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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Medicinal and ethnoveterinary remedies of hunters in Trinidad

Cheryl Lans1*, Tisha Harper2, Karla Georges2 and Elmo Bridgewater2

Author Affiliations

1 Group Technology and Agrarian Development, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen University, the Netherlands

2 School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Mt. Hope, Trinidad and Tobago

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2001, 1:10  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-1-10

Published: 30 November 2001

Abstract

Background

Ethnomedicines are used by hunters for themselves and their hunting dogs in Trinidad. Plants are used for snakebites, scorpion stings, for injuries and mange of dogs and to facilitate hunting success.

Results

Plants used include Piper hispidum, Pithecelobium unguis-cati, Bauhinia excisa, Bauhinia cumanensis, Cecropia peltata, Aframomum melegueta, Aristolochia rugosa, Aristolochia trilobata, Jatropha curcas, Jatropha gossypifolia, Nicotiana tabacum, Vernonia scorpioides, Petiveria alliacea, Renealmia alpinia, Justicia secunda, Phyllanthus urinaria,Phyllanthus niruri,Momordica charantia, Xiphidium caeruleum, Ottonia ovata, Lepianthes peltata, Capsicum frutescens, Costus scaber, Dendropanax arboreus, Siparuma guianensis, Syngonium podophyllum, Monstera dubia, Solanum species, Eclipta prostrata, Spiranthes acaulis, Croton gossypifolius, Barleria lupulina, Cola nitida, Acrocomia ierensis (tentative ID).

Conclusion

Plant use is based on odour, and plant morphological characteristics and is embedded in a complex cultural context based on indigenous Amerindian beliefs. It is suggested that the medicinal plants exerted a physiological action on the hunter or his dog. Some of the plants mentioned contain chemicals that may explain the ethnomedicinal and ethnoveterinary use. For instance some of the plants influence the immune system or are effective against internal and external parasites. Plant baths may contribute to the health and well being of the hunting dogs.