Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Herbs: Pedra Hume Caa

Pedra Hume Caa

scientific name: Myrcia salicifolia other common names: Insulina vegetal

growing areas: Native to South America and the West Indies

physical description: Myrcia salicifolia is a shrub with small green leaves and large orange-red flowers, said Leslie Taylor. /

traditional uses: In the Amazon, researchers found it to be used by Indians as a treatment for severe diarrhea and as an astringent and emetic. It has also been used to treat diabetes.

availability and dosage: It is available in the United States as cut-and-sifted leaf. Dosages vary. Herbalists recommend a half cup of the leaf infusion two or three times a day.

contraindications: Diabetics run the risk of hypoglycemia.

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

medical research: Research has shown that it has an inhibiting effect on serum glucose levels in diabetic rodents. One experiment involving the feeding of rats for three weeks with an extract of Myrcia uniflora improved metabolism of glucose compounds. However, another study detected no beneficial effect.

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