Guaco: benefits, remedies and contraindications

Guaco is the term used to talk about plant species Mykania glomerata, Mikania Guaco AND mikania laevigata. These are climbing plants, of the liana type, recognized for their white flowers and their woody stem. They usually grow in Central American countries, although they are also found in South America and Western India. What are its advantages?

In traditional medicine this plant is used in infusions, syrups or baths. to calm the symptoms of respiratory and skin diseases. In addition, they are also a complement to reduce pain and inflammation. However, it is not without contraindications. Would you like to know more? We detail it in the following space.

Guaco health benefits

Guaco is also known as “snake grass”, “cipó-catinga”, “guacoliso”, “heart of Jesus” and “guaco de siro”. It is a plant widely used in naturopathic medicine, although it is also used in gastronomy to flavor meals, due to its bitter taste.

Second data published in Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, this herb It is distinguished by its concentration of phytochemicals such as coumarins, diterpenes, lactones and sesquiterpenes. Furthermore, it contains organic acids and resins which also give it medicinal properties. What is needed?

Breathing problems

In Brazilian herbal medicine, guaco is used to improve the symptoms of respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, flu, colds and asthma. According to popular literature, the plant has bronchodilator, expectorant and cough suppressant qualities.

However, to date there are not enough clinical studies to prove its effectiveness. In fact the a study published in PLOS One determined that the recommended dose of guaco syrup does not provide sufficient levels of bronchodilation.

One more research disclosed in Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology exposes that the plant has a significant anti-inflammatory therapeutic potential and, therefore, could contribute to the sensation of temporary relief of these diseases.

Asthma in a woman outdoors.
While guaco is traditionally used for respiratory ailments, scientific evidence is inconclusive about it.


A publication in the Colombian Journal of Rheumatology states that the coumarin and flavonoids of guaco give it anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. For this reason, it is believed that Contributes to the relief of symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders.

Despite this, the studies conducted to date do not clarify the safe dose or its level of effectiveness. For this reason it is not considered a first choice treatment for rheumatism problems.

skin diseases

One of the species of guaco, known as “white guaco,” has been studied for its potential to fight certain types of skin infections. Specifically, a shared study in Pharmacognosy research determined that the plant has antidermatophytic and anti-inflammatory activities.

Therefore, researchers consider it in the future may be a candidate for the development of new drugs for dermatophytosis, better known as basin. Other to research International journal of current microbiology and applied sciences supports these effects, adding that it also has antimicrobial compounds.

Other possible benefits

Traditionally, guaco is credited with another wide variety of health effects. However, it is essential to consider that there is a lack of evidence and, therefore, it is best not to consider it a treatment. These purported benefits are as follows:

  • Decrease in gout.
  • Bladder infection control.
  • Reduced episodes of diarrhea.
  • Decreased intestinal inflammation.

In ancient medicine this herb was also used as an antidote against snake bites. However, due to lack of evidence, it is not considered a remedy for this purpose today. Given the danger inherent in this injury, it must be seen by a doctor.

How is guaco used?

Until now, the use of guaco as a medicinal supplement not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Even so, there are several plant-based remedies that are used as aids to improve health, especially in cases of flu, cold, joint pain or skin fungus. How to prepare them?

guaco tea

Tea is the most common way to prepare guaco. The drink has been used since ancient times as a natural remedy for decrease cough, congestion, body aches and stomach upset. However, its consumption should be moderate and only in specific cases.


  • 10 grams of guaco leaves.
  • 1/2 liter of water (500 milliliters).


  • Add the guaco leaves to half a liter of water and bring to the boil. for 10 minutes, over low heat.
  • After this time, filter the drink and let it rest.
  • to consume 2 cups a day.

tincture of guaco

Another remedy that is obtained from guaco is a natural tincture for topical use. It can be helpful in reducing the itching and irritation caused by some ringworms. However, before applying it fully It is convenient to do a small test to confirm that it does not cause allergies or adverse effects.


  • 100 grams of crushed guaco leaves.
  • 300 milliliters of alcohol at 70º.


  • Pour the guaco leaves into a dark jar with the 300 milliliters of alcohol.
  • Place the container in a cool and airy place and let it rest for a couple of weeks.
  • Shake the mixture once a day. Then, after the recommended time, filter the product.
  • Use the tincture to put compresses on the affected area.
Guaco flower.
Science has found no conclusive evidence to definitively recommend guaco for medicinal use.

Guaco syrup

Guaco syrup It is often used to reduce symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation. However, as it contains sugar, its consumption should be moderate. It is not recommended for people with diabetes.


  • 100 grams of guaco leaves.
  • 1 liter of water.
  • 200 grams of sugar.


  • Put the guaco leaves in a liter of water and let them boil until the liquid has reduced by half.
  • Then add sugar and put on low heat.
  • Stir continuously until you get the consistency of a syrup.
  • Consume 2 tablespoons a day.


Guaco remedies are contraindicated in people with a history of allergy to the plant. Likewise, it should be avoided by patients with liver disease or who are being treated with anticoagulants. Given the lack of evidence of its safety, It is not recommended for children under one year of age or for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

What is there to remember about guaco?

In traditional medicine, guaco has been used for various medicinal purposes, such as relieving colds and joint pain. To this day, many continue to use the plant and its derivatives for this type of condition. However, there is not enough evidence to support its safety and efficacy.

Therefore, it is important to use it with caution, not exceeding the recommended daily amount of each remedy. Also, if you have any serious underlying disease, it is best to avoid its consumption and consult your doctor.

The post Guaco: benefits, remedies and contraindications appeared first in research-school.



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