Botanical Name:Baccharis genistelloides
Class : Magnoliopsida
Order : Asterales
Tribe : Astereae
Species :Baccharis genistelloides
Synonyms: Baccharis trimera, B. triptera , B. venosa, Conyza genistelloides, Molina venosa
Common Names:Carqueja,Corner Kima, Cuchu-cuchu,Carqueja, bacanta, bacárida, cacaia-amarga, cacalia amara, cacália-amarga, cacália-amargosa, cacliadoce, carqueja amara, carqueja-amargosa, carqueja-do-mato, carquejilla, carquejinha, chinchimani, chirca melosa, condamina, cuchi-cuchi, quimsa-kuchu, quinsu-cucho, quina-de-condamiana, tiririca-de-balaio, tres-espigas, vassoura.
Habitat:Baccharis genistelloides is native to S. America – northern Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia. It grows in the rainforest.
Carqueja is a perennial green herb that grows nearly vertical to a height of 1-2 meters and produces yellowish-white flowers at the top of the plant. The bright green, flat, winged stalks have a fleshy, succulent consistency and the “wings” take the place of leaves. The Baccharis genus is composed of more than 400 species native to tropical and subtropical America. Carqueja is known by several botanical names in Brazil, including Baccharis genistelloides, B. triptera, and B. trimera. It is found throughout the Amazon rainforest in Peru, Brazil, and Colombia, as well as in tropical parts of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Other common species called carqueja in Brazil include Baccharis trinervis and B. gaudichaudiana which look similar (smaller in height and smaller wings) and are sometimes used as substitutes for B. genistelloides. Another well known species in the family is a small shrub, B. cordifolia, which is toxic to grazing animals.
Tribal and Herbal Medicine Uses:
Indigenous peoples of the rainforest have utilized this herb for centuries to cure common ailments. Its uses in herbal medicine were first recorded in Brazil in 1931 by Pio Correa, who wrote about an infusion of carqueja being used for sterility in women and impotency in men. Correa described carqueja as having the therapeutic properties of a tonic, bitter, febrifuge, and stomachic, with cited uses for dyspepsia, gastroenteritis, liver diseases, and diarrhea. Since that time, carqueja has long been used in Brazilian medicine to treat liver diseases, to strengthen stomach and intestinal function, and to help purge obstructions of the liver and gallbladder. Almost every book published in Brazil on herbal medicine includes carqueja, since it has shown to be so effective for liver and digestive disorders as well as a good blood cleanser and fever reducer. Other popular uses for carqueja in Brazilian herbal medicine today are to treat malaria, diabetes, stomach ulcers, sore throat and tonsillitis, angina, anemia, diarrhea, indigestion, hydropsy, urinary inflammation, kidney disorders, intestinal worms, leprosy, and poor blood circulation.
In Peruvian herbal medicine today, carqueja is used for liver ailments, gallstones, diabetes, allergies, gout, intestinal gas and bloating, and venereal diseases. Herbalists and natural health practitioners in the United States are just learning of the many effective uses of carqueja. They document that it helps strengthen digestive, ileocecal valve, stomach, and liver functions; fortifies and cleanses the blood; expels intestinal worms; is helpful for poor digestion, liver disorders, anemia, or loss of blood; and removes obstructions in the gallbladder and liver.
Current Practical Uses:
Carqueja is one of the more widely known and used medicinal plants in Brazil and other parts of South America. It is as popular in Brazil as a natural herbal liver aid and digestive aid as milk thistle is in the United States and Europe. Many of its traditional uses have been verified by research, and it appears in the official pharmacopeias of several South American countries as a specific liver and digestive aid. Carrqueja is considered safe and non-toxic. Toxicity studies with rats indicated no toxic effects when various leaf/stem extracts were given at up to 2 g/kg in body weight.
Herbalists and natural health practitioners in the United States are just learning of the many effective uses of carqueja. They document that it helps strengthen digestive, ileocecal valve, stomach, and liver functions; fortifies, cleanses and detoxifies the blood and the liver; expels intestinal worms; is helpful for poor digestion, liver disorders, anemia, or loss of blood; and removes obstructions in the gallbladder and liver.
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.