Jequitibá is a tree that belongs to the Lecythidaceae family , native to Brazil and originally found in the central south of the country, in the Atlantic Forest. Reaching up to 50 meters in height, the plant can have a trunk two meters in diameter – but an incredible 16 meters in diameter has already been found – and, therefore, it is considered the largest native tree in Brazil, and is a symbol of state of São Paulo. Scientific name Cariniana brasiliens, the plant can also be known as tow, pork congolo, agulheiro jequitibá, jecuíba, pau Carrega, cedar jequitibá, white jequitibá, large jequitibá, whistle sapucaia or red jequitibá. Some of the largest jequitibás are found in the Vassununga State Park, in Santa Rita do Passa Quatro. One of them is 3000 years old, and 16 meters in circumference, in addition to 49 meters high. With oval and toothed leaves, small white flowers, the plant has medicinal properties and a bitter taste.
Benefits and properties
Among the plant’s properties are its action as an astringent, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, decongestant, emetic and laxative. The consumption is indicated for patients with infections in the throat or mouth, cold sore, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, infections in the mucous membranes, angina, laryngitis, leukorrhea, vaginal irritations, discharge, in addition to problems in the ovaries and uterus.
How to use?
To prepare it as a medicinal herb, always use crushed husks – you can find the husk already crushed and correctly treated in natural food stores, markets and pharmacies -. It is important that you buy rather than collect as there are similar trees that can be confused.
The plant can have its benefits applied in the form of tea, intimate washing or gargle.
How to prepare tea?
In a container, put a liter of water and two tablespoons of crushed bark from the tree. When the mixture comes to a boil, time it more, approximately ten minutes, then turn off and cover, leaving the muffled mixture to rest until it becomes warm.
When you realize that the temperature is reasonable for consumption, strain, sweeten and consume. The recipe for bathing and gargling is the same, however, for these purposes the drink should not be sweetened.
Contraindications and side effects
In the consulted literature, we did not find contraindications or side effects related to the consumption of jequitibá for medicinal purposes. However, it is important to always consult a doctor and watch out for any unwanted reactions. If any happens, stop consumption immediately and seek medical attention.