Carqueja is one of the more widely known and used medicinal plants in Brazil and other parts of South America. It is as popular in Brazil as a natural herbal liver aid and digestive aid as milk thistle is in the United States and Europe.* Many of its traditional uses have been verified by research, and it appears in the official pharmacopeias of several South American countries as a specific liver and digestive aid.* For more information about carqueja (Baccharis genistelloides), please refer to the Database File for Carqueja in the Tropical Plant Database. More information can also be found in the Antimicrobial Guide. To see pictures of carqueja, click here.
Traditional Uses:* for digestive disorders (ulcers, gastroenteritis, acid reflux, and ileocecal valve disorders) and to slow digestion; to tone, balance, and strengthen liver function (also to eliminate liver flukes, increase liver bile and to remove toxins from the liver); for gallbladder disorders (stones, pain, lack of bile, sluggish action, toxin build-up); as a detoxifier (blood, liver, gallbladder, pancreas); for viral infections (stomach viruses, HIV, herpes simplex)
Suggested Use: Take 60 drops (2 ml) of a concentrated 1:4 extract 2 or more times daily, or as directed by a healthcare professional.
1. Not to be used during pregnancy as carqueja has demonstrated uterine stimulant and abortive effects in rats.
2. The use of this plant is contraindicated in persons with low blood pressure due to its documented hypotensive effects.
3. Carqueja has been documented to lower blood glucose levels in human and animal studies. As such, it is contraindicated in persons with hypoglycemia. Diabetics should monitor their blood sugar levels more closely if they use carqueja.
Drug Interactions: None reported, however, it may increase the effect of diabetic and antihypertensive drugs.
Other Practitioner Observations:
1. Carqueja has demonstrated antihepatotoxic (liver detoxifying) effects in animal studies. As such, it may speed the clearance of some drugs metabolized in the liver (decrease the half-life), thereby reducing the pharmacological effect (and/or side effects) of certain drugs required to be metabolized in the liver.
Carqueja Plant Summary
Main Preparation Method: tincture or capsules
Main Actions (in order): antacid, antiulcerous, digestive stimulant, hepatotonic (tones, balances, strengthens the liver), detoxifier
1. for digestive disorders (ulcers, gastroenteritis, acid reflux, and ileocecal valve disorders) and to slow digestion
2. to tone, balance, and strengthen liver function ( also to eliminate liver flukes, increase liver bile and to remove toxins from the liver)
3. for gallbladder disorders (stones, pain, lack of bile, sluggish action, toxin build-up)
4. as a detoxifier (blood, liver, gallbladder, pancreas)
5. for viral infections (stomach viruses, HIV, herpes simplex)
Cautions: It has hypotensive (lowers blood pressure) and hypoglycemic actions. It should not be used during pregnancy.
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