Mulungu: see the benefits and learn how to make tea

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

Did you find the name mulungu strange? So maybe you know this plant by other names, like penknife, parrot beak, cork, pork or even coral flower. Despite the various nomenclatures, we are talking about only one species, Erythrina  mulungu.

This native Brazilian plant has been used for years to treat stress and other problems that affect the health of the nervous system. Currently, it continues to be used for these and other purposes, trimmed by institutions such as the Ministry of Health and the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa). ( 1 )

But those aren’t the only benefits of mulungu, and here you’ll find them all. In addition, you will learn how to make tea from the plant’s bark, know how to use it for health and know the contraindications of the infusion.

Benefits of mulungu

The use of this plant goes beyond physical treatments. Mulungu infusion is also widely used in the preparation of baths and medicinal preparations. In such cases, application is related to religious beliefs for the purpose of driving away negative energies. ( 2 )

Protects the nervous system

The plant treats mild anxiety and insomnia in adults. This is because the bark of the tree has a calming action. ( 1 )

This herb has a soothing action on the soul organization. For those who don’t know, this organization is also called the astral body and its wear causes anxiety, gastric hyperacidity and arterial hypertension . With the use of mulungu, the patient can help in the treatment of nervous insomnia, muscle spasms and hypertonicity. ( 2 , 3 )

These benefits have already been proven to support the popular use of plant extracts as tranquilizing agents. ( 5 ) But these are not the only benefits to the nervous system, as the herb also has anticonvulsant effects . ( 6 )

Fight inflammation

Another positive effect of this plant is the fight against respiratory inflammation. In a study carried out at the Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, an improvement in allergic inflammation of the airways was found as a result of the consumption of the extract from the flowers of this vegetable.

This confirms the potential in the treatment of respiratory diseases, such as asthma , because it significantly reduces the inflammatory infiltration in lung tissue. ( 7 )

treats pain

Mulungu is a plant that produces alkaloids, for this reason it ends up relaxing smooth muscles, acting as a type of depressant (sedative). In addition, it acts in the treatment of pain with rheumatic and neuralgic origin, presenting an analgesic effect . ( 8 , 9 )

Fights bacteria and fungi

In addition to alkaloids, the herb also produces isoflavonoids and flavonoids, among other substances. But these two mentioned have bactericidal and antifungal activities. With this, we can say that the plant is able to destroy bacteria and fungi that try to install themselves in the body, thus preventing the onset of diseases. ( 10 )

According to some research, the antibacterial potential of mulungu inhibits bacteria such as Staphylococus aureus and  Bacillus subtili s. This first, for example, is responsible for causing skin infections , but it can also cause pneumonia or bone and even heart infections. ( 9 )

How to make mulungu bark tea?

The correct way to make tea from this plant is through the decoction method. In this case, place 4 to 6 grams of the mulungu husks in 150 ml of water to boil. It is recommended to drink a cup two to three times a day, no more than three days in a row. ( 1 )

Does mulungu tea lose weight?

No relationship was found between this drink and weight loss. In addition, no product, no matter how natural, has the power of slimming. For this process to be done in a complete and healthy way, it is recommended to associate several changes in habits, such as a balanced diet and physical exercise.

Another way to use

Its consumption can also be done through capsules that can be ordered in compounding pharmacies. Administration can be from 50 to 200 mg per day. ( 8 )

But, although the product does not need a prescription, it is recommended to seek a specialist in the health problem faced and, with his help, understand if this natural medication is beneficial to the clinical condition.


The different ways of using mulungu should be avoided by people with heart failure or cardiac arrhythmias. In addition, patients with individual hypersensitivity to formula components, pregnant women, nursing mothers and children should also avoid use.

Finally, an important piece of information: seeds should not be used because they concentrate larger amounts of alkaloids and, therefore, they present greater toxicity in relation to bark and leaves. ( 2 )

After all, what is mulungu?

As we have seen, the scientific name of this plant is Erythrina  mulungu, but there are approximately 110 species of the genus Erythrina, 70 of which are native to America. The mulungu type comes from Brazil. ( 10 )

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.