Monday, June 22, 2009

Herbs: Carqueja


scientific name: Baccharisgenistelloides other common names: Bacanta, cacalia amara, cuchi-cuchi

growing areas: Swampy areas of Peru, Brazil, and Colombia
physical description: Carqueja is a perennial herb that grows to a height of about 20 inches. It produces a yellow flower.

traditional uses: In traditional medicine in South America it has been used by indigenous peoples to treat sterility in women and impotence in men. It has been used to treat liver and stomach disorders, fever, sore throat, leprosy, and malaria, according to author Leslie Taylor.
availability and dosage: It can be found in powder
and capsule forms. Dosages vary.

contraindications: None noted.

special precautions: Consult your physician before beginning any use of an ethnobotanical substance for medicinal purposes.

medical research: According to Taylor, medical studies with mice are said to show that carqueja protects the liver. One study has shown it has the ability to reduce blood sugar, while another shows it reduces gastric secretions.
In a Brazilian laboratory study, an extract of a related species was found to be active against herpes simplex type 1 virus and the virus that causes vesicular stomatitis, but not, apparently, against polio virus type 1.

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