Is Medronho narcotic?
- Botanical.com mentions the 'Arbutus' or 'Irish Strawberry Tree' fruit
- "When eaten in quantities this fruit is said to be narcotic, and the
wine made from it in Spain has the same property."
'Arbutus unedo' is the botanical name - the 'unedo' means 'eat one'in
Latin, and many consider the fruit unpalatable. With 15-20% sugar
content this seems odd. Why did it get this reputation?
The leaves and bark contain up to 36% tannin. The leaves are used as
an infusion for stomach problems and in Italy the flowers are used as
an infusion for fever. A Spanish site mentions that the fruit contains
arbutina, methylarbutina and ursona, but no known psychoactive drugs
are mentioned. The mature fruit because of the high sugar content
ferments readily and can have and alcoholic content of 0.5%. When
eaten in quantity this is what bloats the stomach and gives a