One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1mass noun A drug made from the dried leaves of certain South American plants, which contain the alkaloid pilocarpine and promote salivation when chewed.
- ‘Both jaborandi and pilocarpine may cause headaches and can irritate the stomach and cause vomiting and nausea.’
- ‘In exanthematous fevers of all kinds jaborandi in small doses is the remedy par excellence.’
2Any of the plants that yield jaborandi.
Several genera and species, in particular Pilocarpus jaborandi (family Rutaceae)
- ‘Pilocarpus was at one time adulterated with spurious jaborandis, other foreign leaves, stems, dirt and mouldy leaves.’
- ‘Brushwood is represented by low and thick bushes, at the sides of the paths, formed by jaborandis, vassouras, and carquejas.’
Early 17th century: from Tupi-Guarani jaburandi, literally ‘a person who spits’.
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