Herbaceous perennial . It grows to about one meter tall. It is mainly found in the Amazon and tropical areas of Central and South America, in the Caribbean and Africa.
In some places it is called garlic herb due to the strong smell of garlic emanating especially from the roots.
In Brazil, the whole plant is used in infusion as an antispasmodic , diuretic , stimulant and sudorific and in cases of menstrual problems .. It is used for arthritis, malaria , rheumatism, memory problems as a local analgesic and anti-inflammatory in various skin conditions .
A commonly used recipe is 30 grams ( just over an ounce) of dried root and leaves Anamú in a liter of water. We recommend the 1 / 4 cup 1 to 3 times daily or applied locally depending on the condition that we will treat.
The root has anesthetic and analgesic properties and is considered more powerful than the leaves. In Cuba used a decoction of the whole plant in cases of cancer and diabetes. Also used as anti-inflammatory. The anamú also has antiviral properties.
In anamú have discovered numerous biologically active compounds. Among these : flavonoids , triterpenes , steroids and sulfur-based compounds .
Several studies have shown to have antitumor properties . Coumarin also contains benzaldehyde , and both properties have been documented antitumororales and / or anticarcinogenic.
Research shows antileukemic effects , antitumor and cytotoxic against several types of cancer cells . In a study published in November 2008 in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that cancer cells anamú combat in various ways. It also notes the desirability of continuing the study of this plant as a possible agent to combat malignant tumors.
In a mouse study conducted in 1990 showed that anamú has a hypoglycemic effect (ie reducing the level of glucose or blood sugar ). After a given time , there was a drop in sugar levels in the blood of more than 60 percent.
In a study published in 1993 showed anamú immunostimulating properties ( stimulating the immune system) . Studies published between 1997 and 2001 confirmed these properties. Studies conducted in Sweden show that anamú has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties similar to the new arthritis drugs .
Precautions in the use of anamú
Because of its ability to stimulate uterine contractions should not be used during pregnancy. Not for use without professional supervision by people taking anticoagulants. This is because it contains a small amount of coumarin . Due to its hypoglycemic effects ( lowering blood sugar in the blood ) persons suffering from hypoglycemia or diabetes should only be used under professional supervision. A study conducted at the University of Cauca in Colombia produced data suggesting that contains substances anamú mutagenic ( causing changes in the genetic material ) and potentially carcinogenic ( cancer-causing mutations ). The study's authors say the anamú is a potent mutagen but people who consume large amounts may be at risk for health problems.