A survey of medicinal plants of Curacao

Autopsy records (1936-66) show esophageal cancer to be the most common tumor for both men and women among the locally-born negroid population of Curafao. Crude incidence rate of 20.9 per 100,000, virtually constant over 30 years, is exceeded only by that of certain parts of Russia and the Transkel region of South Africa. The island of Aruba (42 miles distant) has a very low incidence. Drought conditions and food and water supply are virtually identical in both islands, also reverse smoking by ~vomen only. But there are striking contrasts in the use of plants for remedies. In Curacao, more than 100 species of local plants are employed for self-medlcatlon and for "tea." Interrogation of living esophageal cancer victims and survivors of deceased has revealed consistent use of these plants. Species cited most frequently in interviews are being collected, lyophilized, and supplied to the Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, for animal-testing

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