitis (RVM). Brazilians use the purgative fruit pulp for dropsy (SAR), massaging rheumatism with bits of fruit in andiroba oil. Fruit tea somewhat POISONOUS, ingested for rheumatism (BDS). Considered abortifacient (RAR). Contains luffanine (SAR).

Maclura tinctoria (L.) Gaud. Moraceae. "Insira", "Insira amarilla". Fruits edible. Wood occasionally used in carpentry. Cotton soaked in the latex is used to relieve toothaches. An olive green dye is derived from the plant. Because it contains phloroglucin and gallic acid, it is probably antiseptic and astringent. Moringin is also antiseptic (AYA). This species also works as diuretic and anti-venereal. Highly recommended for urinary infections like blennorrhea. Colombians soak latex in 'cotton' of Ochroma pyramidale or Ceiba samauma, using it as a filling. Latex removes teeth, whether carious or healthy, without pain and bleeding (NIC). Used by the "Chami" for lumber.Considered analgesic, diuretic, purgative; used for cough, gout, pharyngitis, rheumatism, sore throat, syphilis (RAR).

Mammea americana L. Clusiaceae. "Mamey", "Mamee apple". Fruit edible (JAD). In Amazonian Brazil, latex, bark and/or fruit pulp are used for bugbites and parasitic infections (SAR). Seeds considered antieczemic, febrifuge, insecticide, parasiticide, vermifuge (RAR).

Manihot esculenta Crantz. Euphorbiaceae. "Cassava", "Mandioca", "Yuca". Cultivated. Many cultivars are morphologically different, and vary in cyanide content. Some are quite POISONOUS (JAD)! The edible roots yield farina, tapioca, and starch. Roots are used cooked, fried, roasted, and in other culinary applications. Also used to make the popular alcoholic refreshments, "mazatto", and "beshu", as well as a gelatinous beverage. Only "cassaba brava", is used to make farina. A poultice of cassava mixed with aguardiente, is used for chills and fever (RVM). "Créoles" apply to a child's body a mixture of starch and rum to relieve cutaneous eruptions. "Wayãpi" use leaves as a "remedy against the arrow", also in hemostatic poultice. They use root juice in ritual baths to treat sterility in women. The "Palikur" use the starch in poultice soaked in oil of Carapa sp. for tender muscles (GMJ). "Makuna" use the yuca water to treat scabies (SAR). "Witoto" used the leachings from cyanidiferous yuca as a fish POISON (SAR). A cupful of sweet squeezings is given for diarrhea (SAR).

Mansoa alliacea (Lam.) A.Gentry. Bignoniaceae. "Ajo sacha", "Boens", "Nia boens", "Wild garlic". Alcoholic maceration of the stem and roots used for rheumatism; leaf infusion used in baths to relieve "manchiari" (a nervous state caused by terror or sudden shock), especially in children. Also used as cleansing baths for bad luck. "Achuales" use the roots as antirheumatic (RVM). "Créoles" use the stem decoction in baths, to relieve fatigue and small needle-like cramps. "Palikur" use it to protect themselves against the bad spirits (shades of Dracula?). "Wayãpi" use the decoction of leaves and stems as antipyretic baths (GMJ), Tapajos natives for body aches, flu (BDS). Contains alline, allicin, allyl-disulfoxide, diallyl sulfide, dimethyl sulfide, divinyl sulfide, propylallyl disulfide (AYA), and two cytotoxic naphthoquinones, 9-methoxy-alpha-lapachone and 4-hydroxy-9 methoxy-alpha-lapachone (Phytochemistry 31(3):1061. 1992).

Maytenus macrocarpa (R.&P.) Briq. Celastraceae. "Chuchuasi", "Chuchasha", "Chuchuhuasi". Bark maceration considered antidiarrheic, antiarthritic, used to regulate menstrual periods, for upset stomach. Its main use is in a cordial! Bark decoction used for dysentery. The wood is used for lumber (RVM). A shot of chuchuhuasi with aguardiente and honey was given many ecotourists on departure from the Iquitos airport in 1991 (JAD). Aril of a brazilian species contained 8,500 ppm caffeine (SAR). "Siona" boil stems in water for arthritis and rheumatism (SAR, under M. laevis). Under the name M. ebenifolia, Maxwell mentions the "chuchuhuasi" as an effective insect repellent. "Chuchuhuasi" is "probably the best known of all jungle remedies, in Colombia as well as Peru. Aphrodisiac...best of all antirheumatic medicines" (NIC).

Momordica charantia L. Cucurbitaceae. "Papailla", "Balsam pear". Fruit edible cooked. Plant decoction used for colic, and worms; infusion of fruit and flowers used for hepatitis. Seed pulp mixed with lard as a suppurative (SOU). Considered vermicide, stomachic, emmenagogue, and very effective in the expulsion of Trichocephalos. Fruit decoction used as febrifuge and emetic (PEA). Leaf decoction used by the "Cuna" for measles (RVM), by Brazilians for fever, itch, and sores (BDS). Seeds and pericarp contain saponin glycosides which produce elaterin and alkaloids, which causes vomiting and diarrhea (LAE). Leaf infusion a common folk remedy for diabetes around Iquitos (AYA). TRAMIL cites it as relatively POISONOUS (TRA). On the patent for Compound Q for AIDS, as a source of momocharin. Also contains rosmarinic acid, with antiviral activity and calceolarioside and verbascoside.

Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. Fabaceae. "Nescafé", "Nescao". Cultivated. Toasted ground seeds are used as a coffee substitute (RVM). Elsewhere regarded as anodyne, antidotal, aphrodisiac, diuretic, nervine, resolvent, rubefacient, and vermifuge; used for anasarca, asthma, cancer, cholera, cough, diarrhea, dogbite, dropsy, dysuria, insanity, mumps, pleuritis, ringworm, snakebite, sores, syphilis, tumors, and worms (DAW). Interesting that this reputedly aphrodisiac plant should contain l-dopa, side effects of which include priapism (JAD).

Myroxylon balsamum (L.). Harms. Fabaceae. "Balsamo", "Estoraque", "Balsam of Peru". For parquets, dormers, posts, jam poles, handicrafts, keel plates for boats. Resin from trunks believed antipyretic and cicatrizant. Resin used for colds, lung ailments (SAR), abscesses, asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, headache, rheumatism, sores, sprains, tuberculosis, venereal diseases, and wounds (DAW, RAR). Powdered bark used as incense (SOU).

Nicotiana tabacum L. Solanaceae. "Tabaco", "Tobacco". Cultivated. The black tobacco "mapacho or siricaipe", is smoked during the ayahuasca, witchcraft, healing, and cleansing rituals; the pitch left from the smoke is picked up on a piece of paper and applied on the skin to kill worms. Powdered tobacco is mixed with aguardiente and given to dogs to make them better hunters. "Créoles" mixed the dried leaves with Scoparia dulcis leaves, while the "Wayãpi" use the pitch, to suffocate the larvae of the worm "macaco", Dermatobia hominis (Euterebrides), parasites which live in the skin of humans and dogs. "Palikur" poultice it onto migraine headaches; it is also used as a cholagogue to treat liver diseases. One drop of tobacco juice makes a strong collyrium (GMJ). "Bora" and "Witoto" poultice fresh leaves onto boils and infected wounds (SAR). "Jivaro" take tobacco juice for chills, indisposition and snakebite (SAR). "Tukanoan" rub the leaf decoction onto bruise and sprains (SAR). Many Indian groups used it for lung ailments (SAR). In Piura the leaf decoction is applied externally for parasites and rheumatism.

Ocimum micranthum Willd. Lamiaceae. "Albaca", "Iroro", "Pichana albaca", "Pichana blanca", "Wild basil". Used for fever and headache around Pucallpa (VDF). Said to be hallucinogenic (RVM). "Créoles" prepare a collyrium from the flowers; with the decoction they make a tea to treat flu. The maceration is used by the "Wayãpi" in antipyretic baths, and in massage to relieve colic (GMJ). Leaves are used to relieve gastric pains (RVM). "Tikuna" wash the head with leaf macerations for fever (SAR). Leaf juice dropped into eyes for conjunctivitis (SAR). Sometimes used as spice and perfume (SAR). Tapajos residents use the plant on bugbites and stings.

Passiflora quadrangularis L. Passifloraceae. "Tumbo", "Giant granadilla". Cultivated. Fruits edible; stems are considered POISON; the leaves, roots and flowers abortifacient. "Chami" make an infusion to treat fractures and bruises (RVM). Elsewhere considered calmant, CNS-depressant, cardiodepressant, decongestant, depurative, emollient, narcotic, sedative; used for arthritis, diabetes, hoarseness, hypertension, inflammation, liver ailments, neuralgia, sorethroat, and uvulitis (DAW). Contains noradrenalin (JBH).

Paullinia cupana HBK. Sapindaceae. "Guaraná", "Cupana". Cultivated. Seed decoction an astringent, bitter, nervine tonic (FEO). From the seeds is prepared commercial guarana. Considered a preventive for arteriosclerosis, and an effective cardiovascular drug; also used to treat chronic diarrhea. Considered analgesic (MJB), aphrodisiac, astringent, febrifuge, intoxicant, piscicide, stimulant, and tonic; used for diarrhea, dysentery, hypertension, migraine, neuralgia (DAW, RAR). Seeds contains >5% caffeine, cf tea with 2.2%, and toasted coffee with 0.8%, green coffee with 2.2% , and cacao with l.l% (RVM). Traces of theobromine and theophyllline also occur (Int. J. Pharmacogn. 31(3):174. 1993).

