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HERBS & TEAS

 GUACO POWDER TEA (Mikania guaco) -  2 OZ / 60 gr

 

$ 5.00

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Ethnomedical Uses: In current herbal medicine systems in Brazil, guaco is well known and well regarded as an effective natural bronchodilator, expectorant and cough suppressant employed for all types of upper respiratory problems including bronchitis, pleurisy, colds and flu, coughs, and asthma; as well as for sore throats, laryngitis, and fever. Guaco is also popular in Brazil as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and pain-reliever for rheumatism, arthritis, intestinal inflammation and ulcers. A decoction of the leaves is also employed externally for neuralgia, rheumatic pain, eczema, pruritus, and wounds. Guaco has long been regarded as a safe herbal remedy in Brazil. Recent toxicity studies (in 2003) confirm that, even in high dosages (3.3 g per kg of body weight for 52 days), it does not have any toxic or anti-fertility effects. While guaco is a widely popular and well known Brazilian herbal remedy with Brazilian research validating much of it's traditional uses, it is virtually unknown to North American consumers and health practitioners. It is deserving of much more attention here, especially for stubborn upper respiratory conditions, bronchitis, chronic coughs in general, and even the common cold or flu.

Properties/Actions Documented by Research: Guaco is a significant source of the natural plant chemical, coumarin (as high as 11% in some guaco plants!). Coumarin is used to produce the most commonly used anticoagulant and blood thinning drug called coumadin. Many of guaco's long-time traditional uses have been validated by scientists. Raul Coimbra wrote the first journal article validating the use of guaco as a bronchodialator and expectorant herbal drug in 1942. In a 1984 Brazilian study, human volunteers were given a guaco leaf tea (M. glomerata) and researchers again reported the strong cough suppessant and bronchodilator effects. Other researchers in Brazil published papers about the brochodilator and anti-inflammatory effects of guaco leaf extracts in 1992; one scientist suggested that these actions could be attributed at least by half to the natural coumarin in the plant. Most recently (in 2002) a Brazilian research group reported that extracts of guaco leaves (M. glomerata), significantly inhibited histamine contractions and evidenced a relaxing effect of the trachea (throat).

Cautions: It contains up to 10% coumarin (coumadin), which has a blood thinning effect. May potentiate WarfarinŽ and other coumadin drugs. In large dosages (two to three times the traditional remedy above) guaco has been reported to cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

How to use/ Preparation: A half-cup of this infusion is taken 4 times daily for rheumatism, respiratory problems and coughs. A standard tincture is also sometimes employed for the same purposes at dosages of 3-4 ml three times daily.

Guaco Stew Recipe: Put 2 ounces of dried leaves in 6 cups of water and boil until it is reduced to 2 cups. Then add 3/4 of a cup of sugar and boil it again for about 20 minutes into a syrup. The mixture is strained to remove the powder and after that add 3 soup-spoonfuls of honey, and cool the syrup, put in a bottle or container and store in the refrigerator. As a cough syrup, 1 soup-spoon is taken 3 times daily to help quiet coughs (and it is amazingly effective!). This "drug" is still a popular home remedy today throughout Brazil and is considered a "saint's remedy" to treat bronchitis, coughs and rheumatism. The leaf infusion may also be prepared as above and used as a topical wound healer and pain-reliever .


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