The scientific name of the leather hat is Echinodorus macrophyllus , but few people know it by this nomenclature. It is usually called tea-mineiro, fenugreek or fennel tea.
But, it is the diuretic property that makes this herb famous. In addition, it also works in the treatment and prevention of arthritis and rheumatism. All this without mentioning the improvement of the skin provided by the poultice made with the medicinal plant.
Best of all, it’s super easy to find for making tea. According to naturopath and herbalist Danilo Ramon, a leather hat can be purchased at open markets, natural food stores and even in supermarkets.
In pharmacies it is also possible to find this plant in the form of capsules, but the professional reminds that the dosage depends on several factors, such as: the patient’s problem, age and medical history. Therefore, Danilo recommends seeking a consultation with a health professional before starting use.
What is the leather hat for?
Kidneys and heart are some of the organs benefited by this medicinal plant. According to the naturopath, this is due to the presence of compounds found in it, such as flavonoids, glycosides and heterosides.
“It is indicated for skin problems, rheumatism, uric acid, gout , syphilis, for kidneys and bladder. It purifies the blood, lowers the pressure and prevents arteriosclerosis”, explains the specialist in natural products.
Beneficial for the kidneys
Danilo Ramon explains that the flavonoids present in the leather hat have diuretic and depurative actions. For these reasons, the plant works to benefit the kidneys, helping these organs to carry out their activities without overloading them.
The main kidney function is the excretion of toxic substances and excess water from the body. With the herb, there is an increase in filtration, stimulating the elimination of toxins and even uric acid, the latter when in excess can accumulate in tendons, joints and kidneys causing diseases such as gouty arthritis. ( 1 )
Also due to its diuretic and depurative actions, the medicinal plant helps to eliminate fluid retention, causing the body to feel less swollen . “And the iodine found in the plant helps to regulate the thyroid, normalizing weight control, which is part of the function of this gland, activating or inhibiting the secretion [of hormones] T3 and T4”, says the naturopath when affirming its slimming effect.
good for the heart
The benefits of this herb for the heart are indirect, since its compounds cause reactions capable of preventing certain heart diseases. For example, leather hat is an anti-hypertensive agent, used to treat high blood pressure, popularly called high blood pressure.
Another beneficial effect is the plant’s vasodilating action, increasing the diameter of blood vessels. As a result, there is an improvement in blood flow, which will more easily transport oxygen and nutrients to all muscles, including the heart.
“The glycosides and heterosides have cardiotonic activity, improving circulation and blood flow”, complements the herbal medicine professional.
As we have seen, flavonoids with a diuretic ability help in the elimination of uric acid. Therefore, they manage to reduce the accumulation of this substance responsible for causing joint pain. In addition, fenugreek has an anti-inflammatory effect. For all these factors, Danilo Ramon recommends its use to treat arthritis, rheumatism and gout.
improves the skin
“Because of the tannins, it [plant] also acts on the skin, mucous membranes and epithelium. And with the purifying action, it purifies the blood, leaving the skin cleaner and without blemishes ”, explains the naturopath.
Some properties are still being studied by scientists and researchers, but they already show promising results. Are they:
- Leishmanicidal activity
- Larvicidal activity for Aedes aegypti. ( 1 , 2 )
How to make tea?
There are two ways to make tea with a leather hat, according to naturopath Danilo Ramon. The first way is through infusion, letting a teaspoon of the herb rest in a cup (150 ml) of capped boiling water for 15 minutes. The second method is the decoction, where you must boil the herb together with water for 5 minutes. ( 3 )
But, one way or another, consumption happens in the same way, depending only on the result you want to have. “Drink 1 cup (for maintenance and prevention) or 2 cups (for treatment) a day”, indicates the herbalist.
Other forms of use
In addition to drinking the tea, you can use it as a hot compress to treat rheumatic gout and neuralgic pain. It can also be used in a sitz bath two to three times a day, complementing the treatment of inflammation in the prostate called prostatitis. ( 4 )
“In poultices there are several ways to apply. Externally, due to its anti-inflammatory and depurative action, you can make baths for skin problems or apply over the inflamed area such as wounds”, recommends Danilo.
In the case of the tincture made with dried Echinodorus leaves and found in 100 ml bottles, it is recommended to use 5 to 10 ml diluted in half a glass of water, three times a day. Indications for this treatment are: arthralgias, inflammatory processes of rheumatic origin, gout, chronic dermatitis, urinary tract inflammation (cystitis) and as a diuretic to help treat arterial hypertension. ( 5 )
“In capsules, it’s the best way to use it because we have control over the dosage, as there are several formulations that change the amount to be ingested, so it’s better to consult a naturopath or herbalist. But 4″ counts.
Is leather hat tea bad?
The conscious use of this medicinal plant is okay, but it is limited to adults and in some circumstances is contraindicated. “Those who cannot use this plant are people who have very low blood pressure, as it can lower blood pressure even more”, warns the specialist in natural products.
Anyone with diarrhea, chronic vaginal discharge, and kidney and heart failure should also avoid using it. In addition, the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) contraindicates its use together with antihypertensives. ( 6 )
Side effects of this medicinal plant
According to Danilo Ramon, the herb is not toxic , but the excess can cause some side effects. In addition to lowering blood pressure, tea and leather hat dye can cause diarrhea in consumers. ( 5 )