The Ancient And Modern Use Of Plant Arrow In Poisons

June 14, 2023

The usage of bow and arrow in hunting is the representation of a landmark in the development of human culture. Hunting competition app becomes more efficient when using plant arrow poisons when dipped in poison – of both plant and animal origin. These poisons can seamlessly be attained by different treatments of the plants or plant parts. However, hunting is typically connected with ritual actions.

In this blog, you will read about the modern and ancient use of plant arrow poisons and their history.

Different Use of Plant Arrow Poisons

These arrow poisons are used to poison arrow darts or heads for the sake of warfare and hunting. They have been and are still being used by indigenous people across the globe and it is still widely used in South Asia, Africa and America.

Prominent examples are the poisons extracted from the skin of curare (plant) and dart frog – a common term for an extent of plant-derived arrow poison employed by the native people of South Africa.

Poisoned arrows were used by people in ancient times; these people included ancient Romans, Gauls, Saones and nomadic Scythians. Old Romans and Geek explained various recipes for poisoning projectiles during their conquest of India.

Poisoned arrows have also been featured in mythology, prominently in Geek’s story of Heracles executing the centaur Nessus using poisoned arrows with the blood of the Lernaen Hydra.

However, these arrows became widely popular among the hunters and anglers community as they made hunting more effective. Huntanglers gaming app is an application that is available on both Android and iOS. This app allows you to participate in various hunting competitions, allowing you to flaunt your trophies, hunts and much more.


Poisoned arrows across the world are obtained using different methods:

  1. Plant-Obtained Poisons
  • Poisoned arrows are vastly used in the jungles of Malaysia, Burma and Assam. The leading plant sources for the poisons are members of the Strychnos, Anitiaris and Strophanthus genera. For instance, Antiaris toxicara, a tree belonging to the breadfruit and mulberry family, is typically used on Java along with its neighboring islands. The juices of the seeds are coated on the head of the arrow with other plant extracts. The instant activating ingredient attacks the central nervous system resulting in cardiac arrest, convulsions and paralysis.
  • On aye, also known as Inee, is a type of poisoned arrow that is used in sub-Saharan West Arica, specifically in the locals of Cameron and Togo. It is created from the plant called Strophanthus hispidus and it relies on cardiac glycosides that are found in the genus Strophanthus for its effect.
  • Arrow poisons in South Africa are created from plants that have cardiac glycosides from plants such as milkweeds, oleander and Acokanthera.
  • Various “aconite” or Aconitum species have been used in arrow poisons.


  1. Animal –Obtained Poisons
  • The most common method of obtaining arrow poisons in the northern Kalahari is derived from pupas beetles and larvae of the genus Diamphidia. It is applied on the arrow either by mixing it with plant sap to act as an adhesive, directly squeezing the contents of the larva on the arrowhead, or lastly by mixing a powder from the dried larva with the plant juices and then applying that to the arrow tip. These toxins are slow attackers and the targeted animal can roughly 40-70 miles (64—112km) before succumbing to the effects.
  • In South America, tribes such as Emberá Chocó and Noanamá Chocó Indians of western Colombia dip the point of their blowgun darts in the poison they find on the genus of poison arrow frog, the top layer of three species of


Arrow poisons can be extremely helpful during your hunts – many different cultures across the globe are using them. These poisons can easily be attained by various plants and animals.

Also, when did you last go hunting and what did you hunt? We look forward to hearing about your hunting adventures.

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