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Rainforest Plants – Carqueja

Family:Asteraceae

Genus: Baccharis

Species: genistelloides

Common names: Carqueja, bacanta, bacárida, cacaia-amarga, cacalia amara, cacália-amarga

General Description: Similar to milk thistle, Carqueja is one of the best known and most widely used herbal medicines in Brazil and most of South America. Carqueja is a shruby perennial that grows in many terrains. It reaches heights of six feet and bears yellowish-white flowers on its crown; they appear in April and May. Carqueja is a succulent with tall three-sided stalks; thin white hairs, similar to many others in the ‘cactus’ family, grow from the sides of the stalks.

Location: Carqueja is a rainforest herb found throughout the Amazon, including Peru, Brazil, and Colombia. In addition, although less abundant, it is also found in the tropics of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Uses: Carqueja is used in weight loss programs in Brazil, and is usually harvested in the summer. Carqueja is known by several botanical names, including Baccharis genistelloides, Baccharis triptera, and Baccharis trimera.

Carqueja is another rainforest plant that is used by herbalists. It is used to treat dyspepsia, gastroenteritis, liver diseases, diarrhea, as a gastro-intestinal tonic, and to purge the liver and gallbladder. Carqueja is used for liver dysfunctions of all kinds, including removing obstructions in the liver. Carqueja is considered highly effective for a variety of physical ailments because of its liver protecting properties. It is also a good blood cleanser and fever reducer. It is used to treat anemia and blood loss, being recognized for its blood-fortifying properties. It may also be used as a seasoning in many South American dishes.

Carqueja grows abundantly in the rainforest and is a product of the interaction between humankind and the environment. Carqueja is a spontaneous plant and is claimed to be generally good for healthy living.

Disclaimer: The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Any reference to medicinal use is not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.

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