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A white poisonous glycoside, C29H44O12, extracted from the seeds of certain African trees of the genera Strophanthus and Acokanthera, that is used as a dart poison in some parts of Africa and has been used to treat congestive heart failure.

[From French ouabaïo, from Somali wabayo.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Elements & Compounds) a poisonous white crystalline glycoside extracted from certain trees and used as a heart stimulant and, by some African tribes, on poison darts. Formula: C29H44O12.8H2O
[C19: from French ouabaïo, from Somali waba yo native name of tree]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(wɑˈbɑ ɪn)

a white crystalline glycoside, C29H44O2, extracted from the seeds or wood of certain African trees and used as a poison on the tips of arrows or in medicine as a heart stimulant.
[1890–95 < French ouaba(ïo) (< Somali waabayyo arrow poison) + -in1]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
An African perennial vine called strophanthus makes seeds that contain the active ingredient referred to as g-strophanthin in Europe and ouabain in the US.
During the past decade, I have treated heart patients with either g-strophanthin capsules or, more recently, an extract of the strophanthus seed extract with positive effects on their overall sense of well-being, and, specifically, on their heart function.
In contrast, by understanding the real pathophysiological events behind the evolution of MIs, we will be led to a proper "Nourishing Traditions"--style diet, the use of the safe and inexpensive medicine g-strophanthin, and most important, we will be forced to look at how heart disease is a true manifestation of the cost of modern life to human health.