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Jamaica dogwood (Piscidia erythrina or Piscidia piscipula)

Posted by Bangzkie Thursday, March 15, 2012

Piscidia piscipula, commonly named Florida fishpoison tree, Jamaican dogwood or Fishfuddle, is a medium-sized, deciduous, tropical tree endemic to southern Florida, the Florida Keys, Texas, Caribbean, and Latin America. Native Americans of the West Indies discovered extracts from the tree could sedate fish, allowing them to be caught by hand.This practice led to the tree's common names—fishpoison and fishfuddle. The tree has medicinal value as an analgesic and sedative. The generic name is Latin for "fish killer", and the specific epithet is Latin for "little fish".

Fish poison: Indigenous peoples all over the world used local poisonous plants to aid in catching fish, and because of this many plants bear common names descriptive of this use. Within its natural range, Native Americans used an extract from the bark, roots, twigs, and leaves of Florida fishpoison tree to sedate fish, making them easier to catch. A number of chemicals are present in the tree's tissues that are toxic to fish, the principal one being the well-known Rotenone.

Traditional medicine Piscidia piscipula can be toxic and should only be used under direction of a doctor.It has been used in traditional medicine for treating nervous conditions and pain. Recent scientific studies in animals suggest that bark extracts may have potential for their anti-inflammatory, sedative, and anti-spasmodic effects.


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