Our never-ending pursuit of maximizing the utilization of available resources in the best possible way has led to many advancements and discoveries. One of the most enduring aspirations has always been maintaining our physical well-being. According to an old saying, “Health is Wealth”, and to find the depth of this statement, we want to invest our energies towards another miracle of this nature. We will be talking about the health benefits of Palo Guaco.
The plant, which is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of South and Central America, is known to have many health benefits. The herb grows abundantly in this region and is very effective in treating respiratory problems. In this blog, we have discussed the presence of some phytochemicals in this plant and their therapeutic use in curing various disorders. We will conclude by discussing some potential side effects of the herb.
Origin of The Herb
- The scientific name of the plant is Mikania Guaco. It is a tropical plant that mainly grows in the hot humid area of South and Central America.
- It can be found abundantly in the northern part of Venezuela, the forested areas of Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and Ecuador.
- It can be found typically in rainforest areas where it can grow abundantly in hot, moist, and humid conditions.
- We can also find it in other kinds of forest areas that generally have high levels of moisture and mist.
- It can be found in the Amazon basin including other low-lying areas of South America.
Need For Conservation of Palo Guaco
- The plant can abundantly grow in tropical and sub-tropical regions they just need hot and humid weather to survive.
- Geographically they are widely distributed over many South and Central American countries.
- This herb has gained limelight in recent years which has raised a serious concern about overharvesting and habitat loss.
- To protect the sustainability, and conserve the natural habitat of the plant some steps are needed to be taken.
Some Essential Nutrients in Palo Guaco
We use Palo Guaco for many therapeutic purposes, and there may be no written scientific evidence that suggests its nutrient density. The plant is consumed for its health benefits and not because it is a powerhouse of nutrients. It may contain some phytochemical compounds that may contribute to its therapeutic properties.
1. Rich Source of Alkaloids
- Alkaloids are natural organic compounds abundantly found in Palo Guaco. The therapeutic properties of alkaloids can be their anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic nature. It is also considered as antimicrobial and antifungal.
- The anti-inflammatory properties of alkaloids can aid arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
2. Contains Some Saponins
- Saponins are the compounds closely associated with our immune system and its response.
- It is beneficial for our heart health as it lowers cholesterol levels and also manages lipid levels.
- It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can manage the body’s inflammation.
3. Major Source of Flavonoids
- These are a class of polyphenolic compounds. Flavonoids can be very beneficial as they manage our well-being with anticancer and anti-viral properties.
- They are a good source of antioxidants, which are very necessary to maintain good health. They combat oxidative stress generated by free radicals. Our body accumulates various toxins over time. Antioxidants help to flush them out.
4. Abundance of Triterpenes
- Triterpenes are a group of compounds that can be beneficial for our liver health and calm the nervous system.
- It can also improve our sleep quality by reducing depression and anxiety.
5. May Contain Some Essential Oils
The aroma and therapeutic properties of Palo Guaco essential oils can calm our nervous system and promote sleep.
Also Read: Healing Benefits of Muicle Herb
Health Benefits of Palo Guaco
- Palo Guaco, scientifically known as Mikania Guaco, is a tropical plant grown in abundance in Central and North America. From ancient times, traditionally, it has been associated with various notable health benefits.
- Although, the health benefits of Palo Guaco have yet to be backed by any scientific discoveries. It is under scrutiny. Some of them are,
1. It is Bliss for the Immune System
- It has immunomodulatory properties. It not only boosts immune health but also magnifies its response. Due to this quality, it is a perfect agent to protect us from microbial attacks with the help of a sharpened immune system.
- However, some more studies are required to prove this statement. For now, it is considered anecdotal.
2. Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
- Some studies confirmed that it has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Body inflammation can be caused due to various conditions. When we consume Palo Guaco as per the recommended amount, it can help to reduce body inflammation.
3. Can Provide Relief in Pain
- The analgesic properties of Palo Guaco make it a perfect remedy that can alleviate pain.
- The infusion made of it can provide relief from headaches and body aches.
4. Has Antioxidant Properties
- The antioxidant properties of the herb are very beneficial to keeping our well-being.
- The antioxidants protect the body’s cellular levels by combating the oxidative stress generated by free radicals.
- This oxidative stress can cause many chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes.
5. Mild Digestive Properties
Indigestion and abdominal cramps are considered common these days. Palo Guaco has compounds that can mildly aid abdominal discomfort.
How Palo Guaco Can Treat Asthma
The herb has a long history as it was traditionally used to combat various respiratory problems across various cultures. Many symptoms related to asthma, like shortness of breath, have shown great signs of improvement after regularly using Palo Guaco. However, one important thing to note here is that all these asthma-related benefits are a part of traditional knowledge that is not backed by any scientific proof. We can say that It may help to alleviate some symptoms of asthma and we will understand it by disintegrating its properties that are related to the disease.
The Property of Bronchodilation
- Asthma can majorly affect our respiratory system, making normal breathing very difficult.
- It helps relax and dilate the bronchial passages, which can improve the irritation the patient can feel while breathing.
Its Anti-Inflammatory Effects
- Asthma can cause swelling in the airways of the lungs.
- Due to the swelling, inflammation can be caused, which increases the difficulty in breathing.
- Palo Guaco has anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce the inflammation and swelling of airways. This action can help normal breathing in asthma patients.
- An increase in mucus can irritate the lungs during asthma.
- The herb helps to break down and expel mucus from airways and can help asthmatic patients.
