Do you know pariparoba, its properties and benefits? Pariparoba ( Pothomorphe umbellata ) is a plant of Brazilian origin, known by popular names such as: caena, catajé, marjoram and aguaxima. It is known by the Tupi peoples as caapeba, where “caa” means leaf and “peba” means broad. It is an erect, perennial, highly branched sub-shrub and its leaves have a bitter taste and a pleasant mint aroma.
This plant is widely cultivated for ornamental purposes, but it is also used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes in several regions of the country, due to its properties. For these treatments, the roots, leaves and stems are used. It is widely consumed in the form of teas and provides many health benefits.
Benefits and properties of pariparoba
According to homeopathic pharmacist Eliane Costa, pariparoba has anti-rheumatic, anti-anemic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, laxative, tonic, sweating and anthelmintic properties. The plant also has an antioxidant action, protecting the body from the harmful action of free radicals.
“Pariparoba can help in the treatment of liver and spleen disorders , anemia , stomach atony, gastric ulcers, heartburn and poor digestion, kidney disorder, erysipelas, scrofulosis, fever, intestinal fermentation, boil, gastralgia, hepatitis, malaria, gonorrhea, epilepsy, constipation , colds, headaches , rheumatism and even some tumors. It can even be used to wash wounds ”, explains Eliane.
According to the book “Therapeutic Plants”, by biomedical and herbalist Sérgio Franceschini Filho, pariparoba has great action on the entire digestive system, especially in the gallbladder, as it stimulates the flow of bile, favoring the absorption of fats by the intestine.
In addition to all these health benefits, pariparoba is also very beneficial for the skin. According to researchers from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at USP, pre-clinical tests revealed that a compound extracted from the root of pariparoba, 4-nerolidilcatechol, is able to inhibit the development of melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, which originates from in melanocytes, pigment-producing cells.
In previous research, this compound had also shown a powerful antioxidant effect, capable of protecting the skin from damage caused by solar radiation and UVB rays. This chemical compound also guarantees protection against the reduction of elastin and collagen , two essential proteins for the skin.
It also helps maintain normal levels of vitamin E, which prevents the cells from oxidizing. Due to this antioxidant effect, the plant also helps to prevent the thickening of the epidermis and is able to smooth the signs of premature aging.
How can pariparoba be consumed?
Eliane explains that pariparoba can be consumed through leaves in plaster (compress), leaves in infusion (tea) and in tincture (drops). It is also common to consume it as food and use its leaves and flowers to compose the salad. The Indians, in fact, have always used pariparoba inflorescences as food.
Another way of using pariparoba is in the form of cosmetics. Some brands use the plant’s leaves to produce body moisturizer, face cream, gel and sunscreen. It can also be used as an essential oil, which is extracted from the leaves and used in aromatherapy.
Check now how to correctly consume this plant for different types of problems and affected areas:
- External inflammation – plaster sheets
- Internal inflammations – infused leaves
- Liver – leaves in infusion or in dye
- Stomach – leaves in juice or infusion
- Spleen – infused leaves
- Gallbladder – infused leaves
- Digestion – leaves in infusion or tincture
- Boil – powdered seeds mixed with petroleum jelly
To prepare pariparoba tea, add two tablespoons of the plant to a liter of water. When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Cover and leave the solution muffled for about 10 minutes. After that time, just strain and drink. In addition to helping to treat these conditions, pariparoba tea also helps the body to eliminate toxins that accumulate over time, and which hinder even the weight loss process.
Contraindications and side effects
About the contraindications, Eliane advises: “treatment with any form of application of pariparoba is contraindicated for pregnant patients or those still in the lactation phase”.
In addition, the pharmacist also warns about the danger of consuming the plant without criteria and, mainly, in excess: “in doses above the indicated it can cause nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, small temperature rise, tremors, increased diuresis and headache. Therefore, the monitoring of a qualified health professional is essential to start the treatment with any plant”.
Many people think that natural treatments do not require medical supervision, but the pharmacist emphasizes that this is completely wrong thinking. “You have to be very careful with herbs and plants that can be toxic and dangerous for certain types of people,” she says.
Eliane also emphasizes that the effect of the plant depends directly on its quality. Therefore, whenever thinking about using therapeutic plants for treatments, one must take into account the way in which the plant was cultivated, harvested and stored. Therefore, it is essential that there is a monitoring of qualified professionals and that they indicate reliable places where these plants can be safely purchased and manipulated.