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Apocynaceae




Description

This item is from "Some Common Medicinal And Poisonous Plants Used In Ethiopian Folk Medicine" work, by Amare Getahun.

Apocynaceae

Acokanthera schimperi (DC) Oln.

(Carrissa schimperi) DC

merz (A)

keraro (G)

oboyo, wabayo (Som)

ghedulejo (Som)

karacha (GS)

mephteh, mephthi, merenz (T)

This is a monoecinus shrub or small tree up to a height of 5-6 meters and a diameter of 30 cm, widely used in the preparation of arrow poisons.

Extraction of poison:

Because of the extreme toxicity an underground fire pit is built and the pot is kept below ground level. People are made to stay away from the area of extraction and the operator needs to be careful.

The fire is kept going for 3 to 4 days after which time the lid is removed to let the vapor escape. Allowing it to stay open for one day results in a precipitate deposited at the bottom of the pot. The precipitate is then removed to a wooden or leather container with a tight lid. It is then carried around for use in the preparation of poison arrows. The bark is also soaked in water to extract the poison.

Effects:

Death results in 30 minutes after entry of poison into the blood-stream" Snake venom is sometimes used in addition. The poison causes hair and nails to drop off

Treatment:

The only treatment against the poison is immediate excision of the flesh surrounding the wound.

Note:

The container used to prepare or hold the poison must never be used in the house again, not even to burn as firewood because the smoke if inhaled, is poisonous as well. Whole plant is smoked to ward off or kill insects the smoke for the wood is inhaled to treat liver diseases.

A French pharmaceutical firm is said to use the bark of the same plant for pharmaceutical purposes.

The fruit is said to be edible.

Adenium honkel A.DC.

Adenium multiflorum Klotzch

Adenium speciosum Fenzl All used as fish poisons

Adenium somalense Balt. f.

Adenium speciosum Fenzl Juice of plant used as arrow poison.

Most parts of this succulent plant are considered poisonous and a cardiotoxic arrow poison is prepared from it.

Catharanthus roseus G. Don

(= Vinca rosea L.)

Madagascar Periwinkle (Eng)

This is a small ornamental shrub grown in dry or low altitude areas. The color of the bloom ranges from pure white to deep pink. It does well both in Dire Dawa and Bisidimo where in both places it is grown as an ornamental plant.

The plant is considered poisonous (especially for children) by some people here in the country.

The natives of Jamaica are reported to use the plant (leaves) to treat diabetes. The same use is made by certain tribes in the Philippines. The natives are said to substitute this plant for insulin.

There are many areas that could profitably grown Catharanthus roseus should further research reveal even more hope in this line.

 

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