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Mikania guaco

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In current herbal medicine systems in Brazil, guaco is well known and well regarded as an effective natural bronchodilator, expectorant and cough suppressant employed for all types of upper respiratory problems including bronchitis, pleurisy, colds and flu, coughs, and asthma; as well as for sore throats, laryngitis, and fever.* For more information about guaco (Mikania guaco), please refer to the Database File for Guaco in the Tropical Plant Database. To see pictures of guaco, click here. Check out the new Discussion Forums to see if anyone is talking about how they are using this natural rainforest remedy.

Traditional Uses:* for upper respiratory problems (coughs, bronchitis, colds/flu, asthma, allergies, etc.); for various internal and external bacterial and protozoal infections; for Candida and yeast infections; for snakebite and insect bites and stings; as an analgesic (pain-reliever) and anti-inflammatory for arthritis, rheumatism, intestinal inflammation, and ulcers

Suggested Use: This plant is best prepared as an infusion (tea). Use one teaspoon of powder for each cup of water. Pour boiling water over herb in cup and allow to steep 10 minutes. Strain tea (or allow settled powder to remain in the bottom of cup) and drink warm. It is traditionally taken in 1/2 cup amounts, 3-4 times daily. For more complete instructions, see the Preparation of Herbal Remedies article.

Contraindications: Guaco contains a significant amount of coumarin which is the plant chemical coumadin drugs are derived from. Coumarin/coudamin has an anti-coagulant and blood thinning effect and the use of guaco may demonstrate anticoagulant effects due to the coumarin content. Consult with your physician before taking this plant if you are taking coumadin drugs or if coumadin anticoagulant type drugs are contraindicated for your condition.

Drug Interactions: Will potentiate or enhance the effect of Warfarin® and other coumadin drugs.

Other Observations: In large dosages (three times or more the suggested use above) guaco has been reported to cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.





Third-Party Published Research*

All available third-party research on guaco can be found at PubMed. A partial listing of the published research on guaco is shown below:

Anti-Allergy, Cough Suppressant, Bronchodilator, & Expectorant Actions:
Soares, L., et al. "Preparation of dry extract of Mikania glomerata Sprengel (Guaco) and determination of its coumarin levels by spectrophotometry and HPLC-UV." Molecules. 2012 Aug 29;17(9):10344-54.
Gasparetto, J., et al. "Development and validation of two methods based on high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for determining 1,2-benzopyrone, dihydrocoumarin, o-coumaric acid, syringaldehyde and kaurenoic acid in guaco extracts and pharmaceutical preparations." J Sep Sci. 2011 Apr;34(7):740-8
Freitas, T., et al. "Effects of Mikania glomerata Spreng. and Mikania laevigata Schultz Bip. ex Baker (Asteraceae) extracts on pulmonary inflammation and oxidative stress caused by acute coal dust exposure." J Med Food. 2008 Dec;11(4):761-6.
Graca, C., et al. "In vivo assessment of safety and mechanisms underlying in vitro relaxation induced by Mikania laevigata Schultz Bip. ex Baker in the rat trachea." J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jul 25;112(3):430-9.
dos Santos, S. C., et al. "LC characterisation of guaco medicinal extracts, Mikania laevigata and M. glomerata, and their effects on allergic pneumonitis." Planta Med. 2006 Jun; 72(8): 679-84.
Soares de Moura, R., et al. “Bronchodilator activity of Mikania glomerata Sprengel on human bronchi and guinea-pig trachea.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 2002; 54(2): 249-56.
Fierro, I. M., et al. “Studies on the anti-allergic activity of Mikania glomerata.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1999; 66(1): 19-24.
Leite, M. G. R., et al. “Actividade bronchodilatora de Mikania glomerata, Justicia pectoralis e Torresea cearensis." Simposio de Plantas Medicinais do Brazil. December 1992. Curitiba. Resumos. p. 21.
Oliveira, F., et al. “Caraterizacao cromatograpfica do extracto fluido de Mikania glomerata Sprengel.” Simposio de Plantas Medicinais do Brazil. December 1992. Curitiba. Resumos. p. 96.

