Scientific Name: Bauhinia scala-simiae
Common Name: Monkey Ladder (Guyana)
General Information: Bauhinia scala-simiae is a vigorous climbing shrub with a deeply divided stem. It can grow to the tops of the trees in the forest, attaching itself by means of tendrils.The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
Properties: Medicinal”: The root is astringent. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea.
The wood is boiled, and the water drunk as a treatment for diarrhoea or bloody dysentery. It is also used as a treatment for malaria.
A decoction of the stem, or an infusion in wine, is used as a tonic and aphrodisiac. The decoction is also used as a treatment for backache. The plant is often mixed with species of Smilax, Strychnos, Doliocarpus and Philodendron. The macerated stem is soaked overnight in water and then drunk as a treatment for diarrhoea.