• Jose del Castillo
  • Margaret Anderson


The word curare, like its synonyms curari, huareli, woorari, and woorali, stems from the native names given to plant extracts that Indians of the Amazon and Orinoco valleys and the Guianas have used for centuries as arrow poisons. Small bamboo darts, whose tips are coated with a brownish layer of “flying death,” are shot from blowguns. The typical result is rapid paralysis and death of the animals that are hit. There are several advantages to curare as an arrow poison for hunting. For example, it is highly potent, and its effects are rapid. Furthermore, meat from animals killed with it can be eaten without danger, because the active principles of the poison are not absorbed from the digestive tract.


Cholinergic Receptor Anionic Site Neuromuscular Transmission Electric Organ Neuromuscular Blocking Agent 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jose del Castillo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Margaret Anderson
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of NeurobiologyUniversity of Puerto RicoSan Juan, Puerto RicoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Puerto RicoSan Juan, Puerto RicoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biological SciencesSmith CollegeNorthamptonUSA

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