Curare - Definition

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Originally, curare is a potent poison extracted from certain plants used by Amazonian Indians for hunting by coating their arrowheads with this substance to paralyze their prey. Curare is indeed able to paralyze many muscles, including the respiratory muscles, causing death by asphyxiation of the poisoned animal or person in the absence of ventilatory support. Medical professionals use this quality of curare, mainly for anesthesia in order to relax the muscles, to facilitate intubation at the time of surgery, or to permit manipulation of the limb, mainly for orthopedic surgery such as the placement of prostheses.