The forest products of the state include fine woods, rubber, ipecacuanha, sarsaparilla, jaborandi, vanilla and copaiba.
The best known of these are sarsaparilla, ipecacuanha, cinchona, jaborandi and copaiba; vanilla, tonka beans and cloves; Brazil-wood and anatto (Bixa orellana); india-rubber and balata.
Of the medicinal plants, the best-known products are ipecacuanha., sarsaparilla, copaiba, jaborandi and cinchona, but this is only a part of the list.
The forest products, whose collection and preparation form regular industries, are rubber (called Gaucho or goma), tonka beans, vanilla, copaiba, chique-chique, sarsaparilla, divi-divi, dye-woods, cabinet-woods and fibres.
In the vast untrodden forests farther east there are timber trees of many kinds, incense trees, a great wealth of rubber trees of the Hevea genus, numerous varieties of beautiful palms, sarsaparilla, vanilla, ipecacuanha and copaiba.
The exports are mahogany, rosewood, cedar, logwood and other cabinet-woods and dye-woods, with cocoanuts, sugar, sarsaparilla, tortoiseshell, deerskins, turtles and fruit, especially bananas.
Blue flag, snake root, ginseng, lobelia, tansy, wormwood, wintergreen, pleurisy root, plantain, burdock, sarsaparilla and horehound are among its medicinal plants.
Among the well-known forest products of this zone are arnotto, jalap, ipecacuanha, sarsaparilla, rubber, orchids and a great variety of gums.
The natural and forest products of Mexico include the agave and yucca (ixtle) fibres already mentioned; the " ceibon " fibre derived from the silk-cotton tree (Bombax pentandria); rubber and vanilla in addition to the cultivated products; palm oil; castor beans; ginger; chicle, the gum extracted from the " chico-zapote " tree (Achras sapota); logwood and other dye-woods; mahogany, rosewood, ebony, cedar and other valuable woods; " cascalote " or divi-divi; jalap root (Ipomaea); sarsaparilla (Smilax); nuts and fruits.
The vegetable products of Guatemala include coffee, cocoa, sugar-cane, bananas, oranges, vanilla, aloes, agave, ipecacuanha, castor-oil, sarsaparilla, cinchona, tobacco, indigo and the wax-plant (111yrica cerifera).
Forest Products.-The forest and other natural products include rubber, cinchona bark, ivory-nuts, mocora and toquilla fibre for the manufacture of hats, hammocks, &c., cabaya fibre for shoes and cordage, vegetable wool (Bombax ceiba), sarsaparilla, vanilla, cochineal, cabinet woods, fruit, resins, &c. The original source of the Peruvian bark of commerce, the Cinchona calisaya, is completely exhausted, and the " red bark " derived from C. succirubra, is now the principal source of supply from Ecuador.
SARSAPARILLA, a popular drug, prepared from the long fibrous roots of several species of the genus Smilax, indigenous to Central America, and extending from the southern and western coasts of Mexico to Peru.
The introduction of sarsaparilla into European medicine dates from the middle of the 16th century.
Sarsaparilla must have come into extensive use soon afterwards, for John Gerard, about the close of the century, states that it was imported into England from Peru in great abundance.
Sarsaparilla still has a popular reputation as an "alterative," but it has been examined and tested in every manner known to modern medical science, and is professionally regarded as "pharmacologically inert and therapeutically useless."
The varieties of sarsaparilla met with in commerce are the following: Jamaica, Lima, Honduras, Guatemala, Guayaquil and Mexican.
"Jamaica" sarsaparilla derives its name from the fact that Jamaica was at one time the emporium for sarsaparilla, which was brought thither from Honduras, New Spain and Peru.
Sarsaparilla is grown to a small extent in Jamaica, and is occasionally exported thence to the London market in small quantities, but its orange colour and starchy bark are so different in appearance from the thin reddish-brown bark of the genuine drug, that it does not meet with a ready sale.
The Jamaica sarsaparilla of trade is collected on the Cordilleras of Chiriqui, in Panama, where the plant yielding it grows at an elevation of 4000 to 8000 ft.
Lima sarsaparilla resembles the Jamaica kind, but, the roots are of a paler brown colour.
In Honduras sarsaparilla the roots are less wrinkled, and the bark is whiter and more starchy, than in the Jamaica kind.
Guayaquil sarsaparilla is obtained chiefly in the valley of Alausi, on the western side of the equatorial Andes.
Mexican sarsaparilla has slender, shrivelled roots nearly devoid of rootlets.
The collection of sarsaparilla root is a very tedious business; a single root takes an Indian half a day or sometimes even a day and a half to unearth.
The name of Indian sarsaparilla is given to the roots of Hemidesmus indicus, an Asclepiadaceous plant indigenous to India.
These roots are readily distinguished from those of true sarsaparilla by their loose cracked bark and by their odour and taste, recalling those of melilot.
Aipi), peanuts, pineapple, guava, chirimoya (Anona cherimolia), pawpaw (Carica papaya), ipecacuanha (Cephaelis), sarsaparilla, vanilla, false jalap (Mirabilis jalapa), copaiba, tolu (Myroxylon toluiferum), rubber-producing trees, dyewoods, cotton and a great number of beautiful hardwoods, such as jacaranda, mahogany, rosewood, quebracho, colo, cedar, walnut, &c. Among the fruits many of the most common are exotics, as the orange, lemon, lime, fig, date, grape, &c., while others, as the banana, caju or cashew (Anacardium occidentale) and aguacate avocado or alligator pear, have a disputed origin.
There are valuable vegetable dye-stuffs, medicinal plants (especially sarsaparilla, copaiba and ipecacuanha), cabinet and building timber (mahogany, &c.), india-rubber, tropical fruits (especially bananas), and various palms; fish are economically important - the name Panama is said to have meant in an Indian dialect " rich in fish " - and on the Pacific coast, oysters and pearl " oysters " (Meleagrina californica) - the headquarters of the pearl fishery is the city of San Miguel on the largest of the Pearl Islands, and Coiba Island.
- Saponin and many allied bodies form an abundant soapy-looking froth when shaken up with water, and they are contained in a very large number of plants, the chief of which are the Quillaia saponaria, Polygala senega, sarsaparilla, and others, known collectively as soapworts.
The sarsaparilla even colours the water of the Rio Negro and gives it its name-the "black river."
Guatemala sarsaparilla is very similar to that of Honduras, but has a more decided orange hue, and the bark shows a tendency to split off.