From "Tonic-cups" to "Bitter-cups": "Kwasi bita beker" from Suriname determination, past and present use of an ancient galenic artefact

Odonne Guillaume, Bourdy G., Beauchêne Jacques, Houël Emeline, Stien Didier, Chevelot L., Deharo Eric. 2007. From "Tonic-cups" to "Bitter-cups": "Kwasi bita beker" from Suriname determination, past and present use of an ancient galenic artefact. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 110 (2) : pp. 318-322.

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Thème(s) HCERES des revues (en SHS) : Psychologie-éthologie-ergonomie

Abstract : In the main markets of Paramaribo (Suriname), many stands offer what is locally called "Bitter-cups", or "Kwasi bita beker", small footedcups, roughly carved from a whitish wood. The use of these cups is strictly medicinal and it seems to be restricted to Suriname, as they are not found in neighbouring countries (Guyana, French Guiana). The aim of this study was to identify the botanical origin of Bitter-cups still in use in the Saramaka traditional medicine (as information from field people was controversial), and document the ethnopharmacology of this original galenical artefact. Microscopic and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analyses were carried out on Bitter-cup, and anatomical criteria (marginal parenchyma band, size of intervessel and vessel-ray pits, rays width and rays composition, vessels clustering, frequency and size of parenchyma pits) together with HPLC profiles of the macerates showed that the wood cup was similar to Quassia amara L. (Simaroubaceae) wood. Ethnopharmacological investigation indicates that the use of these cups is simply due to the pharmacological properties attributed to "bitters", and is strongly linked to tradition and cultural attitudes. This study also emphasizes the long lasting use of these cups, now restricted to Suriname only, with almost no variation over one century. © 2006 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Quassia, Identification, Médicament traditionnel, HPLC, Propriété pharmacologique, Éthnobotanique

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Suriname

Mots-clés complémentaires : Quassia amara

Classification Agris : F70 - Plant taxonomy and geography
S01 - Human nutrition - General aspects

Champ stratégique Cirad : Hors axes (2005-2013)

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Odonne Guillaume, Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier (FRA)
  • Bourdy G., Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier (FRA)
  • Beauchêne Jacques, CIRAD-FORET-UMR ECOFOG (GUF) ORCID: 0000-0003-4578-3670
  • Chevelot L., Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier (FRA)
  • Deharo Eric, Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier (FRA)

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