Category: Medicines - plant based



Introduction and description


Virola surinamensis, known commonly as baboonwood, Ucuuba and chalviande, is a species of flowering plant in the family Myristicaceae. It is found in Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. It has also been naturalized in the Caribbean. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical swamps, and heavily degraded former forest. It is threatened by habitat loss.

The tree is harvested for its wood and for its nuts which provide oil and a sort of nut butter.  It is also a source of traditional medicinal remedies for intestinal worms. The Amazon Indians Waiãpi living in the West of Amapá State of Brazil, treat malaria with an inhalation of vapour obtained from leaves of Viola surinamensis.



Virola surinamensis grows 25–40 m (82–131 ft) tall. The leaves are 10–22 cm (3.9–8.7 in) long and 2–5 cm (0.79–1.97 in) wide. The fruits are ellipsoidal to subglobular, measuring about 13–21 mm (0.51–0.83 in) long and 11–18 mm (0.43–0.71 in) in diameter.





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