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Bellaco-Caspi
(Himatanthus sucuuba)

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Bellaco-caspi

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  • Family: Apocynaceae
    Taxon: Himatanthus sucuuba (Spruce ex Müll. Arg.) Woodson
    Synonyms: Himatanthus lancifolius (Müll. Arg.) Woodson, Plumeria floribunda Müll. Arg., Plumeria sucuuba (Spruce ex Müll. Arg.), Plumeria tarapotensis (K. Schum. ex Markgr.)
    Common names: agoniada, agonium, anaguba, arapue, bashi pasha, bellaco-caspi, bellaku-caspi, caracucha, caracuchu, caracuchu blanco, ceneiwe, kanraw-muni, mabwa, na'aypere, platanete, platanote, quina-mole, sanago, shipotma, socoba, succuba-verdadeira, suche, sucoba sanago, sucova, sucuba, sucuuba da Amazonia, sucuuba
    Parts Used: fruit, seeds, leaves


    Bellaco-Caspi
    HERBAL PROPERTIES AND ACTIONS
    Main Actions Other Actions Standard Dosage
  • relieves pain
  • reduces fever
  • Bark
  • reduces inflammation
  • calms coughs
  • Decoction: 1 cup twice daily
  • kills bacteria
  • cleanses blood
  • Capsules: 1 g 2 - 3
  • kills fungi/candida
  • expels worms
  • times daily
  • kills cancer cells
  •   Tincture: 2-4 ml twice daily
  • heals wounds
  •    
  • prevents ulcers
  •    
  • aids menstruation
  •    
  • cleanses lymph glands
  •    

    Bellaco-caspi is a tropical rainforest tree growing 8-16 m in height with a tall, narrow, pyramidal crown. The trunk is 30-40 cm in diameter with rough mottled bark. The tree produces white perfumed flowers and a 20 cm seed pod with numerous winged seeds inside. The leaves are bright green and about 25 - 30 cm long by 3-5 cm wide. When the leaves are broken off their stems, and the stems are broken from the branches, a milky white latex is exuded. Wounding the tree bark will also exude the latex.

    There are 7 to 8 species of Himatanthus trees that can be found from Central America to Northern South America—most indigenous to the Amazon are medium to large trees found in the moist and flooded forests at lower elevations (below 500 m).

    TRIBAL AND HERBAL MEDICINE USES

    The bark and the latex of bellaco-caspi has a long history of use among the Indians in the Amazon. The Karijonas powder the tree bark and sprinkle it directly onto stubborn wounds and sores. The Shipibo-Conibo Indians in Peru prepare a decoction of the bark and take it internally for rheumatism and body aches and pain. They also put the latex in warmed baths and bathe the part of the body suffering from arthritis, pain and/or inflammation, as well as put the latex directly onto abscesses, sores, and skin ulcers. The Ka'apor Indians in the Brazilian Amazon take a bark decoction for stomachaches and use the decoction topically for dog mange and feed it to dogs who are sick and skinny. The Tikuna Indians also apply the latex topically to treat wounds and the Waoranis rub the latex on bot-fly bites to suffocate and kill the larvae under the skin (in animals and humans).

    Bellaco-caspi is also popular as a natural remedy in Peruvian herbal medicine systems. It is considered a pain-reliever, blood cleanser, fever-reducer, astringent, anti-inflammatory and laxative. It is often employed for arthritis, rheumatism and back pain; cancer and tumors; skin issues such as wounds, abscesses, ulcers, boils, rashes and sores; gastric ulcers, intestinal and skin parasites (worms); and for tuberculosis and fevers.