Anti-ulcer Actions:
Bighetti, A. E., et al. “Antiulcerogenic activity of a crude hydroalcoholic extract and coumarin isolated from Mikania laevigata Schultz Bip.” Phytomedicine. 2005 Jan; 12(1-2): 72-7.
Paul, R. K., et al. “Antiulcer activity of Mikania cordata.” Fitoterapia. 2000 Dec; 71(6): 701-3.
Mosaddik, M. A., et al. “The anti-ulcerogenic effect of an alkaloidal fraction from Mikania cordata on diclofenac sodium-induced gastrointestinal lesions in rats.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 2000 Sep; 52(9): 1157-62.
Bishayee, A., et al. “Protective effects of Mikania cordata root extract against physical and chemical factors-induced gastric erosions in experimental animals.” Planta Med. 1994 Apr; 60(2): 110-3.

Anti-inflammatory & Pain-Relieving Actions:
Benatti, B., et al. "Effects of a Mikania laevigata extract on bone resorption and RANKL expression during experimental periodontitis in rats." J Appl Oral Sci. 2012 May-Jun;20(3):340-6.
Napimoga, M., et al. "Scientific evidence for Mikania laevigata and Mikania glomerata as a pharmacological tool." J Pharm Pharmacol. 2010 Jul;62(7):809-20.
Alves, C., et al. "Anti-inflammatory activity and possible mechanism of extract from Mikania laevigata in carrageenan-induced peritonitis." J Pharm Pharmacol. 2009 Aug;61(8):1097-104.
Freitas, T., et al. "Effects of Mikania glomerata Spreng. and Mikania laevigata Schultz Bip. ex Baker (Asteraceae) extracts on pulmonary inflammation and oxidative stress caused by acute coal dust exposure." J Med Food. 2008 Dec;11(4):761-6.
Suyenaga, E. S., et al. “Antiinflammatory investigation of some species of Mikania." Phytother. Res. 2002; 16(6): 519-23.
Ahmed, M., et al. “Analgesic sesquiterpene dilactone from Mikania cordata.” Fitoterapia. 2001 Dec; 72(8): 919-21.
Peluso, G., et al. “Studies on the inhibitory effects of caffeoylquinic acids on monocyte migration and superoxide ion production.” J. Nat. Prod. 1995; 58(5): 639-46.
Leite, M. G. R., et al. “Actividade bronchodilatora de Mikania glomerata, Justicia pectoralis e Torresea cearensis." Simposio de Plantas Medicinais do Brazil. December 1992. Curitiba. Resumos. p. 21
Oliveira, F., et al. “Caraterizacao cromatograpfica do extracto fluido de Mikania glomerata Sprengel.” Simposio de Plantas Medicinais do Brazil. December 1992. Curitiba. Resumos. p. 96
Ruppelt, B. M., et al. “Pharmacological screening of plants recommended by folk medicine as anti-snake venom--I. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities.” Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 1991; 86 Suppl 2:203-5.

Cellular Protective (antimutagenic) Actions:
Barbosa, L., et al. "Mikania glomerata Sprengel (Asteraceae) influences the mutagenicity induced by doxorubicin without altering liver lipid peroxidation or antioxidant levels." J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2012;75(16-17):1102-9.
Costa Rde, J., et al. "In vitro study of mutagenic potential of Bidens pilosa Linné and Mikania glomerata Sprengel using the comet and micronucleus assays." J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jun 19;118(1):86-93
Fernandes, J. B., et al. ”Mutagenic and antimutagenic potential of the medicinal plants M. laevigata and C. xanthocarpa.” Phytother. Res. 2003; 17(3): 269-73.
Bishayee A, “Anticarcinogenic biological response of Mikania cordata: reflections in hepatic biotransformation systems.” Cancer Lett. 1994 Jun; 81(2): 193-200.

Blood Thinning Actions:
Biavatti, M. W., et al. “Coumarin content and physicochemical profile of Mikania laevigata extracts.” Z. Naturforsch. 2004; 59(3-4): 197-200.
Cabral, L. M., et al. “Development of a profitable procedure for the extraction of 2-H-1- benzopyran-2-one (coumarin) from Mikania glomerata." Drug. Dev. Ind. Pharm. 2001; 27 (1): 103-6.
Oliveira, F., et al. "Isolation and identification of chemical components of Mikania glomerata Sprengel and Mikania laevigata Schultz Bib ex Baker.” Rev. Rarm. Bioquim. 1984; 20(2): 169-83.

