Ryania works as an Organic Insecticide and Pesticide

Source and Distribution of Ryania:

Ryania consists of roots and stems of Ryania speciosa, belonging to the family Flacourtiaceae. It is also known as Ryanicide. It is indigenous to South America.

Ryania is a poisonous shrub or tree, so used as a natural insecticide for controlling pests and insects.


Ryanodine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chemical constituents of Ryania:

It consists of alkaloids, the most important of them is ryanodine. It is a very poisonous alkaloid, hence used as an insecticide.

Uses of Ryania:

  • Its extracts are used as insecticide to control codling moths on apples, citrus thrips on citrus, corn borer on corn and other insects.
  • It is ineffective for cabbage and cauliflower worms. It is very less toxic to mammals.
  • Due to its toxic properties in bark, it is used as a natural pesticide.
  • It is used for euthanasia as a fish poison and also as a homicide.
  • Some Brazilian Indians used it for suicide as it is a poisonous shrub.
  • As it is a botanical and non-synthetic pesticide, it is used for pest management and organic farming.
  • Mainly it is used on apples and citrus.
  • Ryania is generally used as pesticide spray since 1940’s.

Side Effects of Ryania:

Ryania is very less toxic to humans. The symptoms of acute toxicity includes weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea. When it is taken in high doses, it may result in rigidity of the muscles and depression of the central nervous system that may finally lead to coma and death. The death will be the result of the respiratory failure.

Ryania is moderately toxic to birds and wildfowl.

It is not considered poisonous to plants.

Physical Properties of Ryania:

  • Ryania is a stable solid at room temperature.
  • It is soluble in water.
  • It is stable on exposure to sunlight.
  • It decomposes at 219 to 220 οC.
  • It is soluble in other solvents like methanol, acetone, ether, and chloroform and insoluble in benzene and petroleum ether.
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