Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The Thompson Indians from British Columbia made a decoction of SMOOTH SUMACH that was claimed to be a powerful remedy for syphilis (Teit). The bark of CHOKE CHERRY (Prunus virginiana) was used by other groups (Lloyd). EAGLE VINE (Marsdenia condurango), once thought to be a perfect cancer cure, is still used by the South American Indians in the treatment of chronic syphilis (Le Strange). There is a Moroccan belief that by smelling a NARCISSUS a person avoids catching syphilis, and, if he has already caught it, can cure himself of it (Westermarck). In Africa, the so-called GERMAN SAUSAGE TREE (Kigelia africana) whose fruits, often a metre or more long (hence the common name), are said to be used in cases of syphilis. In Yoruba practice, the root or bark of this tree is one of the ingredients of a medicine for gonorrhea (Buckley).

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