Overview

Levant berry is the fruit from a vine (Anamirta cocculus) that grows in Southeast Asia. The dried fruit and seeds are used to make medicine in some parts of the world. But medicinal use has been abandoned in the US and Europe due to safety concerns. However, picrotoxin, the active chemical in levant berry, is still used in research.

Some people take levant berry to treat abnormal movement of the eyeball and dizziness. Picrotoxin that is taken from levant berry seeds is used for epilepsy, night sweats, and as a stimulant.

Some people apply levant berry powder directly to the skin to treat a skin disease called scabies.

In India, levant berry leaves are inhaled as snuff to relieve malaria. Whole fruits are used for paralyzing fish and killing birds or dogs. Jungle tribes apply picrotoxin taken from the seeds to arrow tips for hunting. Picrotoxin used to be used to paralyze fish in the fishing industry. Extracts are applied to the skin for treating lice.

How does it work ?

Levant berry contains a chemical that stimulates the central nervous system, irritates the stomach and intestines, and stimulates the brain causing changes in breathing. It also slows heart rate and increases blood pressure.

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