Persea americana Mill. Lauraceae. "Palta", "Huira palta", "Avocado". Cultivated fruit tree. Fruit juice considered aphrodisiac, used against dandruff and alopecia (FEO). Leaves well known as stomachic, emmenagogue, and resolvent. Seed decoction is an antidiarrheic, also used as an abortive. Used to treat amebic dysentery, diabetes, and snakebite (SOU). Also well known as antidiabetic (RVM). It eliminates uric acid, is a reconstituent tonic, antianemic, diuretic, antiinflammatory for the liver, for renal calculus, to strengthen weak muscles, for dysentery, and it is a mild aphrodisiac (RVM). "Tikuna" drink a cup of avocado leaf tea before meals to clean the liver (SAR). "Ketchwa" crush seed with Brownea wood and Rudgea leaves and make a decoction, said to stop menstruation for 3-6 months (SAR). As contraceptive, the seed decoction is taken each month during menses (SAR). "Siona-Secoya" also use as contraceptive (SAR). Ecuadorian "Shuar" take crushed seed in aguardiente for snakebite (SAR). Monounsaturates like oleic-acid are the health food rage now; avocado proved highest among 1,200 species (JAD).

Petiveria alliacea L. Phytolaccaceae. "Chanviro", "Micura", "Mocosa", "Mucura", "Sacha ajo". Reportedly abortive, antispasmodic, antirheumatic, antipyretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, sudorific; mostly used in magic rituals call "limpias" ("cleansing"). The curanderos bathe the patients in the liquid left from the infusion to cleanse them from the "salt" (bad luck); other people bathe with it on the first hour of the new year. Colombians chew the plant in order to coat their teeth and protect them from cavities (GAB). Also used in ritual amulets. Preclinical tests show depressive effects on the central nervous system (CNS), with anticonvulsive effects (RVM). "Créoles" use it to get rid of bad spirits; the roots are antispasmodic and antipyretic; the leaf decoction, sudorific and cough suppressant. "Palikur" use to protect their children against bad luck, and in baths for the vitamin deficiency called "coqueluche" (GMJ). "Tikuna" bathe feverish patients in the leaf infusion and wash headache with the decoction. For bronchitis and pneumonia, a drop of kerosene and lemon juice is added to a teaspoon of macerated leaves (SAR). Rutter mentions beriberi, cramps, nerves, paralysis, rheumatism, scabies, scorpion sting, spider bites, toothache, venereal diseases, and vision, calling the herb abortifacient, analgesic, contraceptive, diuretic, emmenagogue, vermifuge, and insecticide (RAR). Independently, two different sources, one Venezuelan, one Colombian, related anecdotes about "curing" pancreatic cancer with Petiveria (JAD). Tramil all but endorses inhalation of the aroma for migraine and sinusitis, and using as a mouthwash for toothache (TRA).

Phyllanthus niruri L. Euphorbiaceae. "Chanca piedra", "Sacha foster", "Stone-breaker". Like other species, quite effective in eliminating kidney- and gallstones (NIC). Considered anodyne, apertif, carminative, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, laxative, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge, used elsewhere for blennorrhagia, colic, diabetes, dropsy, dysentery, dyspepsia, fever, flu, gonorrhea, itch, jaundice, kidney ailments, malaria, proctitis, stomachache, tenesmus, tumors and vaginitis (DAW). Plant has proven antihepatotoxic, antispasmodic, antiviral, bactericidal, diuretic, febrifugal, and hypoglycemic activity (TRA).

Physalis peruviana L. Solanaceae. "Aguaymanto". "Cape gooseberry". Fruit edible. Fruit juice for pharyngitis and stomatitis, the infusion as an ocular decongestant, the diuretic leaf infusion for cough and jaundice (FEO).

Piper angustifolium R.&P. Piperaceae. "Cordoncillo", "Matico". Leaves applied externally as antiseptic vulnerary; the tea consumed for bronchitis, dysentery, gonorrhea, inflammation, and malaria (FEO, RAR). Infusion washed onto rheumatic areas around Pucallpa (VDF).

Piper peltatum L. Piperaceae. "Santa María". Leaves used as table cloths, to wrap food (RVM), and rubbed on the body as a tick repellent (DAW). Leaf decoction used as a diuretic, antipyretic, and emetic. The leaves passed over fire are applied directly on the head to relieve and reduce the swelling caused by trauma and hernias. Leaf poulticed onto sores (DAT). Believed anodyne, antiblennorrhagic, antiinflammatory, diuretic, lenitive, pediculicidal, piscicidal, resolvent, sudorific, vermifuge (JAD, RVM). "Créoles" use it as an antineuralgic, the leaf infusion as a sudorific (GMJ). Elsewhere used for abscesses, burns, colds, erysipelas, headache, hepatitis, leishmaniasis, swellings, toothache and urethritis (DAW).

