Cocculus platiphyllus A.St.-Hil.
Chondrodendron platiphyllum is a climbing shrub.
Although potentially toxic, the root is a popular herbal medicine in Brazil, where it is widely used to treat a range of complaints. The plant also provides an edible fruit and ornamental wood.
The plant is toxic, containing the alkaloid pelosin. Especially when taken in higher doses, it acts principally against the smooth muscles of the veins - causing a progressive weakness of the heart and, soon after, death[
S. America - Brazil.
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A very variable species[
]. Somewhat similar to grapes[
Although used widely in Brazil, this is a toxic herb that needs to be used with caution[
The yellowish or brownish root is said to be effective against numerous ailments including anaemia, chlorose, atonic dyspepsia, renal stones, intermittent fevers, uterine colic, menstrual difficulties, oedema etc; with a special action upon the fibrous muscles, tonic, facilitating a good digestion, removing catarrh from the body, but causing abortion if the dose is excessive[
Both the root and the seeds contain an alkaloid called pelosina, a strong toxin that can paralyze the vascular system and cause death[
The seed contains about 5% of a fatty oil[
The wood is a dark yellow with distinct veins[
]. A beautiful wood, though rarely exceeding 20cm in diameter, it is used for inlay work and cabinet making[
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