Popularly known for its bitter taste, calumba is a plant of the Menispermaceae family. From its active ingredient, the plant is indicated for the treatment of many diseases. However, before resorting to it as a natural remedy, it is important to consult the doctor.The active ingredient in calumba comes from columbine, columbamine, berberine, palmatin, columbic acid, crystalline alkaloids, bisjateorrhizine, xasmantine, olumbine, columbinyl-glucoside, critogenin, diosgenin, ex-methanol, isojateorrinyl-glucoside, starch, jateorin and mucilage.


Calumba is indicated to treat some health problems related to dyspepsia, particularly hypochlorhydria, in addition to anorexia, chronic enterocolitis and dysentery. The plant has a more pronounced bitter tonic effect than many other species.

It also has visceral stimulant properties, fights intestinal worms, intermittent fever, bronchitis, high blood pressure, sexual impotence, muscle weakness in children, nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, dyspepsia, intestinal tube atony, scrofulosis and scurvy.

Another use of calumba comes from the narcotic effect it has, acting similarly to morphine, increasing muscle relaxation in the smooth muscles of the intestinal tract.

calumba tea

To prepare calumba tea, just separate 200 ml of water and two grams of the plant root. The first step is to boil the water, then, with the dry root inside a cup, pour the water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then just strain and drink normally. Remembering that the recommended dose for daily consumption is three cups, which are ingested before each of the main meals.


According to old studies, overuse of calumba can have some health consequences. It can promote signs of paralysis and unconsciousness. The use of the herb for medicinal purposes is also contraindicated during pregnancy or breastfeeding.