Cyprus Mail

Plant of the Week: Strange plant can kill or cure in one dose

Name: Pysic Nut (Jatropha Curcus)

Otherwise known as: Purging Nut, Barbusus Nut

Habitat: A drought-resistant shrub of the Euphorbiaceae family growing up to 5m in indifferent soil, originally native to Central America, now found everywhere in tropical Asia and Africa. It has heart-shaped leaves and produces tubular flowers in clusters emanating from the axils that transform into bean pods containing the extraordinary striped beans.

What does it do: It is a strange plant because it can kill or cure in one dose. The leaves and nuts while capable of killing a coterie of monitor lizards can if cooked correctly be rendered harmless and become a staple food throughout South and Central America. The West Indians use the leaves to reduce the rather odiferous problems that the ageing goat may present at religious celebrations.

Caribbean medicine men create tinctures and infusions to treat widely diverse afflictions such as eczema, gonorrhoea, elephantiasis, syphilis and candida. Which is interesting that all are caused by bacteria, viral and fungal infections. Not commonly encountered in the Old Kent Road.
In the sub-continent infusions are used to combat eczema and inflamed ovaries. It is alleged they attached the leaves to the ears of the mules and donkeys, and in Sri Lanka to elephants to repel fleas. The nut infusion will repel any parasite, flea, lice or any bloodsucker.

The Sudanese women consume tea to overcome pregnancy from their libidinous menfolk.

It has few rivals as a natural insecticide or fungicide and in Costa Rica it is the official rodenticide.

The Venezuelan Native tribes use the plant to subdue fresh water fish. They use the root to extract an oil to provide a lubricant, oil lamp, soap, and candles. The oil giants have discovered that a ton of beans will yield 70kg of bio-diesel.

Alexander McCowan.Author of the @Worlds most Dangerous Plants’ vailable thought LuLu Publishing and Amazon Publishing

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