Guaco - Mikania, cordifolia, Guaco, Mikania glomerata, Mikania guaco, Mikania laevigata Guaco - Mikania, cordifolia, Guaco, Mikania glomerata, Mikania guaco, Mikania laevigata

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GUACO
(Mikania guaco)

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Guaco - Mikania, cordifolia, Guaco, Mikania glomerata, Mikania guaco, Mikania laevigata PLANT
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Guaco - Mikania, cordifolia, Guaco, Mikania glomerata, Mikania guaco, Mikania laevigata
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  • Family: Asteraceae
    Genus: Mikania
    Species: cordifolia, glomerata, guaco, laevigata
    Synonyms: Mikania amara, M. aspera, M. attenuata, M. glomerata, Willoughbya parviflora
    Common Names: Guaco, guace, bejuco de finca, cepu, liane Francois, matafinca, vedolin, cipó caatinga, huaco, erva das serpentes, coração de Jesus, erva-de-cobra, guaco-de-cheiro
    Part Used: Leaves


    From The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs:

    GUACO
    HERBAL PROPERTIES AND ACTIONS
    Main Actions Other Actions Standard Dosage
  • suppresses coughs
  • reduces fever
  • Leaves
  • expels phlegm
  • cleanses blood
  • Infusion: 1/2 cup 3-4
  • dilates bronchials
  • heals wounds
  • times daily
  • arrests asthma
  • promotes perspiration
  • Tincture: 3-4 ml three times daily
  • relieves pain
  • increases urination
  •  
  • kills bacteria
  • kills protozoas
  •  
  • kills yeast
  •    
  • reduces inflammation
  •    
  • thins blood
  •    

    Mikania is the largest genus of tropical lianas, representing over 300 species of vines. The common name guaco is quite common; it is used for several species of Mikania vines that look very similar and are used for similar purposes. These include the South American M. guaco species found in Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador; M. cordifolia, found throughout South America as well as Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama; M. glomerata, found mostly in Paraguay and Venezuela; and Mikania laevigata, which has only been cataloged in Brazil. All of these guaco plants are thornless, shrubby vines reaching about 2 m in height and sprawling out 2 x 2.5 m wide. They produce wide, bright green, heart-shaped leaves and white-to-yellowish flowers. The leaves when bruised or crushed have a pleasant, spicy scent, reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice; the flowers have a distinctive vanilla smell, especially after a rain.

    TRIBAL AND HERBAL MEDICINE USES

    Mikania cordifolia and M. glomerata are the two plants in Brazil that are used interchangeably and oftentimes with no distinction between the two species; they are just referred to as guaco. Both have a long history of use by rainforest inhabitants. Brazilian Indians have an ancient tradition of using guaco for snake bites; preparing a tea with the leaves and taking it orally as well as applying the leaves or the stem juice (in a hurry) directly onto the snake bite. Other Amazonian rainforest Indian tribes have employed the crushed leaf stem topically on snake bites (as well as drinking the decoction of leaves and/or stem) and have used a leaf infusion as for fevers, stomach discomfort, and for rheumatism. Indigenous people in the Amazon region in Guyana warm the leaves to put on skin eruptions and itchy skin. Several Indian tribes also believe if you crush the fresh aromatic leaves and leave them around your sleeping areas, the spicy scent will drive snakes away. For this reason and because of its long history as a snakebite remedy, it earned the name in herbal medicine systems as "snake-vine" and "snake-herb."

    In 1870, a Brazilian herbal drug called Opodeldo de Guaco was made from the leaf and stem of guaco that was considered a "saint's remedy" to treat bronchitis, coughs and rheumatism. This "drug" is still a popular home remedy today throughout Brazil for the same purposes but locals prepare it themselves by boiling guaco leaves into a tasty spicy cough syrup. The recipe calls for putting a handful of fresh leaves (or about 2 ounces dried leaves) in 6 cups of water and boiling until it is reduced to 2 cups. Then 3/4 of a cup of sugar is added and it is boiled again for about 20 minutes into a syrup. The mixture is strained to remove the leaves, 3 soup-spoonfuls of honey are added, and the syrup is cooled, bottled and stored in the refrigerator. As a cough syrup, 1 soup-spoon is taken 3 times daily to help quiet coughs (and it is amazingly effective!).

