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Volume 16 Issue 1 Pages 1- 57 (April 1999)

Citation: Nagulu, V., Vasudeva Rao, V. & Srinivasulu, C.. (1999)Curative Property Of Otter Blood - A Belief. IUCN Otter Spec. Group Bull. 16(1): 44

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Curative Property Of Otter Blood - A Belief

Vangla Nagulu , Vaidyula Vasudeva Rao, Chelmala Srinivasulu

Wildlife Biology Section, Department of Zoology, Osmania University, Hyderabad 500 007, INDIA

While gathering information on the ethno-biology of the tribals in Andhra Pradesh, we had been documenting beliefs and myths regarding the use of animal parts and products for ethno-medicinal purposes. In the course of our interviews with tribals and traditional practitioners of Ayurveda, we came across an incidence of the use of otter blood as a cure for epilepsy.

It is believed that the blood of the otter when consumed cures epilepsy permanently. Usually the blood is to be taken fresh in small quantities at least for three times. As the otters are difficult to be found a slightly modified procedure is followed. When an otter is caught, it is sacrificed and the blood is collected into a clean utensil. A cotton cloth is then dipped into it to soak the blood, air dried and stored for further use. When in need, a small piece is then torn and dipped into a glass of water for the dried blood to become dissolved in it. This is then consumed by the patient. As the blood has been stored and diluted by dissolving in water, one is required to take three such doses a day for three days contrary to one dose each day for three days in the case of the fresh blood.

As far as the identity of the species is concerned we believe it may be Lutra perspicillata as its distribution overlaps areas where such beliefs persist.

Resumen: Propiedades curativas de la sangre de nutrias - Una creencia

Durante el desarrollo de un estudio etnobiológico de las tribus en Andhra Pradesh, hemos documentado creencias y mitos sobre el uso de partes de animales y productos con propósitos etnomedicinales. Durante entrevistas con tribus y practicantes tradicionalistas de Ayurveda, detectamos el uso de sangre de nutrias como cura para la epilepsia. Se cree que su consumo cura permanentemente esta enfermedad. Generalmente la sangre debe ser consumida en pequeñas cantidades al menos tres veces una vez al día. Como las nutrias son difíciles de encontrar se utiliza un procedimiento modificado. Cuando una es capturada, se la sacrifica y se almacena su sangre en un recipiente limpio. Un trozo de algodón se sumerge en este para empaparlo de sangre, se lo seca al aire y se lo almacena para ser utilizado. Cuando es necesario, un trozo del algodón es introducido en un recipiente con agua para que la sangre seca se disuelva en aquella, y luego es consumida por el paciente. Como la sangre ha sido diluida se requiere que el paciente ingiera tres dosis al día durante tres días. La especie probablemente utilizada es Lutra perspicillata, ya que la distribución de esta se superpone con las áreas donde tales creencias persisten.
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