Poison curare: what is it, what kind of wood it is produced
The curare – the strongest man-made poison that mankind has learned to do from poisonous plants. Such plants account for only two percent from the diversity of flora, which includes about ten thousand species of plants.
The story of poison
The poison curare, or, as some say, just curare, widely used in the middle ages South American tribes for hunting a variety of animals. The poison of the Indians was applied a generous layer of sharp arrowheads of all types of ancient weapons, and spears.
The Indians learned to use a dangerous poison not only for hunting but also in other everyday purposes. So curare was used for healing as anesthesia and as an antidote to the soldiers was prepared to receive a certain dose of this poison and remain alive in battles between tribes.
The Europeans met with curare in the XVI century, when the conquerors of Spain for the first time felt the effect of such a powerful toxin. The Spaniards were very scared of the influence of this mysterious and dangerous poisonous substances.
The first mention of the poison on old earth came from the famous traveler William Reilly. He was a very unusual and versatile man. Being an educated writer and poet, and, besides titled a knight at the court of the then Queen, he managed to discover many unknown places on the planet.
The poison curare and its recipe was first introduced to France scientist Charles Marie de La Condamin. Information about the poison and its sample Charles received from the Indians by fraud. This was the beginning of the study, testing and use of such unusual toxic substances.
The ingredients of curare
Curare is a fairly large climber, with a diameter more than 100 millimetres, which is more similar to the smooth trunk of the tree. Hence got its name the most toxic and dangerous poison of plant origin – curare.
The word "curare" originates from the times of ancient Indian tribes and means "poison." This dangerous substance was allowed to cook only to the shamans for a particular recipe and in strict observance of the ritual. The tribe members who did not adhere to this rule, were inevitably executed.
On the trunk of the vines grow large leaves from the original stalks are heart-shaped. Top mirror smooth leaves with distinctive veins, and the lower part has the hairs white. Also, the vine has small flowers of green in the form of brushes.
Poisonous substance is not immediately received its name. The Indians first named this plant curare, then kururu and something. For a long time, there was a discussion among the scholars that after all is the main component for the preparation of curare. After all, the various tribes used the great diversity of plants and their fees to prepare this ingredient.
To prepare the poison of different tribes of Indians took a variety of plants. Sometimes used medicinal plant chilibuhi, or vomit nut Strichnos ignatia, which belongs to the genus Strychnos. Such a plant containing strychnine and brucine, is growing in Africa, Asia and South America.
Other raw source of curare was the South American medicinal plant chondodendron - Chondrodendron tomentosum of the family Menispermaceae. Another raw material source of curare is the plant Strychnos castelniaeana Wedd.
Types of poison
Depending on the strength of the poison, the nature of the preparation, storage and application, curare divided into three types.
The most toxic and dangerous poison curare is obtained from schomburgkii of Strychnos adviceone called pumpkin or Calabash curare-curare. Such a poison, keep a small pumpkin. The scope of such a toxin is the impregnation of arrowheads or copies during the hunting of large wild animals and also during inter-tribal wars.
Pot of curare and pot curare, consider the following power of venom from this group. It is kept in small earthen pots, and burned in the fire. Apply this kind of attack the birds. This curare obtained from the tree Strychnos castelniaeana Wedd or Chondrodendron. And it is from the bark of the tree.
The weakest curare is a pipe or tubo-curare, which dipped arrows while hunting on small and medium-sized wild beast. This curare is obtained from an evergreen tree Chondrodendron tomentosum, family Menispermaceae, the main component of which are the alkaloids of the root.
The effect on the human body
For a long time there were disputes about the mechanism of action of curare on the human body. Numerous experiments in the nineteenth century held the French scientist in the field of medicine K. Bernard.
The scientist was able to prove that this poison acts neither on muscular tissue mass, nor Central nervous system. Then the question arose, how still works in mysterious toxin in the animal, resulting in the experimental animal in real state and fading, up to paralysis.
This fact has prompted many scientists to conduct many experiments to identify mechanism of action of the poison on the living body. It was so openly such a mysterious concept as a synapse.
By this term was understood to be an intermediate or connection between the muscles and nerve endings, whatand has the effect of the poisoning agent. With the help of synapse and the substance that was in him was revealed the mechanism of the effect on the body.
When injected curare into the human body SYNOPTIC matter loses the ability to transmit impulses with the result that the pulse can not pass through the so-called synaptic gap. This leads to the real estate of a muscle, its relaxation, paralysis of the respiratory organs and eventually to death.
We must remember that the poison curare toxic for several decades.
Application in medicine
The principle of action of the poison was discovered, but studies of its properties do not stop now. Conducted mass experiments on the use of curare in anesthesia.
Well-known canadian physicians Griffith and Johnson have studied the effect of inokosterone as a component of such a toxin. For regular operation the anesthesiologists has dramatically reduced the dose of the active substance. That was possible thanks to the replacement of drugs in the poison curare, which relaxes the muscles.
After conducting such an important experiment in the field of anesthesiology began using muscle relaxants as a derivative of curare. The history of medicine began to share in the periods before the discovery of muscle relaxants and after the discovery and practical use of them for medicinal purposes.
The healing properties of the poison
In addition to the danger to the body, the poison curare has a number of medicinal propertiesthat was used by the shamans of the ancient tribes. The toxin was used in the following cases:
- Inflammation of the urinary system, the struggle with stones in mochevyvodjashie system.
- Breakdown with violent behavior during acute exacerbations.
- Dropsy, fever, and madness.
- Use in a compress for wounds and bruises.
In small doses, the toxin has and stimulating effect on the senses, greatly sharpens the sense of touch, hearing, taste and even smell. Such a drug increases visual acuity and the perception of brightness of the colors. You only need to choose the right therapeutic dosage that make only by qualified physicians.