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Rainforest Research Report
By Christian Drapeau, BSc., MSc.

CARQUEJA
Baccharis Trimera

 

  The bright green leafy stalks of Carqueja have a succulent consistency. This perennial green herb has a lovely yellowish-orange flowers at the top of the plant.

Common Names:
Carqueja, cacalia amara, cuchi-cuchi,
quinsu-cucho, Carqueja-do-mato

Part used:
Leaf, aerial parts.

Description and Habitat:
Carqueja is a shrub-like perennial green plant that grows in many terrains of South America. It grows in dry highlands, rocky grounds, sandy fields, riverbanks and swampy areas throughout the Amazon Rainforest in Peru, Brazil and Columbia as well as tropical parts of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Carqueja does not have leaves or stems; instead, it has bi-winged or tri-winged branches that are leaf-like and fulfill photosynthetic functions. Yellowish-orange flowers are scattered along the stalks and tend to accumulate at the top. The whole plant can reach up to four feet high, though it is commonly two to three feet high.

Indigenous Traditional Use:
Carqueja has been used by Indigenous People for centuries for stamina as well as for fertility in women and virility in men. From a therapeutic standpoint, Carqueja has been used for a wide variety of ailments pertaining to the digestive system for which it is considered rather effective. For example, natives would use Carqueja to strengthen the digestive process, eliminate intestinal parasites, stop diarrhea and to ease irritation of the digestive system after an episode of indigestion, diarrhea or food poisoning. However, the main use of Carqueja is for supporting the liver. Natives would use it to alleviate various liver dysfunctions, to purge the liver, to eliminate obstructions of the gall bladder and as a blood cleanser. Natives were also reported to use Carqueja for reducing fever and for alleviating inflammatory conditions.

The traditional use consisted of infusing a good amount of dried Carqueja into one liter of water, which was drunk throughout the day. People would also chew on the fresh fleshy stalk.

Scientific Studies - Mechanism of Action
Flavonoids have been isolated from Carqueja that were shown
to protect the liver against toxins. In this scientific work, the mechanism of action has not been explained. However, flavonoids have been shown to protect against liver toxicity by binding to toxins and preventing their absorption. For example, silymarin, a flavonoid that is common to green plants and which is present in milk thistle and in blue-green algae, was shown to offer 100% protection against several liver toxins. Likewise chlorophyll,though it is not a flavonoid, was shown to offer significant protection against the most potent liver carcinogen, aflatoxin.

In a study performed on mice, pretreatment with Carqueja significantly reduced inflammation and pain in several models of inflammation. Carqueja also reduced intestinal contraction, which supports its soothing effect in cases of irritation of the digestive system. Carqueja also prevented the development of ulcers, which may be linked to its anti-inflammatory properties. All these benefits may be linked to the ability of Carqueja to inhibit prostaglandin biosynthesis due to some prostaglandins being inflammatory compounds. Since prostaglandins are also mediators of pain and fever, this data may support the indigenous use of Carqueja for reducing fever.

More recently, compounds were isolated from Carqueja that had the ability to reduce calcium flow in smooth muscles and relax vascular smooth muscles in rats. In brief, the arteries of the body are surrounded with smooth muscles whose purposeis to control blood pressure by contracting (increasing blood pressure) or relaxing (reducing blood pressure). The internal signal for a smooth muscle to contract is an inflow of calcium within the smooth muscle cells. This inflow of calcium can be triggered by a variety of signals and common drugs for the treatment of high blood pressure aimed at reducing calcium inflow into smooth cells. Therefore, pending more studies, Carqueja could be an auxillary natural approachto address the challenges associated with hypertension.

BENEFITS AND USE OF CARQUEJA

Digestive System
In order to promote good digestion to support good liver function and to help maintain good blood cleansing consume Carqueja every day with meals (Digestazon™)

Physical Energy
Although no studies confirmed this benefit remember that the first report of indigenous use was for stamina fertility in women and virility in men As you consume Carqueja daily for digestive support you will also gain benefits for general energy and stamina.

Inflamations
For conditions linked to inflammation know that consuming Digestazon daily may assist in the management of various inflammatory processes. It can be taken in combination with other herbs such as Jatoba and Uña de Gato (Shipibo Teas, Arcozon™) some of the best antiinflammatory herbs.

For Immune Support
Although there is no reported use of Carqueja for the control of blood pressure, studies in rats suggest Carqueja might help control high blood pressure.

The information contained in this article is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat or prevent any disease. If you have any health concern, it is recommended that you seek the advise of a certified health practitioner.

Christian Drapeau, BSc., MSc., is a neurophysiologist with over 13 years research experience in the fields of natural foods and nutrition. He is the former Chief Scientist at Cell Tech where he directed research on Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, and is currently Chief Scientist for Desert Lake Technologies, Oregon. Mr. Drapeau received a BSc. in Neurophysiology from McGill University, Montreal, and a MSc. from the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal.

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See also:
- Amazon Herb formulas containing Carqueja:
Calmazon™, Digestazon™, Illumination™, Kavazon

 

 

 
 

Popular single herb formulations:
Graviola Extract | Sangre de Drago | Una de Gato (Cat's Claw) | Stevia

*The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug
Administration and do not serve as substitute for medical advice. Our products
are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

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