Herbs & Plants

Nectandra rodioei

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Botanical Name :Nectandra rodioei
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Nectandra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Laurales

Common Names : Bebeeru, Bebeeru-bark, Greenheart-bark, Bibiru, Sipiri (Cortex beberu, or bibiru, Nectandra cortex

Habitat :Nectandra rodioei is a native of British Guiana.

Nectandra rodioei is a magnificent forest tree, growing from 60 to 80 feet in height, branching near the summit, and covered with a smooth, ash-gray bark. The leaves are nearly opposite, smooth, shining, coriaceous, 5 or 6 inches long, and 2 or 3 broad. The flowers are obscure, whitish-yellow, cordate, and disposed in axillary panicles. The fruit is a globular berry, about 6 inches in circumference, having a woody, grayish-brown, speckled pericarp, and a seed with 2 large, plano-convex cotyledons, which is yellow when freshly cut, and possesses an acid reaction and an intensely bitter taste. The fruit abounds in bitter starch (Schomburgk).


Its bark was introduced by Dr. Rodie as an energetic tonic and febrifuge. It is in flat pieces of 1 or 2 feet in length, from 2 to 6 inches broad, and about 4 lines in thickness, dark, heavy, brittle, with a rough, fibrous fracture, dark cinnamon-brown, and rather smooth internally, and covered externally with a brittle, grayish-brown epidermis. It has little or no odor, but a strong, persistent, bitter taste, with considerable astringency. The fruit is about the size of a small peach, somewhat heart-shaped, or inversely ovate, slightly flattened, the outside coat being frangible, and the kernel pulpy. It is exceedingly bitter. The sulphate of beberine is obtained from the bark and seeds.

Chemical Constituents:
.—The bark of nectandra contains starch, iron-greening tannin, deliquescent bebiric acid, melting at 150° C. (302° F.), subliming at 200° C. (392° F.), and has two alkaloids—bebeerine (bibirine or beberine) and nectandrine (sipeerine or sipirine of Maclagan, 1845). The British Pharmacopoeias of 1867 and 1885, indicate an elaborate process for the preparation of beberine sulphate from nectandra bark. The product is probably a mixture of sulphates of beberine (C36H42N2O6), nectandrine (C40H46N2O8), and other alkaloids (Maclagan and Gamgee, Pharm. Jour. Trans., 1869, Vol. XI, p. 19).

Medicinal Uses:
Plants from this genus have been used in the treatment of several clinical disorders in humans. It has been demonstrated that Nectandra plants have potential analgesic, anti-inflammatory, febrifuge, energetic and hypotensive activities. Nectandra also has been investigated as a possible antitumoral agent and the presence of neolignans was suggested as potential chemotherapeutics. Crude extracts of Nectandra contain alkaloids and lignans, berberine and sipirine. Some authors have postulated that tannins play important roles as antioxidant compounds in the scavenging of free radicals. It is reported that an extract of N. salicifolia has potent relaxant activity on vascular smooth muscle. Researchers of the entire world agree that pre-clinical large studies on herbal medicine are important and urgent, specially high-quality clinical and pre-clinical trials
The alkaloids are strong tonics, promoting digestion, sustaining the circulation, and mildly stimulating the nervous system. Many persons compare it to quinine; but it is not such an intense nerve stimulant as that article, and is more distinctly favorable to digestion, and to the improvement of the general tone of the system. It has been used in agues. In cases where the nervous system is sensitive, and quinine is likely to cause excitement, bebeerin is a preferable agent. As a tonic in periodical neuralgia, atonic prolapsus and dyspepsia, and low forms of periodical hysteria, it can be used to much advantage. It relieves passive menorrhagia and has been used in some cases of exhaustive discharges, as colliquative diarrhea, and hectic from excessive suppuration. Rarely used now.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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