The barbatimão, or Stryphnodendron adstringens , is a medium-sized tree that grows in all regions of Brazil.
Also called Barãozinho-roxo, Baron-Virgindade, Faveiro and Rudder’s Beard, this tree is mainly composed of substances with great therapeutic potential .
Among the main benefits of its extract are: the treatment of skin diseases , burns, inflammation and sore throat , gastritis and even vaginal discharge.
The herbalist Danilo Ramon explained about the main uses of the plant, how to use it and what care is needed with it. Follow up!
Benefits of barbatimao
Folk medicine often uses barbatimão bark to clean wounds and it has been scientifically proven that the herb actually works as an antiseptic. That is, it prevents the proliferation of harmful bacteria to the body.
This action acts against several types of microorganisms that live naturally in the skin, but which can become infected when they come into contact with lesions.
Applying the tea or alcoholic bark solution is a natural way to prevent wound complications. ( 1 )
Accelerates healing of cuts and burns
The herbalist Danilo Ramon highlighted another benefit of barbatimão that is directly linked to the aforementioned, it speeds up the healing of burns and cuts.
The bark of this tree is rich in tannins, known to bind to skin proteins, forming that “wound scab”, which serves to protect the injured area and accelerate the growth of new epithelial cells.
This process is especially important for burns , as it prevents dryness and relieves pain caused the damage.
treat the diarrhea
These same tannins provide another important benefit to barbatimão bark extracts. According to Danilo, treatment with the product has the ability to treat diarrhea .
These substances are natural astringents, therefore they promote constriction and dryness of mucus in the intestinal region, a process that considerably reduces the amount of water in the stool and trips to the bathroom. ( 3 )
“[The barbatimão] is also indicated to fight inflammation”, describes Danilo Ramon. The effect is as potent against acute inflammations , such as hemorrhoids and sore throat, as it is against chronic cases, such as rheumatism, which is compared to a potent synthetic anti-inflammatory, phenylbutazone.
Helps to treat skin problems
Another indication for the use of barbatimão, as Danilo points out, is in the treatment of skin diseases, such as mycoses (impingem) and even herpes attacks . Drinking the tea or using it to wash your skin is a very simple way to get rid of these problems.
This is because of the antifungal action of the herb but also because of its antiviral properties, which prevent the proliferation of pathogenic microorganisms.
Helps in the treatment of genital problems
“The barbatimão is especially indicated for women, as it treats problems (such as inflammation) in the uterus”, explains the naturopath.
The herb can also be used to treat fungal infections, such as candidiasis, and bacterial infections, such as vaginosis , preventing the proliferation of microorganisms. ( 4 )
The plant reduces discomfort and leukorrhea – vaginal discharge that is a symptom of several affections in the region – and in a very safe way.
Removes oil from the skin and cleans the scalp
You know that astringent property of barbatimão we mentioned? The tea from the husks helps to reduce oiliness on the skin and to sanitize the scalp, thus helping in the growth of the threads , as explained Danilo.
This potential causes the pores to become tighter and release a smaller amount of sebum. While in the hair, this prevents the penetration of impurities that hinder the growth process.
Relieves Symptoms of Stomach Problems
Finally, the naturopath indicates that tea or barbatimão extract can relieve symptoms and treat problems that affect the gastric tract, such as stomach ulcers and gastritis .
This is because the phytochemicals found in it protect the mucosa against injuries caused microorganisms and even excess acidity, in addition to accelerating wound healing. ( 5 )
How to use barbatimão?
The part of the barbatimão used for therapeutic purposes is the bark, which can be removed from the stem or thicker branches, and can be used in different ways. Learn some!
One of the most common and practical ways is to consume the herb as a tea. For this, “you can make an infusion with the powder of the peel leaving it in hot water in a covered cup or boil the peel in filtered water for 5 to 10 minutes”, teaches Danilo, who recommends drinking a maximum of 200 ml of this tea per day.
He informs that it is also possible to consume the extract, just dilute 5 ml of it in water and drink it without sweetening once a day. This same tea can be used to wash and disinfect wounds.
For diseases such as hemorrhoids or vaginal problems, the most recommended, as Danilo says, is to make a sitz bath with the husks.
To make it, you must take 2 tablespoons of barbatimão to the fire with 1 liter of water and let it cook for 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat and wait until it gets warm.
The next step is to place the infusion in a large basin, or bathtub, and sit in it for a few minutes, remembering that the intimate area must be in full contact with the liquid.
There are also some intimate ointments based on the herb on the market. However, always consult a specialist in herbal medicine before using so that he can indicate the best option.
Barbatimão loses weight: myth or truth?
Losing those extra pounds with barbatimão tea is a myth . According to the specialist, this infusion is not directly indicated to reduce weight, however, it can act to reduce inflammation, and this can contribute to indirect weight loss.
But he stresses that plants are not miraculous. To lose weight with health, start changing your diet, opting for a more natural one, practice physical exercise and seek medical advice.
Care and contraindications
Saying that a drug is of natural origin does not imply that it can be used unrestrictedly and this is also true for barbatimão.
“Since it is a plant that fights diarrhea, its internal use in doses higher than the daily indication can worsen cases of constipation”, warns Danilo.
Furthermore, it should be avoided for the abortive effect it has. Always consult a specialist and never start long herbal treatments on your own.
Where to find?
You can find barbatimão bark, powder or extract at street markets and natural food stores across the country. The herb is also sold in ointments or soaps, which are found in pharmacies.