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Useful Tropical Plants

Chondrodendron tomentosum

Ruiz & Pav.

Menispermaceae

+ Synonyms

Botryopsis spruceana Eichler

Chondodendron hypoleucum Standl.

Chondodendron scabrum Miers

Chondrodendron cretosum Miers

Chondrodendron scabrum Miers

Chondrodendron tamoides Miers

Cocculus chondodendron DC.

Epibaterium tomentosum (Ruiz & Pav.) Pers.

Common Name: Pareira

Chondrodendron tomentosum
Close-up of the seed
Photograph by: Environmental Sciences Program, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
© Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Chondrodendron tomentosum Chondrodendron tomentosum Chondrodendron tomentosum Chondrodendron tomentosum Chondrodendron tomentosum

General Information

Pareira is a woody climbing plant with stems that are sometimes 10cm thick at its base and can climb up to 30 metres high into the canopy of the rainforest[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. Its large heart-shaped leaves have a soft silky underside made up of tiny white hairs, giving the plant the common name of velvet leaf[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
The plant is commonly gathered from the wild for local medicinal use and to make an arrow poison called curare[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. The plant is also gathered for use in both herbal and conventional medicine and is often exported for these purposes[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].

Known Hazards

The root contains a number of alkaloids and is much used by the indigenous peoples of the region to make curare[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. This is not a true poison, rather an extremely powerful muscle relaxant that can make the victim unable to move for a considerable period.
Death from curare poison is caused by asphyxia, because the muscles become so relaxed that the muscles operating the diaphragm and lungs stop functioning. Interestingly, it only works if the poison gets into the bloodstream; ingesting curare poison (and even eating the meat of curare-poisoned animals) has no toxic effect since it isn't absorbed in the stomach[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].

Botanical References


Range

Northern S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Panama.

Habitat

Not known

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *  *
HabitClimber
Height30.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Not known

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

Pareira has long been used by local people both to make a poison used in hunting and also as a healing herb. Perhaps the main action of this plant is its muscle relaxant effect, but the alkaloids responsible for this are not absorbed by the digestive tract and have to be administered intravenously[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. Therefore, when taken orally the plant is considered safe for herbal use[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. In general, herbal use of the plant is mainly restricted to S. America[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
The root is considered to be a bitter tonic, emmenagogue, diuretic, febrifuge and relaxant[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
A root decoction is used to treat oedema, kidney stones, persistent urinary tract infections, prostatitis, and testicular inflammation[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
Externally it is used as a poultice for treating bruises, contusions, poisonous snake bites[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
In homeopathy the plant is used for inflammation of the urinary tract and enlarged prostate[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].

The root is a rich source of alkaloids. The main alkaloid responsible for the muscle-relaxant actions is called d-tubocurarine. It works by blocking the signals in the brain which tell the muscles to move - thereby rendering the whole body immobile to the point of becoming virtually paralyzed. It’s not a toxin - and the effects generally wear off in about 90 minutes[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. The alkaloid is used in conventional medicine as a general anaesthetic and muscle relaxant in various types of surgeries (during which breathing can be controlled with machines)[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
D-tubocurarine is also used to treat tetanus (which causes uncontrollable muscle contractions throughout the body). And is also being evaluated for its role in blocking serotonin, reducing vomiting, alleviating drug withdrawal symptoms, and for its anti-anxiety effects[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. D-tubocurarine also stimulates the release of histamine which may cause lowered blood pressure due to relaxation of blood vessels[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -

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