Thanks Julius, and also thanks to Alison, Dan, John
and others for your responses. I have read many articles that
appear to claim an aroid can heal, but so far none that explain why. |
As Dan mentioned, Studies have indicated Amorphophallus konjac
is known to be useful in weight control as well as having medicinal
properties for the control of constipation , high blood pressure,
hypoglycemia and other conditions. (Doi et al., 1979; Misra &
Sriram, 2002). This may be as a result of the unique sugars in the
glucomannans in the plant but I am not trained in this study, just
curious about it.
I'm currently trying to locate Dr. Croat's papers as well as the book
by Hans. with the help of Beth Campbell who lives in Ecuador, I learned
about a great book entitled Useful
Plants of Ecuador (Plantas
Utiles del Ecuador), edited by Montserrat Rios, Michael J Koziol,
Henrik Bogroft Pedersen, and Gabriela Granda published by the
Missouri Botanical Garden Press and since I'll be there in just a few
weeks I'm going to try to buy a copy, provided it is still in print.
There are also close to a dozen
articles in Aroideana with at least anecdotal mentions of the topic.
For any of you that don't know, you can research Aroideana on the IAS
website www.Aroid.org I am fortunate to own a complete set, but for
anyone that does not you can download individual articles from the
issues one through 32 directly from the site. if you are an IAS
member, short articles can be downloaded free of charge but there is a
small charge for the longer pieces.
My specific interest is not in the fact aroids do appear to be able to
heal, but why and how. I'm sure some of you have read all the claims
on many pet websites trying to convince the world Philodendron
and Anthurium should not be grown in homes because they will
"kill your pets". Even though it is true an aroid contains oxalate
crystals, the claims they are "deadly poisons" is not factual and I am
curious if the oxalates actually have healing powers.
Thanks to everyone for your response, and if you know of sources with
more in-depth information please let me know.
PS: for anyone reading this that is still convinced calcium oxalate is
a "poison" you probably should know all these vegetables (and more) contain
calcium oxalate crystals: Parsley, Chives, Cassava, Spinach, Beet
leaves, Carrot, Radish, Collards, Bean, Brussels sprouts, Garlic,
Lettuce, Watercress, Sweet potato, Turnip, Broccoli, Celery, Eggplant,
Cauliflower, Asparagus, Cabbage, Tomato, Pea, Turnip greens, Potato,
Onion, Okra, Pepper, Squash, Cucumbers, and Corn!
On 3/28/2010 07:53, email@example.com wrote:
Dear Steve and Friends,
I can think of three GOOD references.
Our ''mentor'' Dr. Croat published a paper on the use of Aroids as
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
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.