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Re: aroids as medicines including againt snake bite!

  • Subject: Re: aroids as medicines including againt snake bite!
  • From: <ju-bo@msn.com>
  • Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 12:53:38 +0000

Dear Steve and Friends,

I can think of three GOOD references.
Our ''mentor'' Dr. Croat published a paper on the use of Aroids as medicine. 

The second is within the review of the genus Dracontium by Tom Croat and the late Guang Hua Zhu.   In this publication the genus has so many references to different species of Dracontium being used as ''cures'' for different species of snake, mainly the genus Bothrops, that many of the Dracontium sps. carry the same native names as the native names for the Bothrops sp. associated with the cure!

The third is "The Snakes of Trinidad and Tobago" (Amazon.com) by Hans Boos.  On Trinidad there is widespread belief that Dracontium asperum (and to a lesser  extent the leaves/stems/tubers of Caladium bicolor) are a ''cure'' for the terrible bites of the two large vipers found on that Island, Bothrops atrox (fer de Lance) and Lachesis muta (bushmaster).  It seems that this follows the old belief that a cure would be found in a ''natural'' plant which resembles the snake, and the petioles of Dracontium (and some cultivars of wild-growing C. bicolor) are certainly very snake/Bothrops-like in their patterns and colors. 

I don`t believe any scientific testing has been done to determine if an application of a poltice of crushed Dracontium or Caladium tuber and petioles was effective in any way to alleviate the terrible symptoms of a true Bothrops bite.


Julius Boos.

Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 07:56:12 -0500
From: Steve@ExoticRainforest.com
To: aroid-l@gizmoworks.com
Subject: [Aroid-l] aroids as medicines including againt snake bite!

I am curious if any of you know anything about the use of aroids as a medicine.  I have had a brief discussion with a friend in Ecuador about the possibility the oxalates in the juices of some of some aroids counteracting the venom of snakes.  

Pete Boyce has a mention of this in his paper A review of Alocasia (Araceae: Colocasieae) for Thailand including a novel species and new species records from South-West Thailand in regard to Alocasia cucullata and my friend in Ecuador explained Anthurium species and other aroids that "bleed" white are used as an "ant-bite"  while "clear bleeders" are considered to be better against snakes.  In Ecuador Caladium is also used by the Shuar and jungle Kichua to treat snakebites. 

Julius, since you are our resident expert on Caladium, tell us what you know!


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