Since time immemorial, humans have used plants as allies of health due to their various medicinal properties. One of these vegetables is capeba, the scientific name Pothomorphe umbellata.Also popularly known by other names, such as caena, paiparoba and aguascina, capeba is a Brazilian plant, quite common in the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Espírito Santo and southern Bahia.

Head features

Capeba is a plant belonging to the Piperaceae family. It is a shrub of 1 to 2 meters in height, with oval, rounded or kidney-shaped leaves; the plant’s flowers are tiny and distributed in spikes.

The active principles are essential oils, phenolic compounds, steroids, mucilages, chavicin, pariparobin, jamborandin, piperatin, and piperine. Capeba grows spontaneously in Brazil, in manure and humid soils, close to or in woods.

The leaves and the root, stem, and seeds of this plant are widely used in folk medicine to prepare teas that serve various purposes.

Properties and benefits Capeba tea

Among the medicinal properties of capeba are its anti-rheumatic, anti-anemic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, colagoga, febrifuge, laxative, sweating, tonic, vermifuge, Antigonorrheic, diuretic, emollient, stomachic, and clearing action.

As a diuretic, this plant stimulates the functioning of the bladder and kidneys, allowing the elimination of toxins through the urine. For this reason, capeba is indicated to treat urinary infections, such as cystitis, in addition to fighting to swelling caused by fluid retention.

Capeba is also considered a laxative, contributing to the proper functioning of the intestine. Therefore, its use is indicated for those who suffer from constipation. The plant bark is commonly used to treat respiratory problems; other plant parts can help fight ulcers, gastric diseases, liver, gallbladder, or spleen problems.

Capeba can also help fight fever and regulate the menstrual cycle. Also, it is used against liver failure.

Capeba tea: how to prepare?

To enjoy the benefits provided by capeba tea, place a kettle containing 750 ml of water and 30 g of the plant on the fire. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes, turn off the heat, and smother. Please wait until it gets warm and drink a cup of this tea three times a day, preferably before main meals.


The consumption of capeba is contraindicated for pregnant and lactating women. Side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, cramps, tremors, allergies, and headaches. Remember that self-medication can be very dangerous! The use of medicinal plants should only be done under the guidance of a specialist.