Inhaling the tea vapors of the medicinal plant known as northern buchinha is a natural treatment method for respiratory problems such as sinusitis and nasal constipation .
The tea of this medicinal herb, known in scientific circles as Luffa operculata and in popular medicine by the names of cabacinha, cape-de-goat or buchinha, should never be consumed or used by pregnant women, as it has abortive properties.
Learn more about this little-known home remedy, its effects, and how to use it. Check it out below!
Buchinha do Norte: what is it for?
The buchinha the North really has properties that are effective for the treatment of sinusitis, an inflammation located in cavities in the face, which is the main use for it.
Its effect on this inflammation is derived from a substance called isocucurbitacin B, a bitter compound that has decongestant and antibacterial properties , concentrated in the seeds.
Northern loofah still has compounds that prevent tissue inflammation , which is why sinus attacks are so painful and have a characteristic bad smell. ( 3 )
To relieve nasal congestion
The sponge also serves to relieve a stuffy nose due to the accumulation of mucus, a symptom of various respiratory problems.
The decongestant effect is due to the plant’s properties of irritating mucous membranes. ( 4 )
Cucurbitacins, present in the plant, stimulate the production of histamine, a substance produced by the body and which dilates the blood vessels in the nose’s mucosa, stimulating the movement of the small cilia in the region.
The result is that this mucus becomes more fluid and expels faster. Thus promoting the unclogging of the airways. ( 5 )
How to use?
The sponge should only be used for inhalations or dripping the extract into the nostrils, similarly to a common anticongestant.
In the first way of use you must make a tea using ¼ of a teaspoon and 1 liter of water, let it boil well and start inhaling the vapors that come out of it. This vapor is able to penetrate the sinuses (cavities) of the face and promotes relief from the symptoms of sinusitis.
The second, and most common, method of using the northern sponge is to prepare an extract, which must be dripped directly into the nostrils , as a treatment for nasal congestion and sinusitis.
For this you need to take a sponge and divide it into four equal parts. Put one of these pieces in 1 liter of mineral water and let it rest for a whole day.
The next day, just use a dropper to drop two drops of liquid into each nostril, always taking care not to use it in excess.
Care and contraindications
Even with these studies showing the effectiveness of buchinha do norte in the treatment of sinusitis and nasal congestion, the plant should not be used without medical advice and never in large quantities.
Just 1 gram of loofah extract can cause the death of an adult due to the high concentration of isocucurbitacins. ( 6 )
Among the symptoms of intoxication due to excess of this substance, there are: diarrhea, reduced motor capacity, chills, severe body aches, tachycardia, difficulty breathing and sudden increase in blood pressure. ( 7 )
In addition, careless use can cause swelling, irritation and changes in the nasal mucosa. ( 8 )
Finally, the herb is also abortifacient . What causes this effect is not fully known, but it is present even in small doses.
Therefore, even if it is a medicine of natural origin, the use of loofah without the prior guidance of a specialized health professional should be avoided.