Traditionally chuchuhuasi is used to relieve pain and inflammation, to treat arthritis, rheumatism and back pain, to restore vigor after a debilitating disease, as a general tonic, and for relieving menstrual pain and enhancing libido. Chuchuhuasi is pretty close to an all-in-one remedy. It is consumed by itself or with other herbs and can be prepared by simply soaking some bark in a glass of water overnight, or by putting bark and cane alcohol (aguardiente) into a vessel and letting the alcohol extract the beneficial compounds from the bark.
Chuchuhuasi contains a variety of naturally-occurring compounds, notably the two tumor-fighting alkaloids mayteine and maytansine. The bark is rich in several alkaloids, tannins, triterpenes, and sesquiterpenes. The pyridine alkaloids in the bark may be primarily responsible for its anti-arthritic effects. The anti-tumor agents tingenone and pristimeran may account for use of the bark to treat certain cancers, notably those of the skin. The protein kinase C (PKC)-inhibiting agents in chuchuhuasi have been studied by Sphinx Pharmaceuticals of Durham, NC. PKC is implicated in many chronic degenerative disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis. An effective PKC-inhibitor could potentially save lives. Without question, chuchuhuasi bark contains a concentration of powerful protective agents.
The Siona Indians boil (5 cm) of Chuchuhuasi bark in two liters of water until the decoction reduces to half. This extraction is regarded as a stimulant and aphrodisiac.
In the lowland rain forest of eastern Ecuador:
The Quijos Quichua Indians use a decoction of chuchuhuasi for rheumatism, aching muscles, menstrual aches, stomach aches, and general aching.
The inhabitants use chuchuhuasi as a stimulant. For the therapeutic purposes affecting the functioning of the nervous system are used root and bark that have been discovered to contain the valuable, pharmacologically active substances.
Chuchuhuasi is prepared by macerating root bark and letting it steep for eight days in aguardiente (sugar cane liquor). The resulting infusion is reputed to be an aphrodisiac.
Taxonomy, Common Names:
Species: Maytenus macrocarpa,
M. abenfolia, M. chuchuhuasca,
M. krukovii, M. ilicifolia, others
Common Names (in Amazonia):
Chocha huasha (shipibo-conibo), Chuchasha, Chuchuhuasca, Chuchuwasha, chuchuasi, chucchu huashu
Principal active biochemicals of chuchuhuasi are sesquiterpenes, nocotinyl, triterpenes, maytensine, and alkaloids.
Dosage, Preparation, Storage:
Traditional guidelines for use of chuchuhuasi require it to be taken before breakfast for at least a month to be effective. Drink 250 ml 3 times a day between meals. Do not exceed the prescribed dosage. The preparation cannot substitute a balanced and varied diet.
Instructions for use:
(Use as a dietary supplement.) Boil 1 tablespoon of chuchuhuasi in 1 liter of water for 20 minutes. If you can chop it up, all the better. Strain and chill overnight.
Store chuchuhuasi in a dark and dry place at room temperature. Keep out of the reach of children.
CAUTIONS: Information provided should not be used as medical advice. Not intended for long term use. Not intended for pregnant or nursing women. Keep out of reach of children.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.