Scientific name Struthanthus flexicaulis, the birdweed is a plant belonging to the family of Loranthaceae. Present in the cerrado areas of Central Brazil, the plant has long and flagelliform branches that wrap around host tree crowns, emitting new branches that start to transform other nearby plants into hosts as well.
Birdweed has alternating ovate leaves and small, green flowers that appear in small clusters. Its fruit is a yellow globular berry with one or two seeds and a slimy pulp.
The plant is known as birdweed because it spreads thanks to these animals, which ingest the fruits and, consequently, the seeds and eliminate them in different places along with the feces. They usually tied woody plants and trees like orange and guava. They feed by sucking the sap of their hosts, which can even cause the tree’s death.
The herb is difficult to combat, as it has roots that penetrate the stem of the host plant, making it more difficult to combat. The plant, however, does not necessarily need to be eliminated, but this will be dealt with in the following topic.
Benefits and properties
Although commonly seen as a pest that kills other plants, birdweed has health-enhancing benefits and applications, and only some people choose to keep them in their backyards. Among its benefits, we find the fight against bronchitis, pneumonia, pleurisy, hemoptysis, chest pain, twinges, respiratory affections, uterine diseases, hemorrhages, and coughs.
How to prepare birdweed tea?
The tea must be made from the fresh leaves of the plant. To prepare, use a liter of water and two tablespoons of the birdbath. In a container, put the water and leaves and bring them to fire. Allow it to come to a boil and then turn off the heat. Cover the mixture and let it rest for a period of approximately ten minutes. Strain and then consume a serving of two to three cups a day.
Contraindications and precautions
We did not find any contraindications related to the consumption of birdweed tea in the consulted literature. It is important that before taking medicines, whether natural or not, you consult a specialist doctor. Each case of the disease has an indicated treatment that must be provided by a physician and followed by the patient. If you want to have herbal treatments, inform your doctor of your choice.