( Cissampelos pareira )
Imchich masha, barbasco, palikur,
and the root is known as false pareira
diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge
Abuta is a high-climbing vine
with woody stems, grayish bark and rhizomes which grow to several feet in
length. The leaves are wide, waxy, heart-shaped structures. Male and female
flowers are produced on separate plants and the unripe fruit is a vivid red
color that becomes black when ready for consumption. The fruit contains a
number of flat seeds. Thirty-five species of abuta live in tropical forested
regions of South America and consist of woody lianas, shrubs and small
Abuta contains alkaloids of
several varieties: soprenoid bitter principles, saponins, sterols, and
sometimes triterpenes, ethereal oils, polyterpeines, and polyphenols.
Note: Tetradine is an isolated
compound of abuta that relieves pain and inflammation, and can reduce fever.
Root and stem parts are extremely bitter and contain d-tubocurarine and four
crystalline tertiary bases. Root components contain isochondodendrine and
other alkaloids which have the ability to block neuromuscular activity.
Traditional rain forest use
Brazilians used this plant both
externally and internally as an antidote for snakebite. Infusions of dried
root steeped in boiling water were prepared for fevers and for kidney and
bladder infections. This tea was also utilized in cases of jaundice,
gonorrhea and rheumatism. Decoctions of abuta root are used throughout the
Brazilian Amazon as a tonic and to treat kidney stones and fever. Peruvian
tribes used the boiled root to treat anemia. In Ecuador, root tea is given
to women during childbirth and to children that are hyperactive or suffering
form stomach complaints. the Ketchwas boil abuta leaves and apply them
directly to infected eyes.
Modern medicinal applications
Current medical practitioners
have used tubocurarine chloride to induce muscle paralysis in cases of
tetany or strychnine poisoning. In addition, this compound has been used as
a muscle relaxant during surgery and in cases of spastic cerebral palsy,
myasthenia gravis and poliomyelitis. This particular rain forest botanical
has recently experienced heightened demand, so its natural compounds have
been synthetically produced as pharmaceutical agents. The plant is not
Extracts of this plant have
already been used in medical applications as pharmaceutical products.
Taking large doses of this herb
or using it in combination with other drugs may cause respiratory paralysis.
It should be used as recommended.