The history of this Brazilian plant is, to say the least, curious. This is because, in addition to having the bark of the tree used by the Indians as a dye, the barbatimão was also used by prostitutes.

This use was justified by the color of the dye that the plant gave, red, being used to fake virginity. For this reason, the tree was popularly known as the “virginity bark”.

Found in several regions of Brazil, from Amapá to Paraná, the plant is named after its indigenous origin. Thus, barbatimão derives from Iba Timbó and means “tree that squeezes”, precisely because of the dye that is expelled from its bark when it is squeezed. But, in addition to being used by Indians in rituals, to paint the body, the plant also has medicinal properties and can be used to eliminate health problems.

Properties and benefits of this plant

  • Astringent;
  • Anti-hemorrhagic;
  • Antiseptic;
  • Antibacterial;
  • Antiblenorrhagic;
  • Antidiabetic;
  • Antidiarrheal;
  • Anti-grumpy;
  • Antileukoreic;
  • Healing;
  • Blood coagulant;
  • Diuretics;
  • Emetics;
  • Hypotensive;
  • Ophthalmic;
  • Tonic.

The benefits of barbatimão are divided according to the material used. For example, if the bark is used, the plant can help treat skin diseases, ulcers, throat disorders, anemia, diarrhea, hemoptysis, gastritis, cancer and diabetes. In addition, it can act to combat vaginal discharge, gonorrhea, urethral and vaginal catarrh, leukorrhea and uterine bleeding.

If the leaves are used, it is possible to have a tonic action on the body, increasing tissue vitality and leaving the body even more invigorating. In addition to this benefit, the leaves act by increasing urine production and fighting hernia.

How to use the barbatimão?

It is possible to use both the bark and the leaves to prepare barbatimão tea, but neither of the two recipes should be ingested. As well as its fruits should not be used, as they are poisonous. This is because both are used in a utopian way and externally. In addition, it is noteworthy that the plant should not be used alone in recipes, but mixed with other herbs that add benefits together.

Recipe 1

  • 1 liter of water;
  • 1 cup (of tea) of barbatimão bark;
  • 1 cup (of tea) of cotton roots;
  • 1 cup (of tea) of okra still unripe.

Bring all ingredients to fire and simmer for 15 minutes. After the set time, turn off the heat and strain the liquid with the help of a very fine cloth, instead of a sieve. Then, just bathe with this preparation daily, but only once a day.

Recipe 2

  • 1 tablespoon of chopped bark;
  • 2 cut comfrey leaves;
  • Half a liter of boiling water.

Mix all ingredients and cover container for 10 minutes. Afterwards, strain the liquid and use the tea in places with injuries. Repeat washing three times a day, until you get good results.