Rainforest Research Report
By Christian Drapeau,
||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.
Carqueja, cacalia amara, cuchi-cuchi,
Leaf, aerial parts.
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.
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
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.
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,
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
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
In order to promote good digestion to support good liver function and
to help maintain good blood cleansing consume Carqueja every day with
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.
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
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.
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.
- Amazon Herb formulas containing Carqueja:
Calmazon™, Digestazon™, Illumination™,