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Rainforest Plants – Mulateiro

Family: Rubiaceae

Genus: Calycophyllum

Species: spruceanum

Synonyms: Calycophyllum multiflorum, Eukylista spruceana

Common names: ashi, asho, capirona, capirona de bajo, capirona negra, corusicao, escorrega-macaco, firewood tree, mulateiro, mulateiro-da-várzea, naked tree, palo mulato, pau-marfim, pau mulato, pau-mulato-da-várzea, uhuachaunin, haxo, huiso asho, nahua

General Description: Mulateiro is a rainforest canopy tree. It produces small, white flowers from June to July. This species has the noted ability to completely shed and regenerate its bark on a yearly basis. This fascinating feature makes the bark a completely renewable resource. The bark has been used for generations in tribal medicines and rituals. The bark will also change color as the tree matures from a green tone to a brown tone.

This tree stands an average of 30 meters high with a tall, straight trunk. This has made it a valuable rainforest hardwood tree. Its genus, Calycophyllum, is small with only six species spread throughout tropical America, all of which are medium-sized trees.

Location: Mulateiro is indigenous to the Amazon basin in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. Often this rainforest tree is located by bodies of water because it can survive periodic flooding that is common in the area.

Uses: Besides a lumber source, Mulateiro is widely used in tribal and herbal medicines throughout Amazonia. It was used to treat cuts as well as used for anti-aging affects. It is used by Peruvian tribes as an antifungal medicine and to remove skin parasites such as the “sarna negra” bug. The bark contains a great deal of the chemical tannin, which is an astringent and has a drying effect. Recent studies are helping to prove this plant’s chemicals having antifungal, antibacterial, and insecticidal activities.

Indigenous communities of the rainforest are not the only ones currently using Mulateiro. It has most recently been approved by the European Union and employed as an ingredient in cosmetics. It can currently be found in lotions where it is mixed with Acai and Rosewood and as an extract to soothe skin.

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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