Remember the Rainforest 1
hours of administration, nor of its term. The most powerful means by which certain diseases are fought, is fasting, which in certain acute cases has efficacy, but reports say it often ruins the patient, taking him to the extreme. Many nations of Japura dress the sick with a shirt made of the turiri's bramble,
and thus protect them against chills, which may come, though the climate is hot, for the Indian is accustomed to lie naked in his net. The bleeding, made in the vein of the temple, of the arm or in the vein of the children's feet, is a very generalized operation, used in cases of blows, kicks, headache, violent fever; especially during pregnancy, they bleed not only women but also men (as Botocudos also do).
To this end, various instruments are used. Among the Coretus, we find a small arrow for this, among the Maues the blood-letting is practiced by means of a pointed toucan beak, among the Mundurucus, it is made with a quati tooth; and the Juris use a scalpel of bamboo.
When they repair a broken leg, they place splints on the injured member; but they wrap the bandages in such a way that the formation of the callus is prevented, as well as the regularity of the new surface being preserved. The wounded are placed on a frame above a low fire, and the wounds heal and close very quickly in this way. They call this treatment caem (a word that reminds us of moquem, "roast") (1).
Roasting animals, moquem method
Existing diseases in Japura - The predominant diseases in this basin are intermittent fever, hepatitis and intestinal parasites. As for the fever (in Tupi, tacuba-ayba) (2), it is in the the Japura very misunderstood, seeing that in its course there reign all the diseases with fevers, particularly the stubborn and the fourth. Small wounds, bites produced by bites of the pius (piera), hyperthermia, indigestion, effects of fasting, sexual disorders, quickly swallowing the drink, the body being warmed, - all these determining causes, or indispositions, in the healthiest regions are easily repressed; here, they soon produce an intermittent fever. Traveling in such inhospitable regions often exposes the body to these unavoidable exposures, but even without these external influences, fever can be contracted by the simple action of the insalubrity of the place. The low position, the almost total lack of the wind, whose circulation is impeded by the density of vegetation, the evaporation of miasmas, which, from time to time, exude from the mud of the banks exposed by the ebb, perhaps also the use of drinking water of the river, in which plant and mineral substances dissolve, may contribute to the development of endemic diseases. The insidiousness of liver disease, which at first manifests itself as an almost imperceptible anomaly of the digestion, or with chronic intermittent fever, insensibly delivers the sick to a state in which any aid to medicine arrives too late. These cases appear mainly among Indians living on the river; only a few escape monstrous regurgitations or hardening of the liver and spleen, which ultimately cause death by dropsy, abscesses, putrid fever or consumption. It was really distressing for me to observe the appearance of these Indians, sometimes more than fifty, among whom there was not one whose belly was not swollen by monstrous hypertrophy of the liver;
from a distance, many looked like pregnant women. The children also suffer from such infarctions of the organs in the womb; their extremities are emaciated, the desire to eat earth, sticks, wax, and other substances appears, and they eat until they die. In girls, these diseases influence the uterine system and make them chlorotic. Violent abscesses develop here terribly, especially in young individuals. The roundworms (in Tupi, cebui) multiply extraordinarily. With this complication of worms, fevers take on a dangerous putrid character. The causes of this worm disease must be attributed especially
(I) Caem, as can be seen in Stradelli, means, in the current Amazonian tupi, "scar" so that the process referred to by Martius is equivalent to "cicatrizing by the action of fire. (Rev. Note, Inst. Hist. And Geogr. Bras.).