Scientific name Phytolacca decandra , phytolacca is a subshrub plant of the Phytolaccaceae family. Its presence can be noticed throughout America, from the United States to Argentina and Brazil, it is found in all regions, but mainly in the Northeast, Southeast and South. lacquer, Canadian grapes, American phytolac, turkey, vinegar and tincturer, the plant can reach 4m in height, and has large leaves that taper at the ends. Its flowers are white, in caches, and have five petals each. Its fruits are black, develop in bunches and ripen in autumn. Its leaves are widely used in folk medicine, and the juice of the berries is used as a dye, a pigment, in addition to being a coloring agent for wines.
Benefits and properties
Its application in folk medicine is effective in the treatment of chronic arthritis and rheumatism, obesity, edema, skin cancer, dysmenorrhea, syphilis, dermatophytosis and scabies. Its properties involve its action as a depurative, obesity combatant, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, anti-emetic, purgative, anti-edematous, anti-cancer, anti-parasitic and emmenagogue.
With mild laxative, anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, depurative and obesity-fighting action, phytolac tea can be prepared with its aerial parts, which can be found to buy in health food stores.
To prepare, use the proportion of 2 tablespoons of the herb for each liter of water. In a container, heat the water and add the phytolac. When the mixture comes to a boil, turn off the heat and cover, letting the solution sit sweltered for about 10 minutes. When warming, strain and consumption. Recommended for adults is to consume two to three cups of tea a day.
Contraindications, precautions and side effects
The leaves of the plant, when raw, are poisonous. Furthermore, its seeds are highly toxic and should not be consumed. Among its side effects, we find gastrointestinal disturbances that can occur with the ingestion of mature leaves, uncooked fruits and roots, generating a severe toxicity. Consumption is contraindicated for pregnant patients, as the plant has a stimulating action on the uterus, in addition to toxic components. Also, the plant is known to affect the menstrual cycle.
The pulp of the fruit should only be consumed when cooked. Overdose can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach spasms, dizziness and headache that can last between 24 hours and 48 hours after ingestion. Intoxication, in adults, can happen with less than 10 fruits consumed raw.