Mastruz: benefits and what it is for

This content is part of the Alternative Medicine category and may contain information that lacks scientific studies and/or medical consensus.

Mastruz is a medicinal, herbaceous herb and its scientific name is Chenopodium ambrosioides. Native to Central and South America, its leaves are dark green and the flowers are whitish.

Also, its smell is very strong and can be unpleasant for many people. The Mastruz plant can grow up to 70 cm in height and is also known by other names, such as St. Mary’s wort, roundworm or chenopodium. And it can be found in natural stores or compounding pharmacies.

To understand a little more about the benefits and properties of this plant, we bring you this article. Here you will find answers to questions like: what is mastrich for? Mastruse is good for gastritis? How to use this plant? And the best, with all the information based on scientific studies and research. Follow up!

What is a mastruck and what is it for?

The Chenopodium ambrosioides popularly called mastruz, is a plant native to the American continent and belongs to the family Amaranthaceae . The mastruz is considered to be a native plant of tropical America, so its origin is attributed to Mexico from where it was taken to other countries on the continent.

Today, the mastrich can also be found in almost every country in Central and South America, Africa and in some temperate climate regions. For example, in the region that stretches from the Mediterranean to the central part of the European continent. ( 1 )

In 2009, the mastruz entered the list of the National List of Plants of Interest to the Unified Health System (RENISUS). This list includes 71 species of native plants used in traditional medicine that have gained priority in pharmacological studies.

In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers it as one of the most used herbs for medicinal purposes in the world. The leaves are mainly used to treat problems of the gastrointestinal system, such as diarrhea , and inflamed sores on the skin. ( 2 )

The mast is also used to treat problems with the vascular system and the respiratory system, such as asthma and pneumonia. In addition to serving as an insecticide and insect repellent. The main form of use is the decoction or cooking of fresh leaves. ( 1 )

The first medical use of the herb was documented by a botanist in the 18th century, when he realized that settlers from the American territory used the mastroot to treat intestinal parasites. ( 3 )

What are the main characteristics of the herb?

Mastruz is a shrubby herb, formed by several branches that come out of the main trunk and has some short, reddish hairs. ( ) It can also be perennial, that is, it survives for more than two years.

The leaves are elongated, with small hairs throughout their length and with a variation in size. The smaller ones are usually located at the ends of the branches.

In addition, they have a vibrant green tone and a very characteristic smell. This smell can be unpleasant and the taste of the leaves is bitter, two unmistakable aspects of St. Mary’s wort.

Adult plants contain small flowers in shades of green and yellow that give rise to small brown fruits. Most of the time, the herb appears on vacant land spontaneously, as it adapts well to almost all types of soil. Therefore, it is considered a weed in some regions. ( 3 )

plant properties

Mastruz carries with it several vitamins, such as A, C and especially the B complex. In addition, it has calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and potassium. Consequently its properties are vast. For example, it is a great wound-healer as its leaves carry a lot of essential oils.

The plant is also antibacterial and antiviral. In addition, the essential oil extracted from the mastruz leaves has large amounts of flavonoids, these compounds have anti-inflammatory action and act to aid the absorption of vitamin C. ( 1 )

Mastruck Benefits

We can say that the use of this plant is versatile, as it helps to treat hoarseness, cramps and even respiratory problems.

Strong flu can be eased with a cup of mastrich tea, as the vitamin C present in the plant helps fight it. Those who have rhinitis, asthma and sinus attacks can also benefit from its use with just a cup of tea, because this plant clears mucus and phlegm.

Mastruz also helps with indigestion and gastritis problems. Those who suffer from flatulence can also benefit from its use. In addition, the tea from the plant can be applied to wounds, helping to speed up healing.

Another different way to use this plant is to mix the herb with milk. This is a very powerful combination to make your body immune to parasites and bacteria, although it doesn’t please all palates.

One more health benefit of the mastruz is its anti-parasitic action. That is to say, it acts as a home remedy against the most common types of intestinal parasites, not just in humans but also in pets.

The herb also has anti-tumor effects, being responsible for inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. ( 4 ) The extract from fresh leaves is also bactericidal and antioxidant, helping to delay cell aging and prevent numerous diseases. ( 5 )

Finally, the herb extract is also a potent insecticide. So it can be safely used as a repellent indoors and even on fresh food. ( 1 )

How effective is the masthead for inflammation?

One of the most common uses of the mastruz is as a plaster or poultice to aid the healing process of skin lesions and even bone fractures. ( 1 ) This is because the extract from the leaves has anti-inflammatory and analgesic components, which can help with healing and reduce pain in open wounds.

For this reason, it can be used in people who have problems with chronic pain or sensitivity to common analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Another important point is that the mastruz helped to reduce the swelling caused by the injuries and to increase pain tolerance. ( 6 )

Medicinal derivatives of the herb are also antibacterial, as they act to inhibit the colonies of these microorganisms, which can be harmful to health. ( 5 )

Mastruz used to treat gastritis?