Portulaca oleracea L. Portulacaceae. "Verdolaga", "Purslane". Crushed plant used for fever, stings, and swellings. Containing noradenaline, purslane might logically be rubbed onto beestings and/or placed under the tongue, especially of allergic people (JAD). "Créoles" prepare an antidiabetic, digestive, and emollient tea. Used by the Palikur as a hypotensive (GMJ) (but contains hypertensive compounds JAD). Elsewhere considered alexeritic, alterative, aperient, astringent, bactericidal, cardiotonic, demulcent, detergent, diuretic, emmolient, fungicidal, hemostat, refrigerant, sedative, vermifugal and viricidal; used folklorically for anthrax, bladder ailments, blenorrhagia, boils, bugbites, burns, colds, colic, dermatitis, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, earache, eczema, edema, enterorrhagia, erysipeals, fever, gonorrhea, gravel, hematuria, hepatitis, herpes, hyperglycemia, hypotension, inflammation, insomnia, leucorrhea, nausea, nephritis, palpitations, piles, pleuritis, pruritis, snakebite, sores, splentitis, strangury, swellings, toothache, tumors,, warts and wounds DAW. A rather promising chemopreventive (="cancer-preventive") herb, loaded with antioxidants (JAD). Seeds of P. peruviana I.M. Johnston are considered emmenagogue and vermifuge. The shoot decoction, considered diuretic and cholagogue, is used for headache. Shoots are chopped and applied in pork fat to hemorrhoids (FEO).

Pourouma cecropiaefolia Mart. Moraceae. "Baacohe", "Ubilla", "Grape tree". Cultivated. Fruit edible, produced ca 3 years after planting (MJB). Wood used for paper pulp, and the toasted seeds as a substitute for coffee (RVM). Leaf ashes sometimes substituted for Cecropia as a coca additive. "Bara-Maku" use root scrapings to induce permanent sterility (SAR). "Cubeo" use as a masticatory, elsewhere considered intoxicant (DAW).

Psidium guayaba L. Myrtaceae. "Guayabo", "Guayabo blanco", "Guava". Cultivated. Fruit is edible. Wood used to for tool handles, and for the "tramojo" (an implement put on pigs so they cannot walk easily). The infusion of foliar buds is used for diarrhea (especially that caused by bacteria, AYA). Also used for sanitary napkins; for dentition, and swellings of gout (VAM). "Exumas" use the leaves and roots for diarrhea. Natives of Cojeles (Venezuela) use the bark decoction for diarrhea, the floral infusion to regulate menstrual periods (FOR). "Créoles" and "Wayãpi" use decoction of bark, leaves, and shoots for diarrhea (GMJ). Tramil recommends the leaves for diarrhea, emotional shock, vertigo, and vomiting (TRA).

Quassia amara L. Simaroubaceae. "Amargo", "Cuasia", "Bitterwood". Insecticidal, tonic, for fever and hepatitis (RAR). Brazilians use the leaf tea in bathing for measles (BDS), a remedy that sounds a bit better than tea of ashes of dry white dog dung. Brazilians also wash the mouth with leaf tea after tooth extraction. Surinamese "Maroons" use the bark for fever and parasites (MJP). Potent aphidicide (MJP).

Rauwolfia tetraphylla L. Apocynaceae. "Misho runto", "Pelilla", "Sanango", "Turcassa", "Amazonian snakeroot". Around Pucallpa, the leaf decoction is used for toothache (VDF). "Shipibos", "Yaguas", and "Achuales" use the roots as arrow POISON (AYA). Reserpine, tetraphylline, and tetraphyllicine are obtained from this species and from R. sprucei (LAE).

Renealmia alpina (Rottb.) Maas. Zingiberaceae. "Mishquipanga". Fruits yield a red-purple dye used for cloth and handicraft. Don Segundo suggests this plant as an ephemeral mosquito repellant; it seems to work, albeit briefly, on some of us.

Ryania speciosa Vahl var. tomentosa (Miq.) Monach. Flacourtiaceae. "Esponja huayo", "Espuma huayo". Highly toxic species used by the "Paumari" as fish POISON; used for making insecticides (RVM). On Rio Negro, they used the roots for rat POISON (SAR) "Maku" said to use the plant for euthanasia, homocide and suicide (DAW).

Scoparia dulcis L. Scrophulariaceae. "Bati matsoti", "Escobilla", "Ñucñu-pichana", "Piqui pichana". Leaf infusion used for bronchitis, cough, diarrhea, fevers, kidney diseases, and hemorrhoids (RVM, VDF). Leaf infusion antidiarrheic and emetic (CAA). Antiseptic leaf decoction used for wounds; and fever. "Créoles" use the leaf decoction mixed with maternal milk as an antiemetic for infants. Dried leaves used by as a marihuana substitute. "Palikur" use the leaf decoction in antipyretic baths and in poultices for migraine headaches (GMJ). Ecuadorians take the tea for pain and swelling (SAR). "Tikuna" drink the tea, with or without "paico", three days during the menses as an abortifacient or contraceptive (SAR). Four to five plants tied together make the typical river-dweller's broom (RVM). Brazilians add the root to the bath when "cleaning their blood" (BDS). They apply strained leaf juice for eye ailments; and to infected wounds (erysipelas) (BDS).

Sida rhombifolia L. Malvaceae. "Ancusacha", "Pichana", Varilla". Considered analgesic, aphrodisiac, demulcent, diuretic, emmenagogue, emollient, lactagogue, and sedative; used for alopecia, antibiotic, bilious conditions, bladder ailments, boils, burns, conjunctivitis, dermatosis, diarrhea, dyspepsia, dyspnea, gastrosis, gonorrhea, impetigo, leucorrhea, lupus, piles, rheumatism, snakebite, sores, thrush, tuberculosis, tumors, ulcers, urethritis, and wounds (DAW, TRA, RAR).

