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"The bullets were laced with curare. A rare and deadly poison. The killer's unique MO."
Oliver Queen[src]

Curare (strychnos toxifera) is a common name for various plant extract alkaloid arrow poisons originating from Central and South America.


Curare is a potent and lethal poison, able to kill a human within seconds after entering the victim's bloodstream. If the curare enters the bloodstream without instantly killing its victim, the poison will paralyze the person in 3 minutes and cause them to suffocate in 4 minutes without immediate treatment.[1]

Floyd Lawton laces his bullets with curare to explosively increase their killing capabilities, regardless of the seriousness of the wound. The time it takes to affect the target varies greatly depending on where the target was hit; when Oliver Queen had a curare-laced bullet graze his shoulder, he didn't feel the effects of the poison for a significant amount of time[2] whereas Malcolm Merlyn was affected almost instantly when two bullets grazed his chest.[1]

Curare is noticeably stronger than Tibetan pit viper venom; Sara Lance was healed from said venom almost instantly by Lian Yu herbs[3] while Oliver took hours to recover from a curare bullet wound after taking the herbs.[2]

Like any type of poison, curare can be counteracted to a degree with a blood transfusion, thus diluting the poison and weakening its effects. This buys the victim enough time for medical treatment to completely clean the poison from their system.[1]



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  • In real life, curare is a common name given to a number of plant extracts that were used as a paralyzing agent by various South American tribes for hunting. It's toxicity is dependent on the preparation method but was usually kept at low levels so as not to contaminate the food.