Strychnos syntoxica Sprague & Sandwith
Fruiting plant, climbing into the surrounding vegetation
Photograph by: Reinaldo Aguilar
Strychnos toxifera is a vigorous climbing shrub, climbing high into the surrounding trees and supporting itself in the branches by means of tendrils.
Along with Strychnos mitscherlichii, this species is the main source of 'calabash' curare, commonly used in the Amazon as an arrow poison[
]. Curare also has a number of uses in modern medicine.
The bark is a sources of 'Calabash curare', an arrow poison produced in the jungles of the Amazon. Curare has a number of applications in modern medicine[
The bark contains the alkaloid curarine, which paralyses the peripheral nerves so voluntary muscles for respiration cease action and asphyxiation occur[
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, the Guyanas and through Central America to Costa Rica.
Montane savannah and creek forests[
Curare, obtained from the bark of the stems, is a very toxic substance used in the Amazon as an arrow poison. It does also have medicinal applications; as a sedative, anticonvulsive etc. However, the toxic does is very near the pharmacological does and so it has to be used with great care.
Curare is a powerful paralyzing agent of the motor nerves. Its active principle is Curarin[
]. Toxic doses cause death by paralysis of the organs of respiration[
Curare has been reported effectual in two cases of hydrophobia, and has been successful in the treatment of tetanus[
The bark, applied externally, is said to be a good remedy for foul ulcers[
The bark is one of the most potent sedatives in nature and, could it be safely managed, would no doubt become a valuable remedial agent in the treatment of convulsive and spasmodic disorders[
The active alkaloids found in the plant include toxiferines, caracurine, macusine, mavacurine and fedamazine[
]. The bark contains the alkaloid curarine, which paralyses the peripheral nerves so voluntary muscles for respiration cease action and asphyxiation occur[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.