Preparation of the Haitian zombi poison. Botanical Museum Leaflets, Harvard University, 29, No. 2, 139-149., 1983.
According to popular accounts, zombies are innocent victims, raised in a comatose trance from their graves by malevolent Voodoo priests (bokors), and forced to toil indefinitely as slaves. Davis traced the material basis for zombification to a poison that lowers metabolism and simulates death to such an extent that the victim is buried alive, and later resuscitated with an antidote administrated in the graveyard by the bokor. Though the recipes for the poison vary in different parts of Haiti, the key ingredient Wade discovered to be tetrodotoxin, a powerful neurotoxin derived from fish of the order of tetraodontiformes, usually from one of two genera of the puffer fish. Digital facsimile from JSTOR at this link.
Subjects: ANTHROPOLOGY › Medical Anthropology, BIOLOGY › Ethnobiology, COUNTRIES, CONTINENTS AND REGIONS › Haiti