Chuchuhuasi Benefits & Information

Latin Name

Maytenus aelivis

Also Known As

Chucchu huashu, chuchuasi, chuchasha, chuchuhuasha

Origin

Amazon rainforest

Parts Used

Bark roots leaves

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Curanderos (healers) in the Amazon use chuchuhuasi as a general tonic, to speed healing and, when combined with other medicinal plants, as a synergist for many types of illnesses. When taken daily chuchuhuasi can assist in overcoming the challenge of sustained ayahuasca use and the 'dietas' (controlled diet) that are usually associated with this method of accelerated personal development.
Chuchuhuasi is well known to locals as an aphrodisiac and mild stimulant. Go-Juice is a chuchuhuasi extract made with the local sugarcane rum (aguardiente). A popular drink that is served in bars, it relieves tiredness, pain and muscle aches and helps you keep going during long treks in the rainforest.
In the Peruvian Amazon, chuchuhuasi is still considered the best remedy for arthritis among both city and forest dwellers. It is also used as a muscle relaxant, aphrodisiac, and pain-reliever, for adrenal support, as an immune stimulant, and for menstrual balance and regulation. In Peruvian herbal medicine systems, chuchuhuasi alchohol extracts are used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bronchitis, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and menstrual irregularities and pain.
Chuchuhuasi's long history of use has driven much clinical interest in the scientific community. In the 60s, potent immune-stimulating properties of a chuchuhuasi leaf extract and a chuchuhuasi bark extract were documented. In the 70s it was reported that alcohol extracts of the chuchuhuasi bark evidenced anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities, which validated chuchuhuasi's traditional uses for arthritic pain. Chuchuhuasi's anti-inflammatory action was reported again in a study in the 80s.
In the 90s, another group of previously undiscovered alkaloids were found in chuchuhuasi that may explain its effectiveness in treating arthritis and rheumatism.
Further research indicates potential for Chuchuhuasi in a variety of therapeutic uses.

Typical Use

One local Indian remedy for arthritis and rheumatism calls for one cup of a bark decoction taken three times a day for more than a week. In Colombia, the Siona Indians boil a small piece of the bark (5 cm) in 2 litres of water until 1 litre remains, and drink it for arthritis and rheumatism. In the Ecuadorian rainforest, the Quijos Quichua Indians prepare a bark decoction for general aches and pains, rheumatism, sore muscles, menstrual pain, and stomachaches.
Traditionally, 2-3 cups daily of a standard bark decoction or 3-5 ml of a standard tincture three times daily.

SUGGESTED DOSAGE
The concentrated powder extract (4:1) can be used to make a tea or consumed entirely in a smoothie. Take 1/2 to 1 gram 3 times a day or as recommended by your herbal practitioner.

Folklore and History

Its Peruvian name, chuchuhuasi, means "trembling back," which refers to its long-standing use for arthritis, rheumatism, and back pain. Natives of the Amazon rainforest have been using chuchuhuasi bark medicinally since pre-Columbian times.

Chuchuhuasi
Constituents

One local Indian remedy for arthritis and rheumatism calls for one cup of a bark decoction taken three times a day for more than a week. In Colombia, the Siona Indians boil a small piece of the bark (5 cm) in 2 litres of water until 1 litre remains, and drink it for arthritis and rheumatism. In the Ecuadorian rainforest, the Quijos Quichua Indians prepare a bark decoction for general aches and pains, rheumatism, sore muscles, menstrual pain, and stomachaches.
Traditionally, 2-3 cups daily of a standard bark decoction or 3-5 ml of a standard tincture three times daily.