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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.

Natural repellent
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.

Traditional medicine
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 insect repellent.
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.

Repellant Candles
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).

PATENTS ON ANDIROBA
(This list contains only patents with the word Andiroba in the patent title. Search esp@cenet for other patents on Andiroba.)
Registered by
Registered
where
Publication date
Title
Number
(Click the number for more information from esp@cenet)
ROCHER YVES BIOLOG VEGETALE* France, Japan, EU, USA 28/09/1999 COSMETIC OR PHARMACEUTICAL COMPOSITION CONTAINING AN ANDIROBA EXTRACT


US5958421
CA2235057
JP10287546
EP0872244
MORITA MASARU * Japan 21/12/1999 ANTPROOF AND INSECTPROOF AGENT USING ANDIROBA FRUIT OIL
JP11349424

*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.


Bibliography:

  • 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

 


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