Alchornea castaneifolia

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Iporuru
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Acalyphoideae
Tribe: Alchorneae
Subtribe: Alchorneinae
Genus: Alchornea
Species: A. castaneifolia
Binomial name
Alchornea castaneifolia
(Bonpl. ex Willd.) A.Juss.

Alchornea castaneifolia (Iporuru, Iporoni, Iporuro, Ipururo, Ipurosa, Macochihua, Niando, Pajaro; syn. Hermesia castaneifolia Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) is a medicinal plant native to Amazon Rainforest vegetation in Brazil.

Traditional medicine[edit]

For centuries the indigenous peoples of the Amazon have used the bark and leaves of iporuru (Alchornea castaneifolia) for many different purposes and prepared it in many different ways. The Alchornea castaneifolia plant commonly is used with other plants during shamanistic training and, sometimes is an ingredient in ayahuasca (a hallucinogenic, multi-herb decoction used by South American shamans). Throughout the Amazon the bark or leaves of iporuro are tinctured (generally with the local rum, called aguardiente) as a local remedy for rheumatism, arthritis, colds, and muscle pains. Iporuro (Alchornea castaneifolia) is well known to the indigenous peoples of Peru for relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis, and in aiding flexibility and range of motion. The Candochi-Shapra and the Shipibo Indian tribes use both the bark and roots of iporuro for treating rheumatism. To prevent diarrhea, members of the Tikuna tribe take one tablespoon of Alchornea castaneifolia bark decoction before meals. The pain-relieving properties of iporuru appear in topical treatments; crushed leaves are rubbed on painful joints and are beaten into a paste to apply to painful stingray wounds.

Little research has been done to catalog completely the phytochemicals in iporuru. Initial screening has revealed it to contain steroids, saponins, alkaloids and natural phenols (flavonols, flavones, tannins, xanthonoids).

The anti-inflammatory properties of iporuru are attributed to a group of alkaloids, including one called alchorneine, which are found in the bark of iporuru as well as several other species of Alchornea.[1]

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