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J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Nov;73(1-2):233-41.

Snakebites and ethnobotany in the northwest region of Colombia. Part III: neutralization of the haemorrhagic effect of Bothrops atrox venom.

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  • 1Programa de Ofidismo, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Antioquia, A.A. 1226, Medellín, Colombia.


Thirty-one of 75 extracts of plants used by traditional healers for snakebites, had moderate or high neutralizing ability against the haemorrhagic effect of Bothrops atrox venom from Antioquia and Chocó, north-western Colombia. After preincubation of several doses of every extract (7.8-4000 microg/mouse) with six minimum haemorrhagic doses (10 microg) of venom, 12 of them demonstrated 100% neutralizing capacity when the mixture was i.d. injected into mice (18-20 g). These were the stem barks of Brownea rosademonte (Caesalpiniaceae) and Tabebuia rosea (Bignoniaceae); the whole plants of Pleopeltis percussa (Polypodiaceae), Trichomanes elegans (Hymenophyllaceae) and Senna dariensis (Caesalpiniaceae); rhizomes of Heliconia curtispatha (Heliconiaceae); leaves and branches of Bixa orellana (Bixaceae), Philodendron tripartitum (Araceae), Struthanthus orbicularis (Loranthaceae) and Gonzalagunia panamensis (Rubiaceae); the ripe fruits of Citrus limon (Rutaceae); leaves, branches and stem of Ficus nymphaeifolia (Moraceae). Extracts of another 19 species showed moderate neutralization (21-72%) at doses up to 4 mg/mouse, e.g. the whole plants of Aristolochia grandiflora (Aristolochiaceae), Columnea kalbreyeriana (Gesneriaceae), Sida acuta (Malvaceae), Selaginella articulata (Selaginellaceae) and Pseudoelephantopus spicatus (Asteraceae); rhizomes of Renealmia alpinia (Zingiberaceae); the stem of Strychnos xinguensis (Loganiaceae); leaves, branches and stems of Hyptis capitata (Lamiaceae), Ipomoea cairica (Convolvulaceae), Neurolaena lobata (Asteraceae), Ocimum micranthum (Lamiaceae), Piper pulchrum (Piperaceae), Siparuna thecaphora (Monimiaceae), Castilla elastica (Moraceae) and Allamanda cathartica (Apocynaceae); the macerated ripe fruits of Capsicum frutescens (Solanaceae); the unripe fruits of Crescentia cujete (Bignoniaceae); leaves and branches of Piper arboreum (Piperaceae) and Passiflora quadrangularis (Passifloraceae). When the extracts were independently administered by oral, i.p. or i.v. route either before or after an i.d. venom injection (10 microg), neutralization of haemorrhage dropped below 25% for all the extracts. Additionally, B. rosademonte and P. percussa extracts were able to inhibit the proteolytic activity of B. atrox venom on casein.

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