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Synonyms: Dorstenia amazonica Carauta, C. Valente, Dorstenia heringeri Carauta & C. Valente, Dorstenia infundibuliformis Lodd., Dorstenia montana Herzog, Dorstenia montevidensis Miq., Dorstenia pernambucana Arruda, Dorstenia sabanensis Cuatrec., Dorstenia schulzii Carauta, C. Valente & Dunn de Araujo, Dorstenia tomentosa Fisch. & C.A. Mey., Dorstenia tubicina fo. major (Chodat & Hassl.) Hassl., Dorstenia tubicina fo. subexcentrica Hassl., Dorstenia tubicina Ruiz & Pav.
Common Names: contrayerva, carapia, carapá, chupa-chupa, conta-de-cobra, bezoar, bezoard, contraerva, contra-erva, contrayerba de las Antillas, figueirinha, liga-liga, liga-osso, tarope, tiu
Part Used: Root, Rhizome
| CONTRAYERVA |
| HERBAL PROPERTIES AND ACTIONS |
| is astringent
||Infusion: 1/2 cup twice daily
||Tincture: 1-2 ml twice daily
Contrayerva is a small herb growing less than 8 inches high with distinctly veined leaves and small basket-shaped flowers. Dorstenia is one of the few genuses in the large Moraceae family that produces small herbaceous plants. Contrayerva produces a reddish-brown cylindrical rhizome that is 2-4 cm long and about 1 cm thick with many small roots. The common name "contrayerva" comes from a Spanish word meaning counter-poison or antidote as it is an age-old antidote for snakebites. Contrayerva is indigenous to the tropical regions of South America and can be found in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Uruguay, Paraquay, Venezuela and the three Guianas. It can be found growing wild throughout the Amazon rainforest.
TRIBAL AND HERBAL MEDICINE USES
It is the rhizome of Contrayerva that is used medicinally and it is considered in herbal medicine systems to be a gentle stimulant and diaphoretic (increases or promotes perspiration). Indigenous Indians in the Amazon crush the fresh rhizome and put it on snakebites, poisonous insect bites and broken bones, as well as take it internally for snake bites. In Brazilian herbal medicine systems the rhizome is considered an antiseptic, stimulant, diaphoretic, tonic, diuretic, emmenagogue (promotes menstruation), and antimalarial. It is employed in Brazil as an herbal remedy for fevers, diarrhea and dysentery, skin problems, ear aches and ear infections, anemia, menstrual problems, high blood pressure, cystitis, malaria, upper respiratory problems, and digestive disorders.
Contrayerva root is a rich source of diverse flavonoids (flavanones,
flavones, flavans, flavonols and chalcones). In addition it also contains alkaloids, coumarins, saponins, sterols, and tannins. Two seco-adianane-type triterpenoids called dorstenic acid A and B, were found in the root and documented with moderate cytotoxicity against leukemia cells (L-1210 and HL-60) by Japanese researchers in 2002.
The compounds isolated in contrayerva thus far include: benzofuran, bergapten, cajupine, contrayerbine, dorstenic acids, dorestenin, furocoumarins, psoralen, secropine, and styrene.
BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES AND CLINICAL RESEARCH
Brazilian reseachers documented the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect of contrayerva root in animal studies performed in 1991.
WORLDWIDE ETHNOMEDICAL USES
||as a diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogueue, and tonic; for fever|
||as an antiseptic, diuretic, diaphoretic, emetic, emmenagogueue, purgative, stimulant, stomachic, and tonic; for anemia, clorosis, constipation, cystitis, diarrhea, dysentery, ear infections, fever, gastritis, leucorrhea, malaria, rheumatism, skin disorders, snakebite, typhoid, uterine disorders, |
||for aposteme, fever, inflammation, snake bite, toothache, tumors; as a diaphoretic, stimulant, tonic|
||for bronchitis, dysentery, dyspepsia, fever, snake bite, toothache, uterine colic; as a blood cleanser, pain reliever |
|| as an antidote, diaphoretic; for diarrhea, dysentery, fever |
||as an alexipharmic, diaphoretic, stimulant; for coughs, gastritis|
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Last updated 12-17-2012