Natural products from ethnodirected studies: revisiting the ethnobiology of the zombie poison.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012 ;2012:202508. Epub 2011 Oct 2. PMID: 21977054
Laboratory of Applied Ethnobotany, Department of Biology, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, 52171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil.
Wade Davis's study of Haitian"zombification"in the 1980s was a landmark in ethnobiological research. His research was an attempt to trace the origins of reports of"undead"Haitians, focusing on the preparation of the zombification poison. Starting with this influential ethnopharmacological research, this study examines advances in the pharmacology of natural products, focusing especially on those of animal-derived products. Ethnopharmacological, pharmacological, and chemical aspects are considered. We also update information on the animal species that reportedly constitute the zombie poison. Several components of the zombie powder are not unique to Haiti and are used as remedies in traditional medicine worldwide. This paper emphasizes the medicinal potential of products from zootherapy. These biological products are promising sources for the development of new drugs.