Description: In current Brazilian herbal medicine systems, amargo is considered a tonic, digestion stimulant, blood cleanser, insecticide, and mild laxative.* It is also a well respected remedy for head lice.* To see photographs of amargo click here. For more information about amargo (Quassia amara), please refer to the Database File for Amargo in the Tropical Plant Database.
More information can also be found on Leslie Taylor's Blog on Amargo.
Suggested Use: The traditional remedy as a digestive aid is 1/2 teaspoon of wood powder infused in one cup of boiling water. This is taken 10-15 minutes before or with meals. Alternatively, 1g in tablets or capsules can be taken two or three times daily on an empty stomach for an internal parasite cleanse. Another remedy calls for 2 teaspoons of wood powder or chips to be soaked in 1 cup of cold water overnight (a cold maceration). This is drunk for internal parasites, gallstones, and digestive disorders, and used externally for lice. For more complete instructions on preparing herbs see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.
Amargo Plant Summary
Main Preparation Method: infusion, maceration or capsules
Main Actions (in order): antiparasitic, insecticide/pediculicide (kills lice), digestive stimulant, antimalarial, anticancerous
1. for lice and skin parasites
2. for intestinal parasites and amebic infections
3. for malaria
4. for digestive problems (ulcers, dyspepsia, intestinal gas and bloating, sluggish digestion, anorexia)
Other Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use: antilithic (prevents kidney stones), antispasmodic, antivenom, astringent (dries secretions), carminative (expels gas), febrifuge (reduces fever), liver and gallbladder bile stimulant, digestive stimulant, hepatoprotective (liver protector), hepatotonic (tones, balances, strengthens liver functions), sialagogue (increases saliva), tonic (tones, balances, strengthens)
Cautions: It may interfere with fertility. Large amounts might cause nausea and stomach irritation.
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