Simarouba amara Aubl. Simaroubaceae. "Marupá". Wood for lumber, interior decorations, furniture, plywood veneer, paper pulp. Bark decoction for fever. "Créoles" mix macerated bark with rum as a tonic for malaria and dysentery (GMJ). Emetic, hemostat, purgative, tonic (RAR).

Siparuna guianensis Aubl. Monimiaceae. "Isula huayo", "Picho huayo", "Asna huayo". Fruit used in fiestas, the leaf infusion believed aphrodisiac. Leaf decoction used in baths for mycosis. "Créoles" use the leaf tea as an abortive, oxytocic, and antipyretic; the alcoholic leaf maceration as vulnerary, and the salty leaf decoction as hypotensive. "Wayãpi" use the decoction of leaves and bark as a refreshment and antipyretic (GMJ). The tea of the leaves and flowers is used as a carminative, in dyspepsia, and painful spasms (RVM). Don Segundo informed one class that the aroma of this plant, applied to the skin to prevent hunted animals from smelling the hunter (by masking his body odor), was not only effective, but rendered the hunter all but irresistible to females. One of my taxonomic associates claims to have confirmed this empirically (JAD). "Tikuna" eat the fruits for dyspepsia (SAR). Elsewhere considered anodyne, insecticidal and stomachic; used folklorically for colds, colic, cramps, dermatosis, fever, headache, mange, rheumatism, snakebite and wounds (DAW). Tapajos natives make solar tea from the leaves for bathing headache (BDS).

Solanum mammosum L. Solanaceae. "Vaca chucho", "Tinctona", "Breast berry". Used as an ornamental; fruit said to be POISONOUS. "Boras" use it to treat the sores of leishmaniasis, a worm infection (DAT). "Chocó" (JAD) and the "Chami" use the fruit to kill cockroaches (CAA). "Cuna" use fruit macerated in hot water for growths on the breast (doctrine of signatures?). In Tolima and Santander seeds are used as insecticides (FOR). Guatemalans use fruits as medicine and ornament during pilgrimages. In Costa Rica, the leaf decoction is used for kidney and bladder infections. The decoction of the fruit with all its juice is used for asthma; plant also used for sinusitis, arthritis and rheumatism (POV). "Kofán" use as a pacifier for small children (SAR).

Solanum sessiliflorum Dun. Solanaceae. "Cocona", "Topiro". Cultivated. Fruit edible and makes good juice, often served at Explorama. Juice used as a scabicide; also recommended after snakebite (RVM). "Waorani" rub juice on scalp to cleanse and gloss the hair (SAR). Boiled plant rubbed on spiderbites to heal necrotic tissue (SAR). Following scorpion sting, juice is drunk to prevent vomiting (SAR).

Spilanthes acmella L. Asteraceae. "Botoncillo". Brazilians boil the flowering tops for the lungs, specifically tuberculosis (BDS).

Spondias mombin L. Anacardiaceae. "Ciruela", "Hubo", "Ubos, "Ushun", "Hog Plum". Fruit edible. Wood for lumber and veneer. Root decoction used for diarrhea, and for mothers after giving birth, taking small doses for two consecutive months. Itaya residents use it for tuberculosis, as an adjuvant with antibiotics. Docoction used for vaginal baths to treat infections and hemorrhoids (AYA). "Campas" use it to lure tapirs (RVM). "Créoles" use the bark for diarrhea and upset stomach (GMJ). "Tikuna" use bark decoction as anodyne and hemostat in diarrhea, metrorrhagia and stomachache (SAR). A single cup, given each day during the menses, is believed contraceptive; drunk one day after delivery, it is believed to lead to permanent sterility (SAR). Tramil mentions antiviral, myorelaxant and uterotonic activities (TRA). In Brazil, used in ice creams and liqueurs (MJP).

Stachytarpheta cayennensis (Rich). Vahl. Verbenaceae. "Ocollucuy sacha", "Sacha verbena". The stems and leaves are soaked in some water, squeezed and mixed, the greenish extract drunk, one glass a day, for three consecutive months for diabetes (AYA). UHV natives use the plant in medicine for their dogs (RAF). "Créoles" use the leaf tea as a cholagogue purgative for dysentery. "Wayãpi" and "Palikur" use the plant decoction in baths to relieve colds and headaches (GMJ). Venezuelans have used it for tumors, Dominicans as a panacea, and Trinidadians as a collyrium and depurative in chest colds, dysentery, fever, heart attacks, ophthalmia and worms (DAW).

Strychnos guianensis (Aubl.) Mart. Loganiaceae. "Comida del venado", "Anzuelo casha". Stems used to make "curaré"; recommended as an aphrodisiac. Mixed with Uncaria guianensis, the decoction is used in genital baths for venereal diseases (RVM). Contains brucine, eritocurarine, guaiacurarines, guaiacurine, c-guaianine, and strychnine (JAD).