    In current herbal medicine systems in Brazil, guaco is well known and well regarded as an effective natural bronchodilator, expectorant and cough suppressant employed for all types of upper respiratory problems including bronchitis, pleurisy, colds and flu, coughs, and asthma; as well as for sore throats, laryngitis, and fever. Guaco is also popular in Brazil as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and pain-reliever for rheumatism, arthritis, intestinal inflammation and ulcers. A decoction of the leaves is also employed externally for neuralgia, rheumatic pain, eczema, pruritus, and wounds.

    PLANT CHEMICALS

    Guaco is a significant source of the natural plant chemical, coumarin (as high as 11% in some guaco plants!). Coumarin is used to produce the most commonly used anticoagulant and blood thinning drug called coumadin. It is such a large source of coumarin, Brazilian research groups are studying the possibility of the commercial cultivation and extraction of coumarin from guaco leaves for pharmaceutical industry use. Guaco also contain 14 novel sesquiterpene chemicals that are called germacranolides. This classification of plant chemicals has yielded some very biologically active antibacterial, insecticidal, anticancerous and antitumorous agents obtained from plants; the actual activities of these novel guaco germacranolides are still being researched. At least three caffeoylquinic acids demonstrating in vitro anti-inflammatory activities and two kaurenic acid chemicals with significant in vitro antibacterial activity have been also been isolated in guaco leaves. The main plant chemicals in guaco include caffeolylquinic acids, cinnamic acid, coumarin, glycosides, kaurenic acids, germacranolides, stigmasterol, tannins, and resins.

    BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES AND CLINICAL RESEARCH

    Many of guaco's long-time traditional uses have been validated by scientists. Raul Coimbra wrote the first journal article validating the use of guaco as a bronchodialator and expectorant herbal drug in 1942. In a 1984 Brazilian study, human volunteers were given a guaco leaf tea (M. glomerata) and researchers again reported the strong cough suppessant and bronchodilator effects. Other researchers in Brazil published papers about the brochodilator and anti-inflammatory effects of guaco leaf extracts in 1992; one scientist suggested that these actions could be attributed at least by half to the natural coumarin in the plant. Most recently (in 2002) a Brazilian research group reported that extracts of guaco leaves (M. glomerata), significantly inhibited histamine contractions and evidenced a relaxing effect of the trachea (throat) in guinea pigs (as well as isolated human bronchi in vitro). They summarized their findings by saying: "The results supported the indication of M. glomerata products for the treatment of respiratory diseases where bronchoconstriction is present."

    They also validated yet another indigenous use for snakebites; reporting that guaco significantly reduced swelling, edema, and related vasoconstriction in mice injected with snake venom. Guaco's in vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory activity had already been reported by three other studies; the most recent study in 2002 reporting an 81% inhibition of inflammation in rats. In other recent research, a crude guaco leaf extract (M. cordifolia) demonstrated antiprotozoal activity in one study and the same species evidenced one of the strongest antiprotozoal activity tested out of 79 plant extracts tested in 2002 (against two protozoa: Trichomonas vaginalis and Trypanosoma cruzi). In other research published in 2002, guaco was reported with in vitro antibacterial and antiyeast actions against candida.

    CURRENT PRACTICAL USES

    Guaco has long been regarded as a safe herbal remedy in Brazil. Recent toxicity studies with rats (in 2003) confirm that, even in high dosages (3.3 g per kg of body weight for 52 days), it does not have any toxic or anti-fertility effects. While guaco is a widely popular and well known Brazilian herbal remedy with Brazilian research validating much of it's traditional uses, it is virtually unknown to North American consumers and health practitioners. It is deserving of much more attention here, especially for stubborn upper respiratory conditions, bronchitis, chronic coughs in general, and even the common cold or flu.


    GUACO PLANT SUMMARY
    Main Preparation Method: fluid extract, syrup, or decoction

    Main Actions (in order):
    cough suppressant, bronchodilator, expectorant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory

    Main Uses:

    1. for upper respiratory problems (coughs, bronchitis, colds/flu, asthma, allergies, etc)
    2. for various internal and external bacterial and protozoal infections
    3. for Candida and yeast infections
    4. for snakebite and insect bites and stings
    5. as an analgesic (pain-reliever) and anti-inflammatory for arthritis, rheumatism, intestinal inflammation, and ulcers
    Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
    anti-anaphylactic (reduces allergic reactions), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anticandidal, anticoagulant (blood thinner), antihistamine, antiprotozoal, antivenin, bronchodilator, cough suppressant, expectorant

    Other Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
    analgesic (pain-reliever), anesthetic, anti-asthmatic, anticancerous, antispasmodic, blood cleanser, diaphoretic (promotes sweating), febrifuge (reduces fever), vermifuge (expels worms), wound healer

    Cautions: It contains up to 10% coumarin (coumadin), which has a blood thinning effect.



