Monday, June 11, 2007


Crajirú (Arrabidae chica) is a medicinal plant used by many in the treatment of anemia and a number of other aliments, including diabetes. I learned this from Dr. Anna Maria, an internal medicine specialist at the Maternidade Hospital in Santarém as we wheeled through some eroded dirt streets in an outlying neighborhood in search of a person who makes concrete vases for plants. Anna Maria can be very emphatic in speech and command, so I wasn't surprised when she ordered me to stop in front of a house all fenced in with wooden planks. No vases for sale here. She wanted to show me a crajirú plant that had grown up the fence from the inside and was hanging over onto the street side. Anna Maria is a walking dictionary when it comes to medicinal plants, so I took her seriously when she reported that the tea made of the leaves of this plant is a God-sent for anemia. Not being timid, she clapped her hand to call the dwellers to the gate and in short order she was back in the car with a hand full crajirú cuttings. When we dropped her off at her apartment I reminded her to take her plants. Nope, they were for the Bosque. I guess that was a couple of years ago and our good friend is now doctoring in Juriti at the future ALCOA bauxite mine. And my crajirú plants are now 2 meters high. I cut off a piece of one for photographing. I guess the next step is to brew up some tea to see what it taste like. I understand that it's very bitter, as a good medicine should!

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