Symphonia globulifera L.f. Clusiaceae. "Azufre caspi", "Navidad caspi", "Chullachaqui", "Buckwax". Wood used for house construction, canoes, paddles, keel plates, flooring, carpentry, tool handles, etc. It is good quality for construction, carpentry, and firewood (RVM). Latex used to caulk boats (RVM). "Créoles" use the latex for dermatosis, and to reinforce the binding of the arrows (RVM). Indians apply the bark ash to wounds and indolent ulcers (SAR). Brazilians use the seed oil for dermatoses (SAR).

Tabebuia chrysanta (Jacq.) Nichols. Bignoniaceae. "Tahuarí negro", "Paliperro". Wood for lumber, posts, poles, handicrafts, parquets. "Yaguas" use the trunk to make jungle drums. Over-exported to the US as "tahebo" or "pao-d'arco", bark tea marketed for candidiasis, cancer, and malignant tumors (JAD).

Tabernaemontana sananho R.&P. Apocynaceae. "Sanango", "Lobo sanango", "Toomecocoriu". Much as T. rimulosa. The leaves, softened by fire, are applied to relieve rheumatic pains (RVM). In Pastaza, taken one week after delivery. "Pulp is used as a gargle for sore throat and colds" (SAR). "Tikuna" mix the latex with water for eye wounds (SAR). "Jivaro" apply the bark juice to toothache (SAR). Considered sudorific, tonic, used for colds, obesity, rheumatism, syphilis (RAR).

Tecoma stans (L.) Juss. Bignoniaceae. "Campanilla amarilla", "Yellowbells". Cultivated ornamental. In SOME MEDICINAL FOREST PLANTS OF AFRICA AND LATIN AMERICA, FAO (1986), note that the alkaloids tecomine and tecostanine lower the blood sugar in experimental animals. Leaf infusions lower the blood sugar in humans. In Mexico, its roots have shown antisyphilitic, diuretic and tonic properties (FAO).

Theobroma cacao L. Sterculiaceae. "Cacao", "Chocolate". Cultivated. The pulp of fruit edible. Food uses of chocolate, made from the seed, are well known (RVM). Not so well known is the fact that much cocoa butter ends up in suppositories. Leaf infusion widely used as cardiotonic and diuretic in Colombia (SAR). "Karijona" use toasted seed with manihot squeezings for a scalp condition like eczema. "Ingano" use the bark decoction as a wash for sarna (SAR). Theobromine and theophylline, like caffeine, all found in this plant, used in modern medicine as antiasthmatic (JAD). We are cooperating with one entrepreneur seeking a "lean green cacao bean" for renewable "organic low-fat rainforest chocolate".

Theobroma subincanum Mart. Sterculiaceae. "Cacahuillo", "Cacao macambillo"", "Macambillo", "Macambo sacha". Fruit pulp edible.Powdered inner bark (of pod) mixed with tobacco as an hallucinogen. "Tirio" value the bark as tinder for starting fires (MJP).

Tynnanthus panurensis (Bur.) Sandw. Bignoniaceae. "Clavo huasca", "Inejkeu", "Clove vine". The pieces of roots and stems are macerated in aguardiente to make a stimulant liqueur, good for rheumatism (RVM). Resin used for fevers (DAT). Some explorama visitors have used it, effectivly, for toothache, being as effective as, and probably chemically similar to clove oil (JAD). Some visitors believe, others disbelieve, that the rays of the cross, steeped in aguardiente, are aphrodisiac, some for females, some for males, some for both. We have no incontrovertible empirical evidence, one way or the other.

Uncaria guianensis (Aubl.) Gmel. Rubiaceae. "Uña de gato", "Cat's claw", "Paraguayo", "Garabato", "Uña de gavilán", "Hawk's claw". In Piura, the bark decoction, considered antiinflammatory, antirheumatic, and contraceptive, is used in treating gastric ulcers and tumors (FEO). Considered a remedy for cancer of the female's urinary tract; also used for gastritis, rheumatism and cirrhosis. The "Boras" use it for gonorrhea (RVM). Colombian and Guianan Indians use it for dysentery (SAR). Nicole Maxwell culimates her latest edition with an illustrated anecdote about this plant, now exported by the tons to Europe, for various cancers. Nicole even states that it turns grey hair black, including some of her own (NIC). See following entry.

Uncaria tomentosa (Aubl.) Gmel. Rubiaceae. "Uña de gato", "Cat's claw", "Paraguayo", "Garabato", "Uña de gavilán", "Hawk's claw". Widely used in Peru for antiinflammatory, contraceptive, and cytostatic activities, the plant has yielded an antiinflammatory antiedemic glycoside (JNP54{2}:453. 1991). In Piura, the bark decoction, considered antiinflammatory, antirheumatic, and contraceptive, is used in treating gastric ulcers and tumors (FEO). In her latest edition, Nicole Maxwell (1990) has added much information which may reflect the potential of the cat's claw. She informs us that Sidney McDaniel submitted samples to the NIH cancer screen.