    Traditional Preparation: In addition to the cough syrup detailed above, the traditional remedy is to take 2 cups of fresh leaves (or ½ cup dried leaves) and infuse them in a liter of water. A half-cup of this infusion is taken 4 times daily for rheumatism, respiratory problems and coughs. A standard tincture is also sometimes employed for the same purposes at dosages of 3-4 ml three times daily. The leaf infusion may also be prepared as above and used as a topical wound healer and pain-reliever (although the fresh leaves are more effective for this purpose than using dried leaves).

    Contraindications:

    • In large dosages (two to three times the traditional remedy above) guaco has been reported to cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
    • Guaco contains a significant amount of coumarin which is the plant chemical coumadin drugs are derived from. Coumarin has an anti-coagulant and blood thinning effect and the use of guaco may demonstrate anticoagulant effects due to the coumarin content. Consult with your physician before taking this plant if you are taking coumadin drugs or if coumadin anticoagulant type drugs are contraindicated for your condition.

    Drug Interactions: May potentiate Warfarin® and other coumadin drugs.



    WORLDWIDE ETHNOMEDICAL USES
    Brazil for albuminuria, analgesic, appetite stimulation, arthritis, asthma, blood cleansing, bronchitis, bronchial constriction, cancer, cholera, colds, coughs, fever, gout, infections, influenza, intestinal problems, laryngitis, neuralgia, pain, pleurisy, pruritus, respiratory problems, rheumatism, snakebite, sore throat, syphilis, tonsillitis, wounds, and as an expectorant
    Dominican
    Republic
    for cholera, fever, flu
    Guyana for itch, insect bite, snakebite, skin eruptions
    Haiti for fever, malaria, syphilis
    Mexico for asthma, bites(dog), fever, malaria, menstrual irregularities, rheumatism, scorpion stings, sores, snakebite, spasm, stomach problems, tetanus, worms
    Venezuela for fever, snakebite, tumor
    Elsewhere for cholera, snakebite



    The above text has been reprinted from The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs by Leslie Taylor, 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.




    Published Third-Party Research on Guaco


    All available third-party research on guaco can be found at PubMed. A partial listing of the published research on guaco is shown below:

    Anti-Allergy, Cough Suppressant, Bronchodilator, & Expectorant Actions:
    Soares, L., et al. "Preparation of dry extract of Mikania glomerata Sprengel (Guaco) and determination of its coumarin levels by spectrophotometry and HPLC-UV." Molecules. 2012 Aug 29;17(9):10344-54.
    Gasparetto, J., et al. "Development and validation of two methods based on high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for determining 1,2-benzopyrone, dihydrocoumarin, o-coumaric acid, syringaldehyde and kaurenoic acid in guaco extracts and pharmaceutical preparations." J Sep Sci. 2011 Apr;34(7):740-8
    Freitas, T., et al. "Effects of Mikania glomerata Spreng. and Mikania laevigata Schultz Bip. ex Baker (Asteraceae) extracts on pulmonary inflammation and oxidative stress caused by acute coal dust exposure." J Med Food. 2008 Dec;11(4):761-6.
    Graca, C., et al. "In vivo assessment of safety and mechanisms underlying in vitro relaxation induced by Mikania laevigata Schultz Bip. ex Baker in the rat trachea." J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jul 25;112(3):430-9.
    dos Santos, S. C., et al. "LC characterisation of guaco medicinal extracts, Mikania laevigata and M. glomerata, and their effects on allergic pneumonitis." Planta Med. 2006 Jun; 72(8): 679-84.
    Soares de Moura, R., et al. “Bronchodilator activity of Mikania glomerata Sprengel on human bronchi and guinea-pig trachea.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 2002; 54(2): 249-56.
    Fierro, I. M., et al. “Studies on the anti-allergic activity of Mikania glomerata.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1999; 66(1): 19-24.
    Leite, M. G. R., et al. “Actividade bronchodilatora de Mikania glomerata, Justicia pectoralis e Torresea cearensis." Simposio de Plantas Medicinais do Brazil. December 1992. Curitiba. Resumos. p. 21.
    Oliveira, F., et al. “Caraterizacao cromatograpfica do extracto fluido de Mikania glomerata Sprengel.” Simposio de Plantas Medicinais do Brazil. December 1992. Curitiba. Resumos. p. 96.

