Vismia spp.

The genus Vismia is known for its disturbance-favouring pioneer tree species (1). Their latex is used by tribes throughout the Amazon Basin for the treatment of conditions of the skin (2,3). The leaves and the latex from the bark and the fruit of Vismia cayennensis, the gum-resin, bark and leaves of Vismia guianensis, as well as the bark of Vismia japurensis, are traditionally known for their medicinal applications, including a variety of skin diseases (3,4). Creoles from Guyana are furthermore known to put crushed young leaves of Vismia on their feet to protect them from snakebite (5). Recent studies have started to identify some of the active compounds in for example Vismia cayennensis and Vismia guianensis (6,7).

(1) Laurance WF, Nascimento HE, Laurance SG, Andrade AC, Fearnside PM, Ribeiro JE, Capretz RL (2006) Rain forest fragmentation and the proliferation of successional trees. Ecology 87(2): 469-82

(2) Castner, JL, Timme, SL and Duke, JA (1998) A field guide to Medicinal and Useful Plants of the Upper Amazon. 154 p.

(3) Miliken, W, Albert, B (1999) Yanomami; a forest people. RBG Kew 161 p.

(4) Mors, WB, Rizzini, CT and Pereira, NA (2000) Medicinal Plants of Brazil. Reference Publications Inc: 501 p.

(5) Oldeman, RAA, pers. comm. (2003)

(6) Fuller RW, Westergaard CK, Collins JW, Cardellina JH 2nd, Boyd MR. (1999) Vismiaphenones D-G, new prenylated benzophenones from Vismia cayennensis. J Nat Prod 62(1): 67-9

(7) Seo EK, Wani MC, Wall ME, Navarro H, Mukherjee R, Farnsworth NR, Kinghorn AD (2000) New bioactive aromatic compounds from Vismia guianensis. Phytochemistry 55(1): 35-42



Vismia cayennensis • Lacre



Vismia guianensis • Lacre
Vismia japurensis • Lacre