Herbs & Plants

Carapichea ipecacuanha

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Botanical Name : Carapichea ipecacuanha
Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Rubioideae
Tribe: Psychotrieae
Genus: Carapichea
Species: C. ipecacuanha
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

*Callicocca ipecacuanha
*Cephaelis ipecacuanha
*Evea ipecacuanha
*Psychotria ipecacuanha
*Uragoga ipecacuanha

Common Name: Ipecac, Its common name, ipecacuanha

Habitat: Carapichea ipecacuanha is native to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, and Brazil. is derived from the Tupi ipega’kwãi, or “road-side sick-making plant”.
Carapichea ipecacuanha is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate. It has a slender stem which grows partly underground and is often procumbent at the base, the lower portion being knotted.


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.

It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Prefers a minimum temperature in the range of 15 – 18 degree centigrade . Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil and a shady position. Plants need ample moisture and humidity if they are to thrive.

Seed – Greenwood cuttings in a sandy compost. Root cuttings.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots of ipecac contain a number of medically active constituents including isoquinoline alkaloids, tannins and glycosides. They have a violently irritant action, stimulating the gastric and bronchial systems, lowering fevers and preventing cyst formation in amoebic dysentery. The roots are used internally in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, whooping cough and amoebic dysentery. One of the surest of emetics, even moderate doses will induce vomiting until the contents of the stomach have been voided making it especially useful in the treatment of drug overdoses. It is used in a syrup to induce vomiting in children who have ingested toxins. Smaller doses are strongly expectorant and it is a common ingredient in patent cough medicines. The plant needs to be used with caution since excess causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea. The roots are harvested, usually when about 3 years old and the plants are in flower, and are dried for later use. The plants are replanted after partial removal of the roots. The plant is used in homeopathy in the treatment of nausea.
Known Hazards: The plant can be toxic in doses larger than recommended for medicinal use.

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


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