Table 2

Plants used for successful hunting (Doctrine of Signatures)

Scientific name

Common name

Useful plant quality


Araliaceae Dendropanax arboreus

Fei jein

Combine with leaves of the plants below to bathe dogs "steam" to catch quenks

Araceae Monstera dubia

Sei jein


Monimiaceae Siparuma guianensis

Dead man's bush


Solanaceae Solanum species

Devil pepper


Araceae Syngonium podophyllum


Combine with leaves of the plants above to bathe dogs "steam" to catch quenks

Cucurbitaceae Momordica charantia


Used to bathe dogs so that it will catch agouti

Piperaceae Piper marginatum

Agouti bush / Lani bois

Plant used so the dogs will catch Agouti

Leaves used to bathe dogs. Some hunters combine the lani bois with leaves of guatacare (Eschweilera subglandulosa Lecythidaceae)

Mimosaceae Pithecelobium unguis-cati

Cat's claw

The vine clings to any tree with "claws", therefore the dog will closely pursue Agouti

5 – 7 shoots of the whole vine are pounded and put into water and this is used to bathe the dog

Zingiberaceae Renealmia alpinia

Mardi gras

Berries on plant attract lice, which get trapped in the leaves and die. Dog will closely pursue the game

Plant berries and leaves are used to bathe the dog

Poaceae Saccharum officinarum

Sugar cane

Deer eat these leaves

Leaves are used to bathe dog so it will track deer

Orchidaceae Spiranthes acaulis

Lappe bush

Plant has markings similar to lappe so the dog will track lappe

Vine is used to bathe the dog

Araceae Xanthosoma brasiliense, Xanthosoma undipes

Hog tannia

The leaf has needles similar to the bristle-like hairs on the back and neck of the wild hog/quenk. The quenks also eat these tubers.

The root (or tannia) is ground and sprinkled on the dog's food

Haemodoraceae Xiphidium caeruleum

Walk fast

Ethnomedical belief is that use of the plant helps children walk

Leaves used to keep dogs walking straight

Lans et al. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2001 1:10   doi:10.1186/1472-6882-1-10

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