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Taxon: Brosimum acutifolium Huber
Synonyms: Brosimopsis acutifolia (Huber) Ducke., Brosimum acutifolium spp. obovatum Ducke., Brosimopsis obovata Ducke., Brosimum caniceps Standl., Piratinera acutifolia (Huber) Pittier.
Common names: ahua jonra, amapá doce, bois mondan, bururé, congona, leche-caspi, manichi, mercuio-vegetal, mercurio vegetal, mercurio-da-terra-firma, morure, muira-piranga, murare, murure,
murure-da-terra-firma, murure-vermelho, mururi, quecho, takini,
takweni, tamamuri, tauni, urupi, vegetable mercury
Parts Used: Bark
| TAMAMURI |
| HERBAL PROPERTIES AND ACTIONS |
||Tincture: 2 ml three times daily
||kills cancer cells
||Decoction: 1 cup 3 times daily
||kills leukemia cells
||Capsules: 1 g 3 times daily
Tamamuri is a large canopy tree of the Amazon rainforest that grows 15 to 25 m high. It produces a white to light pink latex when the smooth trunk bark is wounded or the leaf stems are broken from the branches. It has oblong veined leaves about 8 to 15 cm long by 4-5 cm wide. Tamamuri is found throughout the lower elevations of the Amazon basin, usually growing alongside streams and rivers where its fruits (similar to a fig but with one large seed inside) are eaten by fish when it falls from the tree.
Tamamuri is in the Mulberry family and the Brosimum genus includes approximately 50 species of tropical and warm-temperate trees in South America.
TRIBAL AND HERBAL MEDICINE USES
Shipibo-Conibo Indians on the Ucayali River in the Peruvian Amazon have a legend about tamamuri. They believe that when a man ingests the white latex of the tamamuri tree that he will father light-skinned male children. They also use the bark medicinally (in decoctions) for gastro-intestinal disorders, to purify the blood and to regulate the nervous system. The Wayãpi Indians in Guyana also attribute magical properties to the tree. They believe the latex of the tree will help protect them from witchcraft and bad spells. They also prepare a decoction of the roots to treat headaches and to improve memory and put the bark in baths to treat fevers.
Tamamuri is a very common and well-respected remedy for rheumatism and arthritis throughout the Amazon and in traditional medicine systems in South America. It is also a very common remedy for syphilis, which is how it earned one of its common names, "vegetable mercury." Mercury was the leading treatment for syphilis in the late 1800s and early 1900s. . . and before we knew any better!
In herbal medicine systems in Peru, tamamuri is considered a pain-reliever, anti-inflammatory, blood cleanser, aphrodisiac and tonic. It is used for arthritis and rheumatism (including rheumatoid arthritis), muscle pain and injuries, for intestinal worms, anemia, vertigo and loss of balance, to help regulate the nervous system, as a general tonic for debility, for fungal and yeast infections, gastric ulcers and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as for syphilis.
In Brazilian herbal medicine the tree is called mururé and it is widely used for arthritis, rheumatism and syphilis, as well as for gastric ulcers and skin ulcers, and as an aphrodisiac and tonic.
Tamamuri bark contains flavans, flavanoids, lignans, phenylpropanoids, benezoids, and steroids. Many of these chemicals are novel ones never before seen by scientists, including 6 chemicals they’ve named acutifolins and 13 chemicals they’ve named brosimacutins.
Chemicals identified in tamamuri bark thus far include: acutifolins A thru F, brosimacutins A- M, brosimine A & B, (-) 5-o-beta-d-xylopyranoside epi-catechin, (-) epi-catechin, (-) liquiritigenin, (-) naringenin, 3'-7-dihydroxy-4'-methoxy-flavan, 4'-hydroxy-7-8-(2''-2''-dimethyl- pyranflavan), 4'-7-dihydroxy-flavan, 4'-7-dihydroxy- 8-prenylflavan, 4'-hydroxy-7-8-(3''-hydroxy-2''-2'' -dimethyl-pyranflavan), beta-sitosterol, coniferaldehyde, dihydroconiferyl, hydroxylonchocarpin, icariside E-3 aglycone, iso-hydroxycordoin, iso-bavachin, iso-lariciresinol, iso-liquiritigenin, liquiritrigenin, luteolin, mururin A thru C, protocatechuic acid, stigmasterol, and syringaldehyde.
BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES AND CLINICAL RESEARCH
Tamamuri's long-standing use for arthritis and rheumatism has been the subject of research by Western scientists. In 2003, Brazilian researchers reported that crude extracts of tamamuri bark reduced inflammation induced by various means in laboratory rats. Other researchers have reported that two chemicals in tamamuri (mururin A and B) have the ability to inhibit protein kinase C (PKC) and protein kinase A (PKA). PKC is involved with various conditions and is one of the chemicals that the body uses to actually produce inflammation. People with autoimmune disorders, arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis usually have elevated PKC levels, and PKC inhibitors are a new class of drugs under research for these types of conditions.
In addition to autoimmune disorders and arthritis, PKC, as well as PKA, is also thought to play a role in cancer and tumor cell growth. Tamamuri's ability to inhibit PKC and PKA might be the reason behind its documented actions against cancer cells. Researchers have reported that a crude extract of tamamuri bark was cytotoxic to human colon and lung cancer cell lines in vitro as well as toxic to a leukemia cell line (including a drug-resistant leukemic cell line). However, one of these research groups attributed the cytotoxic action, not to the PKC-inhibitor mururin chemicals, but to the newly discovered brosimacutin chemicals. They have yet to report the mechanism by which these new chemicals can kill cancer cells.
While scientists have yet to test tamamuri specifically against syphilis, researchers at Cornell University reported that tamamuri bark showed in vitro antibacterial actions against other common bacteria—Bacillus and Staphylococcus. This same study reported that it was also active against
Helicobacter pylori (the bacteria that is the cause of stomach ulcers) as well as Candida albicans which confirms two other traditional uses of the bark: for gastric ulcers and yeast infections. They also reported that it was active against a common strain of skin fungus.
Toxicity studies with rats conducted in Brazil indicate that tamamuri is non-toxic and without any demonstrable negative side effects.
CURRENT PRACTICAL USES
While American consumers have heard little about tamamuri yet, it remains a very popular remedy in Brazil and Peru for rheumatism and arthritis. It can be found in most of the South American medicinal plant markets, natural product stores and pharmacies. Only one or two tamamuri products are available in the U.S. natural products market today, but demand is likely to increase as more people learn about this wonderful rainforest tree and its many effective uses.
| TAMAMURI PLANT SUMMARY |
Main Preparation Method: tincture or decoction |
Main Actions (in order): anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antisyphilitic, anticandidal
Properties/Actions Documented by Research: antibacterial, anti-candidal, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, cytotoxic, PKA inhibitor, PKC inhibitor
- for arthritis, rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis
- for general pain and inflammation (i.e.; muscle pain, injuries, headaches, etc.)
- for syphilis
- for yeast infections (candida) and skin fungi
- for gastric ulcers (H. pylori) and other gastrointestinal problems
Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use: analgesic, anthelmintic, anti-anemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-leukemic, anti-rheumatic, anti-syphilitic, aphrodisiac, appetite stimulant, depurative, tonic, and vermifuge
Cautions: None reported.
Traditional Preparation: Tamamuri bark is traditionally prepared in decoctions and tinctures.
See Traditional Herbal Remedies Preparation Methods page if necessary for definitions.
Contraindications: None reported.
Drug Interactions: None reported.
WORLDWIDE ETHNOMEDICAL USES
||for arthritis and rheumatism|
||as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, aphrodisiac, depurative, and tonic; for arthritis, childbirth pain, gastric ulcers, menstrual pain, muscle pain, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatism, skin ulcers, and syphilis|
||as a anti-asthmatic, digestive, laxative, and tonic|
for fever, headaches, magic, muscle pains, and poor memory|
||as an analgesic, anthelmintic, anti-anemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, anti-syphilitic, aphrodisiac, appetite stimulant, depurative, tonic, and vermifuge; for anemia, arthritis, diabetes, debility, fever, fungal infections, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, muscle pain, nervous system regulation, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatism, syphilis, vertigo, yeast infections|
The above text has been authored by Leslie Taylor and copyrighted © 2006. 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.
