Capeba is a Brazilian plant popularly used in treatments for constipation , poor digestion and to cure cystitis , a type of urinary infection, due to its recognized potential as a diuretic.
The plant, also called guaxima, sheet-of-santa-Bárbara and pariparoba, can reach 2 meters in height and has large, kidney-shaped leaves that can be consumed in a simmer.
However, in Brazil it is more common for them to be used in the preparation of capeba tea , as this way it is possible to better absorb an essential oil formed by various organic compounds that is mainly responsible for the various benefits it brings to health.
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What is capeba for?
Regular or gastrointestinal treatment
“Capeba has stomach stimulating properties and helps in intestinal regulation”, explained the naturopath, Danilo Ramon, about one of the main popular uses of the medicinal herb.
The digestive potential of tea made with the leaves of this herb is derived from the power of its various organic compounds to stimulate the release of gastric fluids, which serve to dissolve food. The result is faster digestion and relief from discomfort.
The improvement of the intestinal process happens because its leaves are rich in moisture and dietary fiber . Every 100 grams of the plant has 2.2 grams of dietary fiber and 80% of it is made up of water.
As a result, its consumption favors the hydration of the intestinal tract , which prevents the dryness of the feces, as well as increases the normal expulsion movements that the intestine makes to expel these wastes from the body.
Treat kidney infections
Capeba tea is used to treat infections that affect the kidneys, such as cystitis. As defended by the specialist in herbal medicine, this is because it has the ability to increase urine production , or simply diuresis.
In this way, the body starts to get rid of the bacteria that started the infection faster, promoting an improvement in the condition.
Another point to be mentioned is that the essential oil found in the leaves contains an alkaloid compound with antimicrobial potential known as N-benzoylmescaline.
This substance with a complicated name can inhibit the proliferation of various types of bacteria, and even some fungi, known to cause infections. Thanks to this, it also helps the body to exterminate the microorganisms that could not be eliminated along with the urine.
Promote hypertension control
Danilo attested that capeba tea serves as a natural controller for hypertension , a property that is directly derived from its diuretic potential, since not only toxins are expelled in the urine, but also mineral salts, mainly sodium, which are known cause of high blood pressure.
Therefore, the increase in diuresis promotes greater disposal of these substances, which causes an improvement in circulation and, consequently, a reduction in the pressure of the blood passing through the arteries.
IMPORTANT! One should never opt for treatment with this infusion without the approval of a doctor or a specialist in herbal medicine, because of the risks that self-medication, even if of natural origin, can bring to health.
Regulate and relieve menstrual cycle pain
The infusion prepared with the leaves of the capeba is considered an excellent home remedy for women who suffer from colic and excess flow during the menstrual period .
And this happens due to the presence of compounds known as phytosterols, such as beta-sisterol and campesterol. These are substances that have a structure similar to cholesterol and act to regulate the body’s hormonal balance.
Therefore, consuming them helps to regulate menstruation and flow volume.
Furthermore, capeba is analgesic, so it also helps to reduce the pain that is very common during this period.
This medicinal plant “helps to reduce internal fevers ”, as the specialist explained. What happens is that this herb has sweating and antipyretic properties.
In other words, it increases the production of sweat, which is an important mechanism for regulating body temperature , while making the body understand that it needs to lower the temperature, in two independent processes.
Protect the liver from damage
According to Danilo, another indication of the herb is to relieve liver colic , pain that can be caused by intoxication , due to alcohol abuse, medication or excess fat, and diseases such as cancer and viral infections.
Part of this comes from the potential that capeba has to stimulate liver function, which makes the organ work correctly and manages to prevent all of this from accumulating in the body.
The plant is still rich in antioxidant compounds, which serve to protect against the action of free radicals, unstable molecules that damage cells and make the body, including the liver, more susceptible to the action of diseases and toxins .
Fighting intestinal worms
Finally, Danilo Ramon informed that capeba tea can also be used as a dewormer. This means that the infusion helps to eliminate intestinal parasites , popularly called worms, a common problem in regions without access to basic sanitation and that causes nutritional deficiency, pain, fatigue and diarrhea.
How to use a capeba?
How to make tea
The most common way of using capeba for medicinal purposes is in the form of tea, which should be drunk for the duration of the treatment.
The herbalist recommends preparing the infusion using 1 tablespoon (dessert) of herb leaves to 1 cup of boiling water. After placing in water, cover and let stand to extract properties for at least 10 minutes.
Then just strain. “This tea can be consumed 3 times a day , outside meals,” he instructed.
How to use sheets in feeding?
The cape can also be used for food. It has a strong, slightly peppery flavor.
Those who want to try it can use it as a cabbage substitute in recipes that use this vegetable cooked, such as stuffed cigars, or sautéed, in the same way as butter cabbage is prepared.
Capeba is a great food for food, as it has a high amount of vitamin C , 181 mg per 100 gram serving, fiber, protein and carbohydrates. It is also a source of minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron.
Capeba care and contraindications
Even having all these benefits and being a medicine of natural origin, it is necessary to take some precautions with the use of capeba, this is what alerts the herbalist.
The tea made with the leaves “should be avoided by pregnant women ”, warned Danilo, as it poses risks of miscarriage or premature birth. “In turn, breastfeeding women can use it, as long as they are guided and monitored by a herbalist,” he explained.
Another necessary care is the amount, which should not exceed three cups per day, at the risk of reactions ranging from headache and tremors, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.