Pareira (Chondrodendron Tomentosum) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Pareira (Chondrodendron Tomentosum) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Pareira (Chondrodendron Tomentosum) Overview

Pareira (Chondrodendron Tomentosum) other names: Chondrodendron tomentosum, Curare, Fleur de Velours, Ice Vine, Pareire, Parra Brava, Pereira Brava, Velvet Leaf, Vigne de Glace, Vigne Sauvage.

Pareira (Chondrodendron Tomentosum) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Pareira (Chondrodendron Tomentosum) leaves

Pareira is a wooded vine frequently found on several tall trees. Pareira has a smooth texture and it may grow up to a length of one foot (30 cm). Pareira has a gray-hued, crumpled stem and a portion of it may possibly be covered with lichens. The roots of the pareira are blackish-brown and they are solid, heavy as well as knotty. The color inside the roots is reddish-yellow. This woody vine bears berry-like fruits whose color may be scarlet or black.

The wooded vine pareira is found growing mainly in the Amazon basin and Guianas. In addition, pareira also grows in the West Indies as well as other areas of South America. The wooded vine pareira thrives in areas having tropical or sub-tropical climatic conditions.

Pareira (Chondrodendron Tomentosum) Health Benefits

Pareira is a plant. The root of pareira is used to make medicine.

People take pareira to treat water retention and to start menstruation.

Pareira is popular for containing curare, the lethal poison used by the tribes in the Amazon basin on their arrow heads. In fact, curare is considered to be a silent killer that provided the native tribal populace with nearly a mystic advantage over their adversaries who were armed with guns. It is interesting to learn that in many countries, including the United States and Netherlands, the alkaloid tubocurarine extracted from pareira vine has been administered in the form of a deadly injection in euthanasia (mercy killing) and capital punishment. However, in a number of other countries, restrictions have been imposed on the use of tubocurarine.

Till this day, the pareira vine is the sole recognized source of deltatubocurarine, an alkaloid that is yet to be synthesized by scientists, who first isolated this substance way back in 1935. Usually, d-tubocurarine is administered in small doses together with general anesthesia with a view to cause muscle paralysis. This alkaloid derived from pareira works to obstruct the transmission of nerve impulses to the receptor sites on skeletal muscles. In addition, d-tubocurarine is also employed in shock therapy as well as in setting broken bones. A number of people, including inhabitants of Brazil, regard pareira to be a diuretic as well as a stimulant for the uterus and use it for these purposes. In fact, the Brazilians also use d-tubocurarine for treating bites by poisonous snakes.

Pareira (Chondrodendron Tomentosum) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Pareira (Chondrodendron Tomentosum) plant

Pareira is also a notorious herb because the poison depends on the consequence of its lethal offshoot that directly enters the bloodstream. However, internal consumption of pareira in the form of a remedy is practically safe provided you do not have any sores or cuts inside your mouth. The stems and roots of pareira have a bitter-sweet flavours and possess gentle laxative, stimulant as well as diuretic properties. In addition, pareira is also used to induce menstruation. The primary use of pareira is to alleviate chronic soreness of the tubules of the urinary system. As discussed above, people in Brazil also use pareira to treat poisonous snake bites. For this purpose, an infusion prepared from the roots of the vine is taken by mouth and, at the same time, the crushed leaves of this herb are applied topically on the site of the bites.

People in Peru and neighbouring Brazil use the roots of pareira to enhance urination, lower fever and induce menstruation. In addition, plants yielding curare are also employed for treating edema, inflammation of the testicles and kidney stones. It is applied topically on contusions and bruises. A homeopathic remedy is also prepared using this herb to cure enlarged prostate and urinary tract inflammation. In addition, this herb is also recommended for people suffering from edema, jaundice, rheumatism, vaginal discharges as well as gonorrhea.

In fact, besides pareira, curare, which is used as a poison on arrow heads, is prepared from several other plants. In addition, different native Indian tribes inhabiting the Amazon basin use curare to prepare various recipes. Usually, the native Indians in Venezuela as well as those in the Guianas employ Strychnos plants in the form of the major ingredient, while the tribes in Ecuador, Brazil and Peru employ the curare vine called pareira as the major constituent of the poisons prepared by them. In both instances, people generally combine the extracts of many dissimilar plants and often also add frog and snake venom to it to prepare the poisons.

Several Indian tribes in South America, such as the Ketchwas in Ecuador, Sionas in Colombia, and the Lamistas in Peru employ curare vine to prepare their deadly poisons.

Death due to curare poison is actually a result of asphyxia (stifling or respiratory arrest), as it makes the muscles to relax to such an extent that the muscles that regulate the lungs and diaphragm stop functioning. It is interesting to note that curare poison works only when the venom enters the bloodstream. Consuming curare poison and also consuming the meat of animals poisoned with curare does not have any toxic effect, since the stomach does not absorb this venom. Nevertheless, curare works wonderfully for the Indian hunters, as their prey is often located in an elevated position in the canopy - the action of the poison to relax the muscles thwart the animals from running away and it works to weaken or release their grasp on the tree branches, eventually making them fall on the ground. As soon as the poison enters the bloodstream of the prey, it starts acting instantly. However, death due to respiratory arrest or asphyxia may take some minutes in the case of birds as well as small animals, while it may take about 20 minutes or even more in the case of mammals, who generally have a larger body.

Pareira (Chondrodendron Tomentosum) Side effects

Pareira (Chondrodendron Tomentosum) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Pareira (Chondrodendron Tomentosum) fruit

There isn’t enough information to know if pareira might be safe or what side effects may occur.

Pareira contains tubocurarine, an ingredient in modern intravenous (IV) anesthetics used to block nerve signals and paralyze muscles. However, very little, if any, of the tubocurarine in pareira gets absorbed into the body when taken by mouth. Some people might try to inject pareira into the bloodstream, but this is unsafe.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is unsafe to use pareira if you are pregnant. Pareira might start your menstrual period and cause a miscarriage. It’s also best to avoid pareira if you are breast-feeding. Not enough is known about how it might affect the nursing infant.