    In Brazilian herbal medicine, bellaco-caspi is considered analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antitumoral, antifungal, anthelmintic (against worms), aphrodisiac, emmenogogue (menstrual stimulant), emollient, febrifuge (reduces fevers), purgative, tonic, vermifuge (kills parasites), and vulnerary (heals wounds). Practitioners and herbalists in Brazil recommend it for lymphatic gland diseases and inflammation; female disorders such as endometriosis, uterine fibroid tumors, menstrual irregularities and pain, ovarian cysts and ovarian inflammation; cancerous tumors and skin cancers; digestion problems such as indigestion, stomachaches, bowel inflammation and gastric ulcers; general pain and inflammation (arthritis, rheumatism, and fractures); coughs, fevers, headaches, asthma and other lung disorders, and various skin issues such as wounds, ulcers, and rashes.

    Bellaco-caspi is found in The Dispensatory of the United States of America which was published in 1918 and asserted febrifuge, anthelmintic and emmenagogue actions to the tree.

    PLANT CHEMICALS

    A review of some of the chemicals found in bellaco-caspi might explain some of the many traditional uses of this tropical rainforest tree. An antitumor iridoid compound and two depsides showing inhibitory activity of monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) have been isolated from bellaco-caspi bark. In addition, two iridoid chemicals called plumericin and isoplumericin have been found in the tree bark and the latex. These two chemicals have been reported with cytotoxic, anticancerous, antifungal and antibacterial actions in laboratory research. The latex also contains a polymeric material called cis-polyisoprene as well as calcium, magnesium, arabinose, glucose, xylose, rhamnose and glalctose.

    Chemical reported in bellaco-caspi bark thus far include: 2'-O-methyl-perlatolic acid, 4-hydroxy-benzoic acid, amyrin, alpha-amyrin, alpha-amyrin cinnamate, beta-dihydro-plumbericinic acid, beta-phenyl-propionate lupeol, cis-polyisoprene, confluentic acid, demetho-oxy-aspidospermine, fulvoplumierin, iso-plumericin, iso-uleine, lupeol acetate, lupeol cinnamate, para-coumaric acid, plumericin, plumeride, uleine, and vanillic acid.

    BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES AND CLINICAL RESEARCH

    Many of bellaco-caspi's traditional uses are being verified in preliminary studies and laboratory research. In 2005, Brazilian researchers verified bellaco-caspi's traditional use for stomach ulcers and digestion problems. They reported that an extract of the bark significantly protected rats from lab-induced ulcers and reduced gastric hypersecretion through several novel mechanisms of actions. The tree's long standing use for healing wounds was verified by Peruvian researchers in an animal study published in 1997. Brazilian researchers confirmed in 2000 that the latex evidenced significant anti-inflammatory and pain relieving actions in laboratory animals which confirmed earlier anti-inflammatory research in 1978. They reported that bellaco-caspi could exert anti-inflammatory effects even in the acute phase of the inflammatory process and attributed these effects to the cinnamate chemicals found in the latex and bark.

    In 2001, researchers in the United States reported that the bark of bellaco-caspi was significantly cytotoxic in vitro to 5 different human cancer cell lines which may help explain why the tree has been used against cancer and tumors for many years in South America. They related this anti-cancerous action to the iridoids and triterpenoids in the tree bark. It also passed a brine shrimp assay which predicts anti-tumor activitiy in 2003.

    Bellaco-caspi's uses for infected wounds, tuberculosis, syphilis, and even mange might be explained by the tree's documented antimicrobial actions. In 1998, researchers in Brazil reported that the bark evidenced a greater antifungal effect than the control drug that was used (nistatin) and related this action to the triterpenic esters found in the bark. Research published in Brazil in 2006 and 2004 also reported in vitro antimicrobial effects of the bark against, candida, E. coli, Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Mycobacterium phlei, and other Gram (+) and Gram (-) pathogenic bacteria. The latex was also documented with in vitro actions against Bacillus and Pseudomonas. Its use for asthma might be explained by the smooth-muscle relaxant actions documented in 2005 by Brazilian researchers working with a bark extract.

    Toxicity studies in laboratory animals indicate that the use of bellaco-caspi at traditional dosages is non-toxic. Even when a bark extract was given to pregnant rats, there were no toxic, abortive, or birth defects reported.

