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Common Names: cascarilla, cascarilha, amber kabug, sweet bark, sweet wood bark,
Part Used: Bark
| CASCARILLA |
| HERBAL PROPERTIES AND ACTIONS |
||lowers blood pressure
||Decoction: 1/2 to 1 cup
|| twice daily
||Tincture: 2-3 ml twice daily
||Capsules: 1 g twice daily
Cascarilla is a tropical small tree growing up to 12 meters high. It is native to the West Indies but has been naturalized throughout tropical America including Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador and the Amazon basin region. The tree produces small but very fragrant white flowers almost year round. The bark of the tree is a pale yellowish brown and fissured.
TRIBAL AND HERBAL MEDICINE USES
Cascarilla has a very long history of traditional herbal medicine use worldwide. It has long been used as a digestive aid, to stimulate digestion and digestive juices, for nausea and vomiting, and as a general bitter digestive tonic. In Brazilian herbal medicine systems, the bark is prepared as a decoction and utilized for all types of digestive complaints, feverish conditions, anemia, hemorrhoids and high blood pressure. In European herbal medicine it is recommended for diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, intermittent and low fevers, intestinal bloating and gas, colic, nausea, an overall tonic during convalescence, and as an expectorant for chronic bronchitis.
Cascarilla contains 1.5 to 3% volatle oils, a bitter compound called cascarillin A, resins, tannin, lipids, and several neoclerodane diterpenoids called cascarillins. Other compounds found in the bark include: alpha-calacorene, alpha-copaene, alpha-pinene, alpha-thujene, beta-caryophyllene, beta-elemene, beta-pinene, betaine, borneol, calamenene, camphene, cascarilladiene, cascarillic-acid, cascarillidone, cascarillin A thru D, cascarillone, cineole, cuparene, cuparophenol, d-limonene, dipentene, EO, eluterins A thru J, eugenol, euparophenol, gamma-terpinene, gamma-terpineol, lignin, linalool, methylthymol, myrcene, p-cymene, pectic-acid, terpinen-4-OL, and vanillin.
BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES AND CLINICAL RESEARCH
Laboratory studies indicate that the bark's essential oil is antimicrobial. The long standing traditional use of cascarilla for digestion was verified by scientists in 2003. These researchers in Italy reported that cascarilla and its major chemical compound, cascarillin, were found to significantly increase histamine-induced gastric acid secretion in the mouse stomach. They noted; "These preliminary results provide the first rationale for the use of cascarilla in bitter preparations aimed at improving digestion."
WORLDWIDE ETHNOMEDICAL USES
||as a stomachic, stimulant, tonic; for anemia, constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia, fever, gastric complaints, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, intestinal gas, urinary insufficency |
||for bronchitis, colic, debility, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, fevers, intestinal bloating, nausea; as a expectorant, tonic|
||as a tonic|
||as a digestive aid, fumigant, narcotic, tonic|
||as a balsamic, tonic|
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Last updated 12-17-2012