Antivenin Actions:
Collaço Rde, C., et al. "Protection by Mikania laevigata (guaco) extract against the toxicity of Philodryas olfersii snake venom." Toxicon. 2012 Sep 15;60(4):614-22.
Floriano, R., et al. "Effect of Mikania glomerata (Asteraceae) leaf extract combined with anti-venom serum on experimental Crotalus durissus (Squamata: Viperidae) envenomation in rats." Rev Biol Trop. 2009 Dec;57(4):929-37.
Maiorano, V. A., et al. “Antiophidian properties of the aqueous extract of Mikania glomerata.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Dec; 102(3): 364-70.
Ruppelt, B. M., et al. “Pharmacological screening of plants recommended by folk medicine as anti-snake venom--I. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities.” Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 1991; 86 Suppl 2:203-5.

Antimicrobial, Insecticidal, Antimalarial & Antiprotozoal Actions:
Ushimaru, R., et al. "In vitro antibacterial activity of medicinal plant extracts against Escherichia coli strains from human clinical specimens and interactions with antimicrobial drugs." Nat Prod Res. 2012;26(16):1553-7.
de Andrade, B., et al. "Evaluation of ent-kaurenoic acid derivatives for their anticariogenic activity." Nat Prod Commun. 2011 Jun;6(6):777-80.
Laurella, L., et al. "In vitro evaluation of antiprotozoal and antiviral activities of extracts from Argentinean Mikania species." Scientific World Journal. 2012;2012:121253.
Benatti, B., et al. "Effects of a Mikania laevigata extract on bone resorption and RANKL expression during experimental periodontitis in rats." J Appl Oral Sci. 2012 May-Jun;20(3):340-6.
Facy, P., et al. "The antibacterial activities of mikanolide and its derivatives." West Indian Med J. 2010 Jun;59(3):249-52.
Botsaris, A. "Plants used traditionally to treat malaria in Brazil: the archives of Flora Medicinal." J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2007 May 1;3:18.
dos Santos, S. C., et al. "LC characterisation of guaco medicinal extracts, Mikania laevigata and M. glomerata, and their effects on allergic pneumonitis." Planta Med. 2006 Jun; 72(8): 679-84.
Betoni, J. E., et al. "Synergism between plant extract and antimicrobial drugs used on Staphylococcus aureus diseases." Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 2006 Jun; 101(4): 387-90.
Yatsuda, R., et al. “Effects of Mikania genus plants on growth and cell adherence of Mutans streptococci.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005; 97(2): 183-9.
Duarte, M. C., et al. “Anti-Candida activity of Brazilian medicinal plants.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005; 97(2): 305.
Holetz, F. B. “Screening of some plants used in the Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases.” Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 2002 Oct; 97(7): 1027-31
Rungeler, P., et al. “Germacranolides from Mikania guaco." Phytochemistry 2001; 56(5): 475-89.
Muelas-Serrano, S., “In vitro screening of American plant extracts on Trypanosoma cruzi and Trichomonas vaginalis.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2000; 71(1-2): 101-7.
Rojas de Arias A., et al. “Mutagenicity, insecticidal and trypanocidal activity of some Paraguayan Asteraceae.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1995; 45(1): 35-41.
Davino, S. C., et al. “Antimicrobial activity of kaurenoic acid derivatives substituted on carbon-15.” Braz. J. Med. Biol. Res. 1989; 22(9): 1127-9.

Fertility Actions:
Graca, C., et al. "Mikania laevigata syrup does not induce side effects on reproductive system of male Wistar rats." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Apr 20;111(1):29-32.

Toxicity Studies:
Costa Rde, J., et al. "In vitro study of mutagenic potential of Bidens pilosa Linné and Mikania glomerata Sprengel using the comet and micronucleus assays." J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jun 19;118(1):86-93
Graca, C., et al. "In vivo assessment of safety and mechanisms underlying in vitro relaxation induced by Mikania laevigata Schultz Bip. ex Baker in the rat trachea." J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jul 25;112(3):430-9.

* The statements contained herein have not been evaluated
by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is
not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.
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Last updated 12-17-2012