    CURRENT PRACTICAL USES

    Bellaco-caspi is a well respected and widely used medicinal plant in herbal medicine systems in the Amazon and South America. With many of its traditional uses being explained and verified by research, it is sure to remain an important plant in the naturopathic and herbal medicine practitioner's treasure chest of natural remedies. It is gaining some recognition outside of the South America and a handful of bark extract and latex extract products can now be found for sale in the United States and Europe. It is mainly used for pain and inflammation related to many conditions (including female reproductive organ conditions), cancerous tumors (internal and external), and as a broad spectrum antimicrobial for various internal and external infections.



    BELLACO-CASPI PLANT SUMMARY
    Main Preparation Method: decoction, tincture, capsules

    Main Actions (in order): antimicrobial, antitumorus, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, analgesic

    Main Uses:

    1. as a wound healer and broad spectrum antimicrobial (bacteria, fungi, candida)
    2. for tumors and cancer
    3. for lymphatic cleansing, inflammation, and infections
    4. for endometriosis, uterine fibroid tumors, menstrual irregularities and pain, ovarian cysts and ovarian inflammation
    5. as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic for arthritis, back pain, and muscle injury
    Properties/Actions Documented by Research: analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-yeast, anti-ulcerogenic, cicatrizant, cytotoxic (cancer cell lines), smooth muscle relaxant, vulnerary

    Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
    analgesic, anthelmintic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antitumoral, antifungal, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, astringent, depurative, emmenagogue, emollient, febrifuge, laxative, purgative, tonic, vermifuge, vulnerary

    Cautions: None reported. High dosages may have a laxative or purgative effect.



    Traditional Preparation: In traditional Indian medicine systems the bark is prepared as a decoction or infusion and the straight latex is applied to the skin topically and ingested in a small amount of water. In herbal medicine systems in the cities of South America, various tinctures, fluid extracts, and capsules are sold in the market place for easier use and longer storage.

    Contraindications: None reported.

    Drug Interactions: None reported.


    WORLDWIDE ETHNOMEDICAL USES
    Amazonia as an analgesic, anthelmintic, antitumoral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory; for back pain, boils, bot-fly infections, fractures, gastritis, hemorrhoids, hernias, lung ailments, stomachaches, stomach ulcers, tumors, and wounds
    Brazil as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antitumoral, antifungal, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, emmenagogue, emollient, febrifuge, purgative, tonic, vermifuge, and vulnerary; for adenoid gland inflammation, anemia, arthritis, asthma, cancer, constipation, coughs, digestion problems, endometriosis, fractures, gastritis, gastric ulcers, headaches, hemorrhoids, hypertension, intermittent fevers, intestinal disorders, kidney pain, lymphatic disorders and inflammation, lung disorders, menstrual pain, menstrual irregularity, ovarian cysts, ovarian inflammation, rashes, rheumatism, skin eruptions, skin ulcers, stomach problems, syphilis, tumors, uterine fibroids, uterine inflammation, ulcers, and weakness
    Ecuador used for bot-fly infections
    Guyana as an anthelmintic (bot-fly) and to treat liver disorders
    Peru as an analgesic, anthelmintic, antitumoral, astringent, depurative, febrifuge, laxative, purgative; for abscesses, arthritis, back pain, blood cleanser, boils, bowel cleanser, fever, gastric ulcers, hernias, inflammation, pain, rheumatism, skin problems, sores, swellings, tuberculosis, tumors, ulcers, worms, wounds



    The above text has been authored by Leslie Taylor and copyrighted © 2006 to present. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, including websites, without written permission.

    † The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this plant database file is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease. Please refer to our Conditions of Use for using this plant database file and web site.




    Published Third-Party Research on Bellaco-Caspi


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

    MAO-Inhibition Actions:
    Endo, Y. et al. "Confluentic acid and 2'-o-methylperlatolic acid, Monoamine Oxidase B inhibitors in a Brazilian plant, Himatanthus sucuuba." Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1994; 42(6): 1198-1201.