Unonopsis veneficiorum (Mart.) R.E. Fries. Annonaceae. "Icoja". Bark used like U. floribunda (RVM), also in curaré (SAR). "Maku" use in antifertility potions (SAR).

Urera baccifera (L.) Gaud. Urticaceae. "Ishanga Moe", "Mara mara","Stinging nettle". The stinging hairs on the leaves are used to relieve rheumatic pains. "Chami" cook and eat the leaves and stems after removing the thorns (CAA). Around Pucallpa, applied to the body for persistent fever (VDF). Elsewhere considered diuretic, rubefacient and vesicant; used for amenorrhea, arthritis, chills, fever, gonorrhea, leucorrhea, malaria, rheumatism and venereal diseases (DAW). One M.D. speculated that the acetylcholine, choline and histamine injected with the stings, would stimulate the production of mast cells which might in turn result in antiinflammatory (and antiarthritic) activity, away from the sting.

Virola calophylla Warb. Myristicaceae. "Cumala blanca". Wood for lumber. Some natives (e.g."Bora" and "Huitoto"), use Virola as a powerful hallucinogen, taking it orally and nasally. They grate, dry, and toast the inner bark slowly until it becomes powder so they can inhale it. They also grate the cambium, boil it in water, mixing continuously until it forms a thick syrup; after it dries, they make pills and swallow them. The alkaloids found are mostly derivatives of tryptamine: DMT, MMT, 5-Me0-DMT, 5-Me0-MMT, and the derivatives of beta-carboline: 6-Me0-DMTHC; the percentage of such compounds vary according to the species, as well as their environment (RVM). Widely used for fungal diseases and scabies (SAR). Amazonian Peruvians use for bladder and stomach ailments (SAR). "Maku" use the bark tea for malaria (SAR).

Virola surinamensis (Rol.) Warb. Myristicaceae. "Cumala blanca hoja parda". Wood for lumber, plywood. "Bora" and "Huitoto" use the cambium as a hallucinogen. The decoction of the aerial rootlets that appear on the base of the trunk is used for cough. "Palikur" prepare a bark emollient used for swellings and erysipelas; used as an oral antiseptic to treat canker sores and abscesses. For swelling, it is mixed with bark of Humiria balsamifera, the decoction used for external baths (GMJ). Tea of leaves, sap, and bark, mixed with Physalis angulata, is used for upset stomach, intestinal colic, erysipelas, and inflammations (RVM). Leaves contain the antitubercular compound galbacin, the antiaggregant veraguensin, and the antischistosomal surinamensis (JBH).

Vismia angusta Miq. Hypericaceae. "Pichirina hoja grande". The wood is used for rural construction; the decoction of the latex from the buds, mixed with the latex of Euphorbia cotinifolia, is used to treat ringworm or "caracha" (dermatosis caused by fungus) (RVM). Amazonian Colombians use the latex for infected sores and wounds. "Tikuna" use to treat herpes and mycoses (SAR). The latex of one Vismia is slated for studies by a California pharmaceutical company; preliminary tests suggest it to be effective (MJP). Both Segundo and JAD suffered long-lasting rashes as a result of the latex (JAD).

Zingiber officinale Roscoe. Zingiberaceae. "Jengibre", "Kión". Cultivated. Macerated rhizomes in aguardiente for arthritis and rheumatism; believed to invigorate males. Rhizome decoction used for diarrhea, and, with a pinch of cinnamon, stomachaches. Also used as an antiflatulent and spice. "Palikur" poultice the rhizomes onto migraine headaches (GMJ). Used also for bronchitis and rheumatic pains (RVM). Tramil reports that oral doses of 50-100 mg/kg of the alcoholic extract have antiinflammatory activity comparable to aspirin, and not so promising analgesic activity. The extract is active against gram negative and positive bacteria. Gingerol and shogoal show molluscicidal activity (TRA). Furanogermenone, at oral doses of 500 mg/kg helps prevent gastric ulcer. Shogoal is intensely antitussive, compared to dihydrocodeine (TRA). One gram of powdered ginger can prevent seasickness (JAD). Tramil all but recommends it for colds, coughs, flu, stomachache and vomiting (TRA). Rio Tapajos women drink the tea while in labor, giving the "baby the strength to come out" (BDS). They also take the tea for colic, menstrual cramps, sore throat.


Duke, J.A. And Vazquez Martinez, R. 1994. Amazonian Ethnobotanical Dictionary (Peru). CRC Press, Boca Raton FL. 215 pp. $42.95 (all royalties revert to the Amazonian Center for Environmental Education and Research, 10 Environs Park, Helena, AL 35080.)

