Ipecachuanha Information


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Most Common Name:Ipecachuanha
Botanical Name:Cephaelis Ipecachuanha
Also Known As (other names):Ipecac, Matto Grosso 

Ipecachuanha - General description:

 Ipecachuanha is native to the tropical zones of South America. It was originally used by the Brazilian Indigenous People to induce vomiting and was introduced to Europe by a Portuguese Frair that was based in Brazil in the sixteenth century.

Overdoses of Ipecachuanha will cause cardiac failure.

Ipecachuanha Properties, or Ipecachuanha use in treatment of:

StimulantAppetite stimulantDegestive tonic


Ipecachuanha Constituents:

Below we list reported constituents of this herb. This may not be complete as continuous research constantly discovers new constituents. Where possible we also provide information about constituents and their application, effect and side effects, if any. We do not provide information on the interaction between constituents. We do not give quantities of each individual constituent as these vary considerably due to region and climate. By comparing the treatments above with the constituent benefits below some indication of quantities can be gained.

Emetine: In smaller doses ementine is used for Catarrh and Whooping cough as it causes an increase in respiratory secretion. In larger doses it is an emetic as it irritates the bowels. Emetine also has an atiprotozoal effect.

Emetine is an isoquinoline alkaloid.

Isoquinoline Alkaloids: A large class of medically active alkaloids with very varied properties although this group does contain many constituents from which the most habit forming drugs are made. Precursors of isoquinoline alkaloids are tyrosine and phenylalanine.

Properties of these alkaloids range widely from Anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antitumor, antimicrobial and antiviral to analgesic, narcotic and antitussive, plus virtually everything in-between. Because of this very wide scope each of the alkaloids should be regarded as individual and no general properties can be attributed to the group known as isoquinoline alkaloids.

Alkaloids Typical alkaloids are alkaline organic vegetable substances containing one or more nitrogen atoms. This nitrogen base is capable of combining with acids to form crystalline salts. Most alkaloids are derived from amino acids while a few are derived from isoprene units. Alkaloids are white or colourless solids containing oxygen (oxygen free alkaloids are few and far between and then can only exist as liquids) Most alkaloids are not water soluble, extraction is normally by tincture.
Alkaloids are found in about one quarter of all flowering plants. Thousands of alkaloids have been identified from a large number of plants where the alkaloid can be present in virtually every part of the plant or just a specific part like rhizome, leaf or seed.
Alkaloids generally have profound physiological impact on the human body and nervous system effects are predominant.
Many alkaloids are used as extracted and refined compounds derived from the actual plants or synthesised compounds in pharmaceutical drugs.
Several Alkaloids are banned in many countries because of the extreme impact on the nervous system (strychnine for instance is a deadly poison in very small doses) and the habit forming nature of some of the alkaloid compounds.






Monoterpenes: One of the many terpenes, monoterpenes (the smallest of the terpenes, although one of the most widely occurring) are mostly found in essential or volatile oils. Aromatherapists use monoterpenes as a mucus membrane tonic as decongestants and to ease nasal and other mucus membrane discomfort.

Monoterpenes evaporate easily and have a low boiling point. Monoterpenes are mostly colorless and odorless, prone to oxidation. Oxidants from monoterpenes could be irritant.

Monoterpenes are antiseptic, antiviral and bactericidal.


Iridoids. Iridoids are the most bitter compound found in plants. These bitter compounds stimulate release of bile flow in the gut as well as stimulating digestive secretion. Iridoids are anti-inflammatory (not as strong as in other constituents, iridoids have some anti-inflammatory effects but should not be used purely for this purpose), hypotensive and febrifuge. Some iridoids are laxative and antimicrobial.



Ipecachuanha Contraindications, do not use if:

Do not apply to the skin  
We at Beneforce are certainly not experts in the use of every herb. In our studies and research we do come across warnings that a herb should not be used in certain circumstances or for certain conditions and ailments. Where possible we will reflect these on our pages but cannot guarantee that for any herb our list of contraindications are complete or valid. We urge that you consult an appropriate and knowledgeable practitioner before treatment.
How current is this information?


Ipecachuanha is Administered as/Available in:



What is?

A CompressA DecoctionA Herbal VinegarA Fluid Extract
An InfusionAn OintmentA PoulticeA Powder
A SalveA SyrupA TeaA Tincture


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* Statements made have not been evaluated by American Food and Drug Authority or similar board or authority of any other country.
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