Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)

The Sertanejos of Brazil make medicine of the liver of this bird, it is extracted and cooked and then reduced to a powder. If this powder is added to the drink or food of an alcoholic, without that person being aware of it, they will supposedly be cured of alcoholism. Ingesting fat from the bones of this vulture will cure aching bones.



In Colombia it is a common belief amongst the people that drinking the bird’s blood is the most common description of the animal’s use for cancer treatment. In this sense, having a living animal is important for extracting and drinking the blood (preferably fresh). In addition to drinking the blood, another administration method consists of ingesting the cooked meat along with the bouillon or broth made from cooking the bird.

In Mexico the vulture’s (zopilote) blood is used by the Pjiekakjoo tribe to treat coughs and seizures.

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Bezerra, D. Birds and people in semiarid northeastern Brazil: symbolic and medicinal relationships. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2013, 9:3
Sanchez-Pedraza et al. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2012, 8:20
Hunn, E. 2012. Documenting and Contextualizing Pjiekakjoo (Tlahuica) Knowledges thorugh a Collaborative Research Project


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