    Anti-ulcer Actions:
    Bighetti, A. E., et al. “Antiulcerogenic activity of a crude hydroalcoholic extract and coumarin isolated from Mikania laevigata Schultz Bip.” Phytomedicine. 2005 Jan; 12(1-2): 72-7.
    Paul, R. K., et al. “Antiulcer activity of Mikania cordata.” Fitoterapia. 2000 Dec; 71(6): 701-3.
    Mosaddik, M. A., et al. “The anti-ulcerogenic effect of an alkaloidal fraction from Mikania cordata on diclofenac sodium-induced gastrointestinal lesions in rats.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 2000 Sep; 52(9): 1157-62.
    Bishayee, A., et al. “Protective effects of Mikania cordata root extract against physical and chemical factors-induced gastric erosions in experimental animals.” Planta Med. 1994 Apr; 60(2): 110-3.

    Anti-inflammatory & Pain-Relieving Actions:
    Benatti, B., et al. "Effects of a Mikania laevigata extract on bone resorption and RANKL expression during experimental periodontitis in rats." J Appl Oral Sci. 2012 May-Jun;20(3):340-6.
    Napimoga, M., et al. "Scientific evidence for Mikania laevigata and Mikania glomerata as a pharmacological tool." J Pharm Pharmacol. 2010 Jul;62(7):809-20.
    Alves, C., et al. "Anti-inflammatory activity and possible mechanism of extract from Mikania laevigata in carrageenan-induced peritonitis." J Pharm Pharmacol. 2009 Aug;61(8):1097-104.
    Freitas, T., et al. "Effects of Mikania glomerata Spreng. and Mikania laevigata Schultz Bip. ex Baker (Asteraceae) extracts on pulmonary inflammation and oxidative stress caused by acute coal dust exposure." J Med Food. 2008 Dec;11(4):761-6.
    Suyenaga, E. S., et al. “Antiinflammatory investigation of some species of Mikania." Phytother. Res. 2002; 16(6): 519-23.
    Ahmed, M., et al. “Analgesic sesquiterpene dilactone from Mikania cordata.” Fitoterapia. 2001 Dec; 72(8): 919-21.
    Peluso, G., et al. “Studies on the inhibitory effects of caffeoylquinic acids on monocyte migration and superoxide ion production.” J. Nat. Prod. 1995; 58(5): 639-46.
    Leite, M. G. R., et al. “Actividade bronchodilatora de Mikania glomerata, Justicia pectoralis e Torresea cearensis." Simposio de Plantas Medicinais do Brazil. December 1992. Curitiba. Resumos. p. 21
    Oliveira, F., et al. “Caraterizacao cromatograpfica do extracto fluido de Mikania glomerata Sprengel.” Simposio de Plantas Medicinais do Brazil. December 1992. Curitiba. Resumos. p. 96
    Ruppelt, B. M., et al. “Pharmacological screening of plants recommended by folk medicine as anti-snake venom--I. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities.” Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 1991; 86 Suppl 2:203-5.

    Cellular Protective (antimutagenic) Actions:
    Barbosa, L., et al. "Mikania glomerata Sprengel (Asteraceae) influences the mutagenicity induced by doxorubicin without altering liver lipid peroxidation or antioxidant levels." J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2012;75(16-17):1102-9.
    Costa Rde, J., et al. "In vitro study of mutagenic potential of Bidens pilosa Linné and Mikania glomerata Sprengel using the comet and micronucleus assays." J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jun 19;118(1):86-93
    Fernandes, J. B., et al. ”Mutagenic and antimutagenic potential of the medicinal plants M. laevigata and C. xanthocarpa.” Phytother. Res. 2003; 17(3): 269-73.
    Bishayee A, “Anticarcinogenic biological response of Mikania cordata: reflections in hepatic biotransformation systems.” Cancer Lett. 1994 Jun; 81(2): 193-200.

    Blood Thinning Actions:
    Biavatti, M. W., et al. “Coumarin content and physicochemical profile of Mikania laevigata extracts.” Z. Naturforsch. 2004; 59(3-4): 197-200.
    Cabral, L. M., et al. “Development of a profitable procedure for the extraction of 2-H-1- benzopyran-2-one (coumarin) from Mikania glomerata." Drug. Dev. Ind. Pharm. 2001; 27 (1): 103-6.
    Oliveira, F., et al. "Isolation and identification of chemical components of Mikania glomerata Sprengel and Mikania laevigata Schultz Bib ex Baker.” Rev. Rarm. Bioquim. 1984; 20(2): 169-83.