Making Palo Guaco Tea
Palo Guaco tea is the most preferred way to consume the herb and take its benefits. Making the tea is very simple, and we will guide you stepwise to make a hot herbal cup of goodness.
- Dried leaves of Palo Guaco
- Dice of lemon (Optional)
- Honey or another sweetener (Optional)
During the early steps, we will gather some dried leaves and boil the water in the following way.
Step 1: Gathering Dried Palo Guaco Leaves
Getting authentic Palo Guaco leaves can be challenging at times. We must visit a reputed local herbal store or try an authorized online seller to buy it. Adulteration can be an issue, so thoroughly read the online comments and research.
Step 2: Boil the Water
You may boil 1 cup of water in a boiling pot.
Step 3: Measuring the Leaves
Take 1-2 teaspoons of dried Palo Guaco leaves and put them in a separate boiling pot with a lid. Adjust the number of leaves and water as per your taste and preference.
The Master Stroke
This is the main step in which we allow water to soak out all the goodness of Palo Guaco.
Step 4: Steeping the Tea Leaves
- Pour the hot water over Palo Guaco leaves. Cover it with a lid, and let it settle for another 5-10 minutes.
- During the steeping of the tea, the goodness of Palo Guaco will be infused in the water. For longer duration you keep it for steeping stronger the tea will be.
The Final Step
In this step, we will make our tea more presentable and will enjoy sipping the goodness of Palo Guaco.
Step 5: Strain & Serve
- Use a fine mesh strainer to strain out the leaves and pour it into the cup.
- Add the dice of lemon and perhaps the natural sweetener as honey.
- Enjoy the hot cup of goodness.
Some Minor Side Effects
The side effects related to Palo Guaco are not life-threatening and can be recovered. But, to do that, we need to have some knowledge about the interaction of this plant with our body. It has been used extensively to treat some ailments in various cultures and treatments.
Because of its beneficiary properties, it has gained some limelight, and people worldwide have started using it. The important thing to know is that, like any other herbal remedy, Palo Guaco can also cause some discomfort. The other important thing is that most of the benefits, safety, and potential side effects are anecdotal and lack scientific backing. Here are some side effects associated with Palo Guaco we must know before trying.
1. It Can Cause Liver Toxicity
- Typically, dried leaves are used to prepare teas, infusions, or herbal remedies. Although it is not well documented that how it can give rise to liver toxicity?
- Liver toxicity can be very dangerous. It has been seen that if you are already on some medicines that can affect the liver, better not to take them.
We recommend seeing a healthcare expert who will analyze your needs based on a physical examination of your body and then recommend Palo Guaco.
2. Issue Of Blood Clotting
This can be a real problem if you are on blood thinners for medical conditions. Palo Guaco has some compounds with antiplatelet effects, which can interfere with blood clotting.
In such conditions, we strongly recommend keeping caution or, better, not taking Palo Guaco at all.
3. Allergic Reaction
This can be one of the most common forms of side effects who are allergic to Palo Guaco or other plants in the same family, like Asteraceae.
Some Early Symptoms
Itching, redness of the skin, rashes, and shortness of breath.
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, discontinue using it and immediately consult a doctor before it worsens.
4. It Can Cause Gastrointestinal Discomfort
It generally happens once we consume Palo Guaco-made tea. Certain compounds may adversely affect some individuals.
Some Early Symptoms
Stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, immediately consult a doctor.
5. Precaution During Pregnancy & Breast Feeding
As there are few scientific studies done to check the efficacy of Palo Guaco, we also have a vague about its possible side effects.
Better, not to use it in pregnancy or early motherhood. Since it is a critical phase for a woman’s body, we should not stress it further. Again, if you still want to use it, consult a doctor first.
Palo Guaco is an excellent natural remedy for respiratory disorders. As we have studied about the plant, we came to know that most of its benefits are anecdotal and are not backed by scientific studies. It is highly recommended that we should consult a healthcare expert before using it to gain any particular health benefits. It can interact with your current medicines and decrease their efficacy. Nature has blessed us with many such items which can benefit our health, and with their help we can easily sustain this life.
Palo Guaco, which is native to Central and South America, is used as a traditional medicine to cure various ailments. Due to the presence of phytochemicals, it has many therapeutic uses, as Palo Guaco tea is used in anxiety and depression. The herb is mainly used in respiratory disorders like asthma, bronchitis, and cough. It has properties to be an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which serves in keeping good health by safeguarding us from many chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes. Traditionally, in some regions, it is also used in snakebites. It is good for fever reduction and is also used in wound healing.
If we talk about the pH of herb, it is 7, which means it is neutral, neither acidic nor alkaline. According to the pH scale, all the things that are towards 0 are acidic, and those that are near 14 are alkaline, and 7 being the mid-point. While we are addressing this question, you should know that the pH of the plant doesn’t have an impact on its medicinal properties.
Palo Guaco is not considered for its taste but is mainly consumed because of its health benefits. However, its taste is a bit bitter and has an intense, tingly, and drying sensation. Well, the taste is subjective, and if believed, as suggested it has a somewhat earthy and woody flavor. We believe the bitterness is mainly due to the presence of certain compounds that can add up to potential health benefits.
Due to its taste, some cannot tolerate it, so often, we see that it is being used with some other herb. While making tea, we can use honey or other natural sweeteners. We can try different preparation techniques to use Guaco in our diet.
Palo Guaco, which is used extensively as a traditional medicine, can do wonders for our body. Guaco is mainly used to cure respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis. It is blissful for our digestive health and also known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.