According to Brazilian folk medicine, mastruz is an herb that is highly recommended for the treatment of gastritis and ulcers. This is because it has substances that inhibit the proliferation of H.pylori , a bacterium that lives in the stomach and is responsible for causing most problems that affect the gastrointestinal tract. For example gastritis, ulcers and even some types of cancer.

In laboratory research, mastruz tea helped to inhibit the proliferation of colonies of this type of bacteria. In addition, the components extracted from the leaves of the masthead also have anti-inflammatory and healing effects. Therefore, they help to heal stomach ulcers and complications caused by stomach cancer. ( 7 )

It can also be used as a booster for the action of medications used to treat gastrointestinal problems, thanks to elements called saponins. Thus, it can enhance the effects of synthetic components while helping to mitigate their negative effects. ( 8 )

What are the ways to use Santa Maria herb?

The ways of using the mastruz are as varied as the names the herb is popularly given. However, the most common and widespread throughout the country is the consumption of the extract resulting from the decoction or cooking of the leaves.

This tea can be made from the roots or leaves, which can be fresh or dried. In this case, the most frequent use is in the treatment of gastric problems or intestinal parasites.

Another very common use is the juice of dried leaves, mixed with milk and sugar. This mixture is best suited for the treatment of diseases that affect the respiratory system. From colds and flu to more serious problems such as asthma and tuberculosis, considering that this herb is antibacterial.

Finally, but not so common, the juice removed by crushing the leaves can be applied to wounds or other types of injuries. For the treatment to work, this natural remedy must be applied directly to the affected area in a damp compress, helping the healing process and reducing swelling. ( 9 )

Here are some recipes on how to use the masthead at home!

How to make Mastruz tea?

In a kettle with 500 ml of boiling water, place a cup (coffee) of mastrich seeds and leave for 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten with honey or sugar to taste.

As for the preparation of tea through infusion, it is necessary to use the dried leaves, as this makes it easier to extract the benefits of the herb. First, put a cup of boiling water in a kettle. When the water is bubbling, turn off the heat and add a tablespoon of the herb. Wait a few minutes and then sweeten it with honey. Drink still hot.

Finally, another tip: the decoction with fresh leaves. In this case, cook a tablespoon of fresh mastrich leaves in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes so that all the nutrients are extracted. Once ready, sweeten with honey and drink while still hot. The recommendation is that it be ingested up to three times a day. ( 1 )

How to prepare the mast with milk?

The preparation made with green leaves from mastruz and milk is widely used in the Northeast region of the country for the treatment of flu, colds and other respiratory diseases.

The preparation of this drink is quite simple. Select 20 mastrich leaves and place them in a blender with 100 ml of milk. Beat until mixture is as homogeneous as possible. If you want to sweeten it, use honey or orange juice.

For an effective treatment, this drink must be consumed daily, only once a day and for a period of no more than 10 days. ( 3 )

How to prepare the poultice

Poultices are pastes prepared with natural medicines, which are applied to injured or inflamed areas of the body. The way to prepare the poultice with green leaves of mastruz is very simple, just crush the leaves and apply the juice in the injured area.

It is also common to wrap the area with some gauze, which makes the mixture stay in contact with the skin for longer. The main uses are to relieve pain caused by rheumatism, bumps and blows in the region. However, the extract is also effective in healing and preventing bacterial infections in open wounds. ( 9 )


The tea from this plant is not suitable for pregnant women, as it can be abortifacient. Also, consumed for a very long period of time can cause infertility. Another important point is that this plant is for immediate treatments and its continuous use is not recommended, as it can cause nausea.

It is also not recommended for children and before starting treatment with this herb, seek a doctor to assess the problem presented.

In large quantities, tea or any other preparation with mastruz has moderate toxicity and may cause intoxication. That’s because, in large amounts, it becomes an irritant to the gastrointestinal tract.

The main symptoms of the problem are intestinal infection, followed by bleeding caused by the dilation of vessels in the bowel region. Soon after, symptoms related to the nervous system may appear, such as headache, dizziness, lack of motor coordination, in addition to a tingling sensation on the skin and facial flushing. ( 3 )

Where to find the mast?

You saw in this article what are the benefits and what the mastruz herb is for. For those who wanted to try the effects of this powerful herb, the good news is that it tends to grow spontaneously throughout Brazil.

Therefore, it is possible to find the shrubs in parks and even in vacant lots. Those who cannot access the plant, however, can find the compost ready for infusion in herbal medicine stores. This compound is made from dried leaves, but retains all the benefits found in the herb.

Finally, the mastrich can also be planted at home. That’s because the plant requires little care and grows in any type of climate.

Ellie Lauderdale

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.

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