Third-Party Published Research on Tamamuri
All available third-party research on tamamuri be found at PubMed. A partial listing of the third-party published research on tamamuri is shown below:
Anti-inflammatory and PKC Inhibitory Actions:
Dos Santos, M. C., et al. "Avaliação do tratamento da artrite induzida por adjuvante completo de freund em ratos Lewis com as frações isoladas de Brosimum acutifolium." Proceedings of the XV Congresso de Iniciação Científica da UFAM. Brazil. Aug. 2003; page 223.
Dos Santos, M. C., et al. "Avaliação da toxicidade do extrato hidro-alcoólico e das frações isoladas de Brosimum acutifolium no tratamento da artrite induzida por adjuvante completo de freund em ratos Lewis." Proceedings of the XV Congresso de Iniciação Científica da UFAM. Brazil. Aug. 2003; page 222.
Takashima, J., et al. "Mururins A-C, three new lignoids from Brosimum acutifolium and their protein kinase inhibitory activity." Planta Med. 2002; 68(7): 621-625.
Aksoy, E., et al. "Protein kinase C epsilon: A new target to control inflammation and immune-mediated disorders." Int. J. Biochem. Cell Biol. 2004; 36(2): 183-8.
Cytotoxic & Antitumor Actions:
Stallings-Mann, M., et al. "A novel small-molecule inhibitor of protein kinase Ciota blocks transformed growth of non-small-cell lung cancer cells." Cancer Res. 2006 Feb; 66(3):1767-74.
Takashima, J., et al. "Brosimacutins J-M, four new flavonoids from Brosimum acutifolium and their cytotoxic activity." Planta Med. 2005 Jul;71(7):654-8.
Cohen, E. E., et al. "Protein kinase C zeta mediates epidermal growth factor-induced growth of head and neck tumor cells by regulating mitogen-activated protein kinase." Cancer Res. 2006 Jun; 66(12): 6296-303.
Monks, N. R., et al. "Anti-tumour screening of Brazilian plants." Pharma. Biol. 2002; 40(8): 603–616.
Takashima, J., et al. "Brosimacutins J-M, four new flavonoids from Brosimum acutifolium and their cytotoxic activity." Planta Med. 2005; 71(7): 654-8.
Researchers at Cornell University reported that tamamuri bark showed in vitro antibacterial actions against Bacillus and Staphylococcus in research published in 2002. This same study reported that it was also active against Helicobacter pylori as well as Candida albicans which confirms two other traditional uses of the bark: for gastric ulcers and yeast infections. They also reported that it was active against a common strain of skin fungus.
Correia, A., et al. "Amazonian plant crude extract screening for activity against multidrug-resistant bacteria."
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2008 Nov-Dec;12(6):369-80.
Herforth, A., et al. "Amazonian Women's Medicine: Treatments for Mycoses." Poster: Society for Economic Botany 2002 vol 56(4).
Herforth, A., et al. " Antifungal plants of the Peruvian Amazon: A survey of ethnomedical uses and biological activity." Cornel University Publication 2002
moretti, C., et al. "Identification of 5-hydroxy-tryptamine (bufotenine) in takini (Brosimumacutifolium Huber subsp. acutifolium C.C. Berg, Moraceae), a shamanic potion used in the Guiana Plateau." J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Jun 30;106(2):198-202.
Torres, S. L., et al. "Two flavans from Brosimum acutifolium." Phytochemistry. 1997; 44(2): 347-349.
Ferrari, F., et al. "(-)-epicatechin 5-o-beta-d-xylopyranoside from Brosimopsis acutifolium." Phytochemistry. 1998; 47(6): 1165-1166.
Torres, S. L., et al. "Flavonoids from Brosimum acutifolium." Phytochemistry. 2000; 53(8): 1047-1050.
Teixeira, A. F., et al. "Structure determination by H and C NMR of a new flavan isolated from Brosimum acutifolium: 4',7-dihydroxy-8-prenylflavan." Magn. Reson. Chem. 2000: 38(4): 301-304.
Takashima, J., et al. "Acutifolins A-F, a new flavan-derived constituent and five new flavans from Brosimum acutifolium." J. Nat. Prod. 2001: 64(12): 1493-1496.
Takashima, J., et al. Brosimacutins A-I, nine new flavonoids from Brosimum acutifolium." J. Nat. Prod. 2002; 65(12): 1843-1847.
* 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.
All rights reserved. Please read the Conditions of Use, and Copyright Statement for this web page and web site.
Last updated 1-2-2013