    Anti-ulcerous Actions:
    Baggio, C., et al. "Gastroprotective mechanisms of indole alkaloids from Himatanthus lancifolius." Planta Med. 2005; 71(8): 733-8.

    Anti-inflammatory, Pain-relieving and Wound Healing Actions:
    de Lima, R., et al. "Database Survey of Anti-Inflammatory Plants in South America: A Review" Int J Mol Sci. 2011; 12(4): 2692–2749.
    Lucetti, D., et al. "Anti-inflammatory effects and possible mechanism of action of lupeol acetate isolated from Himatanthus drasticus (Mart.) Plumel" J Inflamm (Lond) 2010; 7: 60.
    Saleem, M. "Lupeol, A Novel Anti-inflammatory and Anti-cancer Dietary Triterpene" Cancer Lett. 2009 November 28; 285(2): 109–115.
    Villegas, L., et al. "Evaluation of the wound-healing activity of selected traditional medicinal plants from Peru." J. Ethnopharmacol. 1997; 55: 193-200.
    De Miranda, A. L., et al. "Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of the latex containing triterpenes from Himatanthus sucuuba." Planta Med. 2000; 66(3): 284-286.

    Anti-spasmodic Actions:
    Rattmann, Y. et al. "Effects of alkaloids of Himatanthus lancifolius (Muell. Arg.) Woodson, Apocynaceae, on smooth muscle responsiveness." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Sep; 100(3): 268-75.

    Anti-tumor & Cytotoxic Actions:
    Guignard, E., et al. "Screening of plants found in Amazonas state for lethality towards brine shrimp." Acta Amazonica. 2003; 33(1): 93-104.
    Bolzani, V., et al. "Search for antifungal and anticancer compounds from native plant species of cerrado and Atlantic Forest." An. Acad. Bras. Cienc. 1999; 71(2): 181-7.
    Persinos-Perdue, G., et al. " South American plants. III. Isolation of fulvoplumierin from Himatanthus sucuuba (Apocynaceae). J. Pharm. Sci. 1978; 67: 1322.
    Kardono, L., et al. "Cytotoxic constituents of the bark of Plumeria rubra collected in Indonesia." J. Nat. Prod. 1990 Nov-Dec; 53(6):1447-55.
    Wood, C. A., et al. "A bioactive spirolactone iridoid and triterpenoids from Himatanthus sucuuba." Chem. Pharm. Bull. 2001; 49(11): 1477-1478.
    De Silva, J. R., et al. "Triterpenic esters from Himatanthus sucuuba (Spruce) Woodson." Quimica Nova 1998; 21(6): 702-704.
    Abdel-Kader, M., et al. "Bioactive iridoids and a new lignan from Allamanda cathartica and Himatanthus fallax from the Suriname rainforest." J. Nat. Prod. 1997; 60(12): 1294-7.
    Hamburger, M., et al. "Traditional medicinal plants of Thailand. XVII. Biologically active constituents of Plumeria rubra." J. Ethnopharmacol. 1991 Jul; 33(3): 289-92.

