Jarrinha - Aristolochia cymbifera Jarrinha - Aristolochia cymbifera

Database File for:

(Aristolochia cymbifera)

Main databaseCommon nameBotanical nameEthnic usesConditionsActions

Peppermint - Mentha piperita


  • Product Search

  • Medline Abstracts

  • PubMed FullText





  • Home Page
  • About the Author
  • Plant Images
  • Rainforest Products
  • Rainforest Gallery
  • Rainforest Facts
  • Article Section
  • Rainforest Links
  • Search Site
  • Conditions of Use

    Free Service


  • Family: Aristolochiaceae
    Genus: Aristolochia
    Species: cymbifera
    Common Names: Jarrinha, jarra, cipo mil-homens, milhomens, Brezilya logusaotu, erva bicha, guaco, angelico, papo-de-peru, crista-de-galo, cipo-branco, cipo-para-tudo
    Part Used: Leaves, root

    Main Actions Other Actions Standard Dosage
  • mildly sedative
  • increases libido
  • Root
  • stops convulsions
  • promotes perspiration
  • Not recommended
  • aids digestion
  • relieves pain
  • promotes menstruation
  • increases urination
  • kills bacteria

    Jarrinha is an interesting tropical vine with unusual flowers. It is native to Brazil where it goes by the common name of jarrinha or mil-homens


    In Brazilian herbal medicine systems the root of Jarrinha is employed as a digestive bitter for many types of digestive complaints in addition to fever, syphilis and as a diuretic. The roots are also considered a sedative and used for nervous disorders including hysteria, convulsions and epilepsy. The roots are generally prepared in a infusion with 10 to 15 grams of root boiled in a liter of water; three cups daily are taken. Herbalists report that higher dosages can cause nausea and dementia. This same decoction is also prepared and used topically on skin eruptions, ulcers, snakebites and eczema.


    Jarrinha, like most Aristolochia plant species, contain a group of plant chemicals call aristolochic acids. In clinical studies these chemicals have been documented to be carcinogenic (causes cancer) and pharmaceutical preparation containing these compounds, formerly available in Germany, have since been withdrawn from the market. The FDA in the United States has also recommended that plants containing aristolochic acids not be sold as herbal or dietary supplements. For this reason, jarrinha is not recommended to be used as an herbal remedy. Other plant chemicals documented in the plant include: aristolochine, aristinic, aristidinic, aristolochic, and aristolic acids.

    Brazil as an antiseptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, sedative; for anorexia, arthralgia, asthma, cancer, chlorosis, convulsions, diarrhea, digestive difficulties, dropsy, dyspepsia, eczema, epilepsy, fevers, gout, hypertension, gastritis, hysteria, hypopchondria, intestinal colic, intestinal gas, neuralgia, menstrual disorders, migraines, orchitis, palpitations, prurigo, snakebite, syphilis, testicular inflammation, ulcers
    Elsewhere as an emmenagogueue, stimulant; for cancer

    The above text has been authored by Leslie Taylor, copyrighted © 2005 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.


    FDA Concerned About Botanical Products, Including Dietary Supplements, Containing Aristolochic Acid
    "The agency has issued a Consumer Advisory and sent updated letters to industry and health professionals to communicate our concern about the use and marketing of dietary supplements or other botanical-containing products that may contain aristolochic acid. The use of products containing aristolochic acid, including botanical products marketed as traditional medicines, has been associated with nephropathy. Because of our concerns about botanical-containing products known or suspected to contain aristolochic acid, we will be pursuing appropriate regulatory action regarding these products."

    FDA Consumer Advisory 4/11/2001
    "Based on new information, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers to immediately discontinue use of any botanical products containing aristolochic acid. These products may have been sold as "traditional medicines" or as ingredients in dietary supplements. Aristolochic acid is found primarily in the plant Aristolochia, but may also be present in other botanicals. Consumption of products containing aristolochic acid has been associated with permanent kidney damage, sometimes resulting in kidney failure that has required kidney dialysis or kidney transplantation. In addition, some patients have developed certain types of cancers, most often occurring in the urinary tract."

    4. "Aristolochia cymbifera from Brazil and Mexico is said to have medicinal properties similar to the official species. Butte affirms it is a depressant to the sensory nerve centres and is useful in neuralgia and pruritis; it was formerly considered alexiteric, antiparalytic, antiperiodic and aphrodisiac. "

    Gleanings in Materia Medica. American Journal of Pharmacy. Editor: John M. Maisch, M.D. - Vol. 59, 1887.
    "Aristolochia cymbifera, Martius.—The root of this plant has again appeared in the European drug market, and consists of pieces about 10 cm. (4 inches) long, gray-brown, longitudinally wrinkled, the thickest roots being split; the transverse section shows a rather thick bark, and a ligneous cylinder, which is distinctly radiating, and contains wide dotted ducts and wood-fibres; the bark and medullary rays contain much starch, and in numerous but slightly enlarged cells, a mixture of yellow resin and volatile oil.—Chemiker Ztg., 1887, p. 379.
    The root is known in Brazil as milhomem, also as jarra and jarrinha and has a camphoraceous odor, resembling that of serpentaria, and a bitter and pungent taste. The roots of a number of other species of Aristolochia have similar properties and are also used under the same names as the preceding, the medical properties being analogous to those of serpentaria. The drug has been repeatedly used in Europe during the last century and more recently, but does not appear to be superior to other well known remedies."

    * 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.
    All rights reserved. Please read the Conditions of Use, and Copyright Statement for this web page and web site.
    Last updated 12-17-2012