( Couma macrocarpa )
Apocynaceae ( Dogbane )
Icucae, sorva, Juan-soco
The Couma genus contains numerous
lactiferous trees which grow in tropical regions of South America,
specifically in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins and the Guianas.
This plant family contains a rich
supply of alkaloids, steroids, cardenolides and rubber, as well as minor
constituents including terpenes, polyphenols, coumarins, and lignans.
Traditional rain forest use
The latex portion of the couma
plant has been used as a purgative in areas of the Columbian Amazon. The
Vaupes utilized this latex to help heal the umbilicus of newborn children.
It was also employed as a treatment for diarrhea.
Modern medicinal applications
This particular plant has not
been researched, but its folk medicinal history and the chemical nature of
its family demand more study.