    Antimicrobial Actions:
    Kuigoua, G., et al. "Minor Secondary Metabolic Products from the Stem Bark of Plumeria rubra Linn. Displaying Antimicrobial Activities. Planta Med. 2009 Nov 20.
    Moreira, D., et al. "Actividades antimicrobiologicas dos stratos e fracoes obtido atraves de solventes organicos da casca da Himatanthus sucuuba do vale do Acre." Anais Do XV Seminario De Iniciacao Cientifica PIBIQ-CNPQ, 2006: Universidade Federal Do Acre, Rio Branco-Acre, Brazil.
    Souza, W., et al. "Antimicrobial activity of alkaloidal fraction from barks of Himatanthus lancifolius." Fitoterapia. 2004 Dec; 75(7-8): 750-3.
    Little, J., et al. "Plumericin; an antimicrobial agent from Plumeria multiflora." Arch. Biochem. 1951; 30(2): 445-52.
    Persinos-Perdue, G., et al. " South American plants. III. Isolation of fulvoplumierin from Himatanthus sucuuba (Apocynaceae). J. Pharm. Sci. 1978; 67: 1322.
    Wood, C. A., et al. "A bioactive spirolactone iridoid and triterpenoids from Himatanthus sucuuba." Chem. Pharm. Bull. 2001; 49(11): 1477-1478.
    De Silva, J. R., et al. "Triterpenic esters from Himatanthus sucuuba (Spruce) Woodson." Quimica Nova 1998; 21(6): 702-704.
    Abdel-Kader, M., et al. "Bioactive iridoids and a new lignan from Allamanda cathartica and Himatanthus fallax from the Suriname rainforest." J. Nat. Prod. 1997; 60(12): 1294-7.
    Hamburger, M., et al. "Traditional medicinal plants of Thailand. XVII. Biologically active constituents of Plumeria rubra." J. Ethnopharmacol. 1991 Jul; 33(3): 289-92.
    Kardono, L., et al. "Cytotoxic constituents of the bark of Plumeria rubra collected in Indonesia." J. Nat. Prod. 1990 Nov-Dec; 53(6):1447-55.
    Jovel, E., et al. "An ethnobotanical study of the traditional medicine of the Mestizo people of Suni Mirano, Loreto, Peru." J. Ethnopharmacol. 1996; (53): 149-156.
    Bolzani, V., et al. "Search for antifungal and anticancer compounds from native plant species of cerrado and Atlantic Forest." An. Acad. Bras. Cienc. 1999; 71(2): 181-7.

    Antileishmanial Actions:
    Soares, D., et al. "Leishmanicidal activity of Himatanthus sucuuba latex against Leishmania amazonensis." Parasitol Int. 2010 Jun;59(2):173-7.
    Castillo, D., et al. "Spirolactone iridoids might be responsible for the antileishmanial activity of a Peruvian traditional remedy made with Himatanthus sucuuba (Apocynaceae)." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jun 13; 112(2): 410-4.

    Toxicity Studies:
    De Oliveira Guerra, M., et al. "Screening for reproductive toxicity in rats for a decoction of Himathanthus sucuuba stem bark." J. Ethnopharmacol. 1991; 34(2/3): 195-199.





    Referenced Quotes on Bellaco-Caspi


    10. "Himatanthus sucuuba (Spruce) Woods. Apocynaceae. "Bellaco caspi". Latex poulticed onto hernias and lumbar pains; also used to treat tumors; bark for gastric ulcers (RVM). "Tikuna" apply fresh latex to wounds (SAR). "Karijona" apply powdered bark to recalcitrant sores (SAR). "Waorani" rub the latex over larvae of botfly infections (SAR). Brazilians use bark tea for asthma, coughs, tuberculosis; latex for worms (BDS), fever, rheumatism (RAR)."

    21. "Himatanthus sucuuba (Spr. ex Muell.-Arg.) Woodson.
    na-ay'-pe-re (Tikuna); ceneiwe (Waorani); platanote (Col.).
    The Karijonas, who formerly lived in the Rio Ajaju area, dried and powdered the flaky lactiferous bark and sprinkled the powder on wounds that would not heal. The Tikunas put the fresh latex on wounds. Tropical warble fly infections are treated with the white latex of this plant amongst the Waoranis. The latex is rubbed over the bite to suffocate and kill the larva.

    25. "Himatanthus sucuuba (Spr.) Woods.
    AREA: Amazonia, forest.
    NAMES: Janaguba, sucuba, sucuuba.
    USES: Latex is anthelmintic, purgative; used in poultices as an emollient, vulnerary, antiarthritic. Bark is febrifuge, antirheumatic; used for treating cancer and bone fracture."





    * The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this plant database file is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease. Please refer to our Conditions of Use for using this plant database file and web site.




    © Copyrighted 1996 to present by Leslie Taylor, Milam County, TX 77857.
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    Last updated 12-17-2012