Volume 10, Issue 7, page 7

Jl 01Rele^ , DeaWy I/ UY
HERE ARE strange and unusual dangers
for the foreigner in the jungles of
Central Brazil. Not the least of
these is the Jambu-I, a plant. It's
not an upas tree, not a Venus flytrap, but it can get you if you
don't watch out;, but it can get you
more abundantly, more seductively,
if you do watch out.

There aro dangers of which every
explorer -- every adventurer -- especially
"adventurers" and "explorers" who never
venture more deeply into the jungles than
the "deep freeze" bar of the Hotel Grande
in Belem -- writes with great gusto and
seeming modesty , but i n virtually no
book, pamphlet, or magazine article will
you find mention of junco-miudo, tho the
facts of it may have been whispered in
the ears of old men visitors to Padre
Prudencio street. They touch it at their
peril, for the morning-after may well
never come, and false youth is far too
quickly spent.

There are jaguars -- spotted, "painted", and
black, and maybe from the same litter -- and
there are intrepid native hunters who will
take the American deep into the jungles and
stand by him while batoque -- that eerie hammering on the ground with clubs or jungle knife
butts, which attracts, according to my informants, every animal, snake, bird, and insect
to the spot (tho for me it brought only mice
with big ears!) -- is being practiced. Jaguars
have knocked the heads half off such hunters
who tried b ato que alone, failing thereby to
cover their rear against the skulking, cunning
the odor of it hangs in the atmosphere.

There are holes, covered with debris, everywhere in the Brazilian jungles, into which
the unwary may step, fall 10 or 12 feet, and
never again be found or heard. But it is better
that even this horror overtake a man than that
he imbibe too freely of malicia das mulheres
(This name is Portuguese and can be found in
the dictionary of that language!).

There are carnivorous fish in most Brazilian streams, the infamous piranhas, of which
there are four varieties, each one more satanic
than the other. There are electric eels, one
touch of which will kill a man. But there is a
stinging plant called urtiga whose juice,
smeared over the body, will allow a swimmer to
cavort among the piranhas, electric eels, and
even alligators with impunity. It will burn
the Hades out of tender skin, but it will save
a man's life, or a woman's life, provided that
certain portions of the body are excepted from
the smearing. Most jungle Brazilians "in the
know" would much rather see a man go swimming
among the worst creatures in all the rivers, if
he insists -- taking his chances of being devoured -- than to advise him all about urtiga .
The burning caused by urtiga amounts to little,
is soon over. But if it contacts the sexual
region there is, literally, Sheol to pay.

The six plants I have named above -- and you
may be sure I'm going to hold ever so little
back, in order that the uninitiated may not be
induced to experiment -- if certain parts of
them are used as jungle Brazilians and Indians
have learned thru the ages to use them, will
turn under-'teen-age boys into predatory men,
men into supermen, and old men into under'teen-age boys!
For 11 months I hunted medicinal plants in
Central Brazil. I wanted plants believed by
Indians and Brazilians to be useful in the
treatment of cancer. I wanted them for processing by the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer
Research in New York city. If we found nothing
useful in the cancer field, we might find at
least one thing good for something, anything,
else -- the common cold, for example. We collected more than 420 plants, at this writing being
processed at the Sloan-Kettering laboratory.

But man, down the ages jealous of his virility, and woman, just as jealous of her man's
virility, and just as proud of her wild desire, has sought other jungle medicines, and,
possibly, with more success. I have just named
six of them.

And how do they work? Take Jambu-I. It is
acclaimed as a "preserver of virility", which
means that the men and women who use it sparingly maintain their sexual capacities into
extreme age. There is just one difficulty here;
it can't be used "sparingly ". It isn't exactly
habit-forming, but when lovers partake of it,
and then go down into the valleys and forests
of love, that is habit-forming, for whatever
the two had for each other, or dreamed that
they had, before partaking of Jambu-I, they
have tenfold afterward ; and with each use,
each time a little more, they have more to give
each other. But of 10, 12, 15 children produced
great cat. But mention the hyphenated word
maira-ina to such jungle hunters, and they
will clam up, tho their eyes will brighten and
w look far away -- and move their hands aimlessly.
m They're giving away none of their secrets to
W Americans, if there is the slightest chance
the American might do a bit of experimenting --
within shouting-distance of the daughters,
wives, mothers (even grandmothers!) of the
jungle hunters. They know what muira-pura can
do, but they trust no American who uses it --
especially if he is well past middle-age. Not
w that they trust Americans of any age very much,
w in any circumstances!
There are snakes that kill a man as fast as
04 winking: the surucucu, the jararaca, several
varieties of corals, cananina. But the jungle
w Brazilian will trust the most venomous of
W snakes in his house before he will tell an Am