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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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(V) It is well known that the woods of the equatorial countries have extraordinary thickness, weight and solidity. In particular, the species of wood of the Amazon happens as a consequence of the favored process of the growth without interruption, trees grow with almost homogeneous structure. In order to distinguish new wood from old wood, this is only recognized by the core of the trunk of this, which is harder, heavier and of darker shade; but the annual circles disappear completely in the old woods of many species. The shipbuilding woods of these regions are therefore very suitable for warships, which, although difficult to process, because they are very massive, are better able to resist the cannon. The species of these trees are mostly the same as in the province of Bahia. The specific weight of many woods is considerably higher than that of European ones.

(VI) The coca. - Peruvian mountaineers and hikers, who are accustomed to eating potatoes, quinoa, maize and other vegetables, sometimes do not take food for a few days and nights other than coca, and so are invigorated so that they can work or run without stopping. In order to reinforce its effect, it is customary to mix it with lime powder, ground tapioca or Llipta, or corn-cob ash (Schinus molle, L.). prepared in the form of a ball in the mouth (acullicar), until losing the acrid taste. The salivation, caused by its use, is only swallowed by the smokers. The coca contains gum, but little amount of resin. Its effect is tonic, soothing and nourishing. The Indians, when they get sick, usually take a tea from this plant; however, we consider the ipadu as a more precious medicinal drug, since with gastritis and consequent obstructions and colic, lack of appetite and hypochondria, it shows great efficiency. Also it preserves your teeth. In particular for sailors and soldiers, in tropical climates it would be advisable to use coca leaves. In Peru, coca is grown in the mountains; sowing is done and the seedlings are transplanted in the rainy season (December and January), when they are already one and a half feet tall. Often, three harvests can be made in a year.

Tobacco is more common among Indians than the ipadu, and they usually chew or smoke the leaves of this solanacea. We found this stimulant known and used by all tribes, and was undoubtedly already scattered throughout South America when that continent was discovered by the Europeans. Above all, it is the wizards and doctors (pajes) who use tobacco and smoke patients with large cigars. To make them perspire, the smoke is blown in the nose and in the ears, and they prescribe to them clisteres of those leaves, etc. The Tupi language has terms for all tobacco: pytyma-cui, "tobacco powder"; pytyma-tyba, "tobacco planting"; pytyma-pita, "pipe for tobacco", piter, “inhale” and also “bell jar”.

Tobacco plantation

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