Cascarilla - Croton Cascarilla Cascarilla - Croton Cascarilla

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Cascarilla
(Croton eluteria)

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  • Family: Euphorbiaceae
    Genus: Croton
    Species: eluteria
    Common Names: cascarilla, cascarilha, amber kabug, sweet bark, sweet wood bark,
    Part Used: Bark


    CASCARILLA
    HERBAL PROPERTIES AND ACTIONS
    Main Actions Other Actions Standard Dosage
  • aids digestion
  • reduces fever
  • Bark
  • mildly stimulates
  • lowers blood pressure
  • Decoction: 1/2 to 1 cup
  • expels gas
  • reduces spasms
  • twice daily
  • stimulates bile
  • bitter tonic
  • Tincture: 2-3 ml twice daily
  • expectorates
  • quiets coughs
  • Capsules: 1 g twice daily

    Cascarilla is a tropical small tree growing up to 12 meters high. It is native to the West Indies but has been naturalized throughout tropical America including Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador and the Amazon basin region. The tree produces small but very fragrant white flowers almost year round. The bark of the tree is a pale yellowish brown and fissured.

    TRIBAL AND HERBAL MEDICINE USES

    Cascarilla has a very long history of traditional herbal medicine use worldwide. It has long been used as a digestive aid, to stimulate digestion and digestive juices, for nausea and vomiting, and as a general bitter digestive tonic. In Brazilian herbal medicine systems, the bark is prepared as a decoction and utilized for all types of digestive complaints, feverish conditions, anemia, hemorrhoids and high blood pressure. In European herbal medicine it is recommended for diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, intermittent and low fevers, intestinal bloating and gas, colic, nausea, an overall tonic during convalescence, and as an expectorant for chronic bronchitis.

    PLANT CHEMICALS

    Cascarilla contains 1.5 to 3% volatle oils, a bitter compound called cascarillin A, resins, tannin, lipids, and several neoclerodane diterpenoids called cascarillins. Other compounds found in the bark include: alpha-calacorene, alpha-copaene, alpha-pinene, alpha-thujene, beta-caryophyllene, beta-elemene, beta-pinene, betaine, borneol, calamenene, camphene, cascarilladiene, cascarillic-acid, cascarillidone, cascarillin A thru D, cascarillone, cineole, cuparene, cuparophenol, d-limonene, dipentene, EO, eluterins A thru J, eugenol, euparophenol, gamma-terpinene, gamma-terpineol, lignin, linalool, methylthymol, myrcene, p-cymene, pectic-acid, terpinen-4-OL, and vanillin.

    BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES AND CLINICAL RESEARCH

    Laboratory studies indicate that the bark's essential oil is antimicrobial. The long standing traditional use of cascarilla for digestion was verified by scientists in 2003. These researchers in Italy reported that cascarilla and its major chemical compound, cascarillin, were found to significantly increase histamine-induced gastric acid secretion in the mouse stomach. They noted; "These preliminary results provide the first rationale for the use of cascarilla in bitter preparations aimed at improving digestion."



    WORLDWIDE ETHNOMEDICAL USES
    Brazil as a stomachic, stimulant, tonic; for anemia, constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia, fever, gastric complaints, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, intestinal gas, urinary insufficency
    Europe for bronchitis, colic, debility, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, fevers, intestinal bloating, nausea; as a expectorant, tonic
    Mexico as a tonic
    Turkey as a digestive aid, fumigant, narcotic, tonic
    Elsewhere as a balsamic, tonic



    The above text has been authored by Leslie Taylor and copyrighted © 2005 All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, including websites, without written permission.

    * The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this plant database file is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease. Please refer to our Conditions of Use for using this plant database file and web site.




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    Last updated 12-17-2012