Ayala Flore, F. 1984. Notes on Some Medicinal and Poisonous Plants of Amazonian Peru. pp. 1-8 in Advances in Economic Botany 1: 1984. (Cited as AYA)

Balick, M.J. 1985. Useful Plants of Amazonia: A Resource of Global Importance. Chap. 19 in Prance, G.T. and Lovejoy, T.E., eds. Amazonia. Pergamon Press. 1985. (Cited as MJB)

Balick, M.J. and Gersgoff, S.N. 1990. A Nutritional Study of Aiphanes caryotifolia (Kunth) Wendl. (Palmae) Fruit: An Exceptional Source of Vitamin A and High Quality Protein from Tropical America. Advances in Econ. Bot. 8:35-40. (Cited as MJB)

Branch, L.C. and da Silva, I.M.F. 1983. Folk Medicine of Alter do Chao, Para, Brazil. Acta Amazonica 13(5/6):737-797. Manaus. (Cited as BDS)

Denevan, W.M. and Treacy, J.M. 1988. Young Managed Fallows at Brillo Nuevo. pp. 8-46 in

Denevan, W.M. and Padoch, C. Swidden-Fallow Agroforestry in the Peruvian Amazon. Advances in Econ. Bot. 5. New York Botanical Garden, NY. 107 pp. (Cited as DAT)

Duke J.A. 1986b. Isthmian Ethnobotanical Dictionary. Third Edition, 325 pp, Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur, India. (Cited as JAD)

Duke J.A. 1992a. CRC Handbook of Biologically Active Phytochemicals and their Bioactivities. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. (Published both as hardcopy book and as WordPerfect Database). 183 pp. (Cited as CRC)

Duke J.A. 1992b. CRC Handbook of Phytochemical Constituents of GRAS Herbs and Other Economic Plants. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. (Published both as hardcopy book and as WordPerfect Database). 654 pp. (Cited as CRC)

Duke, J.A. and duCellier, J.L. 1993. CRC Handbook of Alternative Cash Crops. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL, 536 pp. (Cited as DAD)

Elisabetsky, E. and Posey, D.A. 1989. Use of Contraceptive and Related Plants by the Kayapo Indians (Brazil). J. Ethnopharm. 26:299-316. (Cited as EAP)

FAO. 1986. Some medicinal forest plants of Africa and Latin America. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome, 1986. (Cited as FAO)

de Feo, V. 1992. Medicinal and magical plants in the northern Peruvian Andes. Fitoterapia 63:417-440. (Cited as FEO)

Ferreyra, R. 1970. Flora Invasora de los Cultivos de Pucallpi y Tingo Maria. (Cited as RAF)

Gentry, A.H. 1993. A Field Guide to the Families and Genera of Woody Plants of Northwest South America (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru). Illustrations by R. Vasquez Martinez. Conservation International. Washington, DC. 895 pp. (Cited as GAV, source of most of the illustrations)

Grenand, P., Moretti, C. and Jacquemin, H. 1987. Pharmacopées taditionnels en Guyane: Créoles, Palikur, Wayãpi. Editorial l-ORSTROM, Coll. Mem. No. 108. Paris 569 pp. (Cited as GMJ)

Gupta, M.P. (ed.) 1995. (With >45 authors from 20 Latin American countries and Spain) 270 Plantas Medicinales Iberoamericanas. CYTED Publication; Editorial Presencia Ltdxa., Calle 23, No. 24-20, Santafe de Bogota, D.C., Columbia. 169 figures; 617 pp.

Lamb, F.B. 1985. Rio Tigre and Beyond, the Amazon Jungle Medicine of Manuel Cordova. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, 227 pp. (Cited as FBL)

MacBride, J.F. 1936-. Flora of Perú. Field Museum of Natural History, Botanical Services, Chicago. (Cited as MAC)

Maxwell, N. 1990. Witch Doctor's Apprentice, Hunting for Medicinal Plants in the Amazonian, 3rd Edition, Citadel Press, New York. 391 pp. (Cited as NIC)

Missouri Botanical Garden. 1993. Florula de las Reservas Biologicas de Iquitos. Computer Printout. (Cited as RBI)

Rutter, R.A. 1990. Catalogo de Plantas Utiles de la Amazonia Peruana. Instituto Linguistico de Verano. Yarinacocha, Peru. 349. (Cited as RAR)

Schultes, R.E. and Raffauf, R.F. 1990. The Healing Forest. Dioscorides Press, Portland, 484 pp. (Cited as SAR)

Soukup, J. 1970. Vocabulary of the Common Names of the Peruvian Flora and Catalog of the Genera. Editorial Salesiano, Lima. 436 pp. (Cited as SOU)

Robineau, L., Ed. 1991. Towards a Caribbean pharmacopoeia, TRAMIL-4 Workshop, UNAH, Enda Caribe, Santo Domingo. (Cited as TRA)

Valdizan, H. and Maldonado, A. 1982. La Medicina Popular Peruana (Documentos Ilustrativos). Imp. Torres Aguirre. Lima. 3 vols. (Cited as VAM)

Vasquez M., R. 1990. Useful Plants of Amazonian Peru. Spanish Typescript. Second Draft. Filed with USDA's National Agricultural Library. (Cited as RVM)

GENERAL REFERENCES: Reader's Digest Magic and Medicine of Plants; Natural Health's World Medicine; Lewis and Elvin-Lewis Medical Botany

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