THE ANDIROBA CASE
The Andiroba tree (Carapa guianensis
Aubl.) grows up to 25 meters. It's seeds supply a yellowish oil with
medicinal and insect-repelling properties.
The traditional method to produce the oil is to collect the seeds from
rivers where they float after being shed by the tree. They are then boiled
and left for some two weeks until they have rotted. Finally they are squeezed
in a simple press known as a tipiti to extract oil and fatty solids.
A mixture of Andiroba oil and Urucum color is used by the indigenous populations
as repellent and as a treatment against parasites.
The tree bark, leaves and the seed oil of Andiroba have wide range of
applications in the Amazonian tradition. Indigenous peoples use the oil
as a solvent for extracting the plant colorants with which they paint
their skin. In addition to using the oil for illumination (oil lamps),
traditional forest-dwellers and river people (caboclos) make a medicinal
soap using crude Andiroba oil, wood ash and cocoa skin residue. This soap
is especially recommended for the treatment of skin diseases and as an
The oil is furthermore used for naturalopathic treatment of inflammations,
tumors and pulled muscles. Andiroba oil also serves as a sun protection.
The tree's bark and leaves are being used against rheumatism, cough, flue,
pneumonia and depression.
PATENTS ON ANDIROBA
The production of candles that keep off insects, especially mosquitoes
that transmit malaria, is turning out to be a great potential. Recently
it was discovered that candles with Andiroba oil also keep off the mosquitoes
that transmit the disease dengue (Aedes aegytpi).
(This list contains only patents with the word Andiroba
in the patent title. Search esp@cenet
for other patents on Andiroba.)
(Click the number for more information
|ROCHER YVES BIOLOG VEGETALE*
||France, Japan, EU, USA
||COSMETIC OR PHARMACEUTICAL COMPOSITION CONTAINING
AN ANDIROBA EXTRACT
|MORITA MASARU *
|| ANTPROOF AND INSECTPROOF AGENT
USING ANDIROBA FRUIT OIL
*We do not know if, or to what extent
the term biopiracy applies to each of the holders of patents and trademarks
here mentioned. However we consider questionable the patenting and registering
of trademarks over plants that are traditionally used by the inghabitants
of the Amazon. We invite the holders of these rights to write a comment
to defend themselves.
Amazonlink.org does not accept any responsibility for possible consequences
of errors or omissions in the provided information.
- Correa, Pio. Dicionario de Plantas
Uteis do Brasil e Exoticas Cultivadas Vols 1-6, Brasilia: IBDF. 1984
- Taylor, Leslie. Herbal Secret's
of the Rainforest, Prima Publishing, Inc., 1998