    Antivenin Actions:
    Collaço Rde, C., et al. "Protection by Mikania laevigata (guaco) extract against the toxicity of Philodryas olfersii snake venom." Toxicon. 2012 Sep 15;60(4):614-22.
    Floriano, R., et al. "Effect of Mikania glomerata (Asteraceae) leaf extract combined with anti-venom serum on experimental Crotalus durissus (Squamata: Viperidae) envenomation in rats." Rev Biol Trop. 2009 Dec;57(4):929-37.
    Maiorano, V. A., et al. “Antiophidian properties of the aqueous extract of Mikania glomerata.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Dec; 102(3): 364-70.
    Ruppelt, B. M., et al. “Pharmacological screening of plants recommended by folk medicine as anti-snake venom--I. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities.” Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 1991; 86 Suppl 2:203-5.

    Antimicrobial, Insecticidal, Antimalarial & Antiprotozoal Actions:
    Ushimaru, R., et al. "In vitro antibacterial activity of medicinal plant extracts against Escherichia coli strains from human clinical specimens and interactions with antimicrobial drugs." Nat Prod Res. 2012;26(16):1553-7.
    de Andrade, B., et al. "Evaluation of ent-kaurenoic acid derivatives for their anticariogenic activity." Nat Prod Commun. 2011 Jun;6(6):777-80.
    Laurella, L., et al. "In vitro evaluation of antiprotozoal and antiviral activities of extracts from Argentinean Mikania species." Scientific World Journal. 2012;2012:121253.
    Benatti, B., et al. "Effects of a Mikania laevigata extract on bone resorption and RANKL expression during experimental periodontitis in rats." J Appl Oral Sci. 2012 May-Jun;20(3):340-6.
    Facy, P., et al. "The antibacterial activities of mikanolide and its derivatives." West Indian Med J. 2010 Jun;59(3):249-52.
    Botsaris, A. "Plants used traditionally to treat malaria in Brazil: the archives of Flora Medicinal." J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2007 May 1;3:18.
    dos Santos, S. C., et al. "LC characterisation of guaco medicinal extracts, Mikania laevigata and M. glomerata, and their effects on allergic pneumonitis." Planta Med. 2006 Jun; 72(8): 679-84.
    Betoni, J. E., et al. "Synergism between plant extract and antimicrobial drugs used on Staphylococcus aureus diseases." Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 2006 Jun; 101(4): 387-90.
    Yatsuda, R., et al. “Effects of Mikania genus plants on growth and cell adherence of Mutans streptococci.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005; 97(2): 183-9.
    Duarte, M. C., et al. “Anti-Candida activity of Brazilian medicinal plants.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005; 97(2): 305.
    Holetz, F. B. “Screening of some plants used in the Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases.” Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 2002 Oct; 97(7): 1027-31
    Rungeler, P., et al. “Germacranolides from Mikania guaco." Phytochemistry 2001; 56(5): 475-89.
    Muelas-Serrano, S., “In vitro screening of American plant extracts on Trypanosoma cruzi and Trichomonas vaginalis.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2000; 71(1-2): 101-7.
    Rojas de Arias A., et al. “Mutagenicity, insecticidal and trypanocidal activity of some Paraguayan Asteraceae.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1995; 45(1): 35-41.
    Davino, S. C., et al. “Antimicrobial activity of kaurenoic acid derivatives substituted on carbon-15.” Braz. J. Med. Biol. Res. 1989; 22(9): 1127-9.

    Fertility Actions:
    Graca, C., et al. "Mikania laevigata syrup does not induce side effects on reproductive system of male Wistar rats." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Apr 20;111(1):29-32.

    Toxicity Studies:
    Costa Rde, J., et al. "In vitro study of mutagenic potential of Bidens pilosa Linné and Mikania glomerata Sprengel using the comet and micronucleus assays." J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jun 19;118(1):86-93
    Graca, C., et al. "In vivo assessment of safety and mechanisms underlying in vitro relaxation induced by Mikania laevigata Schultz Bip. ex Baker in the rat trachea." J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jul 25;112(3):430-9.




    * 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.




    © Copyrighted 1996 to present by Leslie Taylor, Milam County, TX 77857.
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    Last updated 12-17-2012