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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

James W Blankenship

First Committee Member

Marvin H Malone

Second Committee Member

Katherine K Knapp


Heimia salicifolia Link and Otto (family Lythraceae), alternatively named Heimis salicifolia (H.B.K.) Link, is a relatively small shrub found In tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Mexico and Texas (1-2). The plant is known under many common names such as "abre-o-sol" (sun-opener) in the Rio Grande del Sur, "quiebra arado" (plow-breaker) in Argentina and "herva de la vida" (herb of 11fe) in Brazil (1). There is much folklore associated with Heimia salicifolia. In Mexico the name sinicuiche (twisted foot) is used for the plant as well as for an intoxicating beverage produced from its leaves. Inbibiting the beverage is said to cause a feeling of giddiness, lassitude, deafness, forgetfulness, withdrawal from society and a sensation of che's surroundings becoming darker. Overindulgence is said to cause a peculiar yellow vision and memory loss with no "hangover the next day (3).





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