Monday, August 18, 2008

ANAMÚ or Guinea Henweed - a healing plant that travels the Caribbean

Meet a powerful medicinal herb - Anamú (in Spanish) & Guinea henweed (in English). Both Pokeweed and Anamú are in the Phytolaccaceae family.

Roberto Guzmán, from the Dominican Republic, tells this story about Anamú: In Santo Domingo in the era of Trujillo, there lived a man who was known throughout the city as Dr. Anamú. He was dressed all in black, notwithstanding the impracticalities of his dress in the tropical heat. He always wore a black bowler and carried a black doctor’s briefcase. He never forgot his necktie.

By foot Dr. Anamú traversed the streets of Santo Domingo and visited the Clinica Internacional, where he approached patients in the waiting room and, for every ill, he prescribed the “anamú.”

He was called Dr. Anamú because he always recommended this native herb for all pains and sicknesses. He was one of the many colorful personages of the times. And today anamú is one of the ingredients in the Dominican Mamajuana liqueur.

In Cuba, herbalists take the whole plant and use it to treat cancer and diabetes, and as an anti-inflammatory and abortive. Anamú also grows throughout South and Central Florida; however, I found it listed only in some of the data bases and books on Florida native plants.

Steve Woodmansee, Pro Native Consulting, has spotted the plant in many areas in Florida and states that anamú had great significance Pre-Columbian groups and was grown and used by the Timucuans, Jaegans, Tequestas, and Calusas (more recently the Miccosukees and Seminoles). Steve states that anamú is fairly restricted to archaeological sites and is an excellent indicator of human habitation. He says that he has never seen it in a natural area that wasn't adjacent to indigenous activity. Steve warns that the herb is very strong and should be used with caution.

Petiveria alliacea has been widely used to treat a large range of medical conditions including: venereal diseases, as an antiseptic, for arthritis, pain, cancer, womb inflammation, diuretic, decoagulant, cold, snake bite, flu, cods, hysteria, paralysis, fever, rabies, to treat arrow poison in Brazil and as a bat and insect repellent and as an abortifacient.

From the
Tropical Plant Database: In the Amazon rainforest, anamú is used as part of an herbal bath against witchcraft by the Indians and local jungle herbal healers called curanderos. The Ka'apor Indians call it mikur-ka'a (which means opossum herb) and use it for both medicine and magic. The Caribs in Guatemala crush the root and inhale it for sinusitis, and the Ese'Ejas Indians in the Peruvian Amazon prepare a leaf infusion for colds and flu.

The Garifuna indigenous people in Nicaragua also employ a leaf infusion or decoction for colds, coughs, and aches and pains, as well as for magic rituals. The root is thought to be more powerful than the leaves. It is considered a pain reliever and is often used in the rainforest in topical remedies for the skin. Other indigenous Indian groups beat the leaves into a paste and use it externally for headache, rheumatic pain, and other types of pain. This same jungle remedy is also used as an insecticide.

Petiveria alliacea is called tipi in Brazil, apacin in Guatemala, mucura in Peru, and guine in many other parts of Latin America. In the French-speaking countries, it is called feuilles ave, herbe aux poules, and petevere a odeur ail, and, in Trinidad, mapiurite and gully root. Other names include apacina, apazote de zorro, aposin, ave, aveterinaryte, calauchin, chasser vermine, congo root, douvant-douvant, emeruaiuma, garlic weed, guine, guinea, guinea hen leaf, gully root, hierba de las gallinitas, huevo de gato, kojo root, kuan, kudjuruk, lemtewei, lemuru, mal pouri, mapurit, mapurite, mucura-caa, mucura, mucuracáa, ocano, payche, pipi, tipi, verbena hedionda, verveine puante, zorrillo (see
Tropical Plant Database).


Anonymous said...

hello my name is margarita and my mother suffers of lung cancer and my brother died off cancer also im doing my best to find my mother the best to use thank you.

Viagra Online said...

I've always thought that natural medicines are better that the other ones because I used to take some pills to relax my body but those always made me feel drugged so since I knew that chamomile help to sleep I drunk a chamomile tea before to go bed and it's amazing I feel like a new person.

lya said...

good mornng from Israel
I wish to know, if anamu has any side effects, is there anyone who can answer me, and also where can I buy it and under what name.

Thank you, Lea

Anonymous said...

does anyone know the ratio of water to anamu fro boiling and drinking ??

Anonymous said...

I have been using 1 quart of boiling water to 30 gm of anamu herb. Seems to work well to keep the immune system strong and it is changing my abdominal girth and my organs seem stronger as I no longer get spasms in my organs.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone,i'm a worried husband and looking for some and safe remedy to cure my wife often feel headache,she was diagnose having high blood and presently taking medicine as her maintainance.Is that Anamu help ease the headache.

Anonymous said...

what is the ratio of water and leaves for boialing anamu

thesweethabanero said...

To Make Herbal Tea Infusions

Take a handful of the dried herb and put it in a glass jar, such as a Mason jar or glass coffeepot. Pour boiling water over it (a stainless steel knife placed in the jar will absorb some of the heat so that the jar doesn’t crack) and immediately stir, making sure all the plant material is wet. Quickly cover the jar so that the vapors do not escape. (The vapors contain the plant’s volatile oils.)
Let the jar sit at room temperature for four hours, or until completely cooled, then refrigerate. Kelsey makes her infusions at night and cools them at room temperature overnight. Before drinking, strain the tea and serve hot or at room temperature.

1. Place herbs in a glass container, Mason Jar or Glass Coffeepot.
2. Pour boiling water over the herbs ( a stainless steel knife or spoon placed in jar will absorb some of the heat so that the jar does not crack) and immediately stir, making sure all plant material is wet.
3. Quickly cover the glass container with a tight fitting lid so that the vapors do not escape. (The vapors contain the plant’s volatile oils.)
4. Let the jar sit at room temperature for four hours or steeped the recommended period of time and completely cooled, then refrigerate. Easy way is to make infusions at night and cool them at room temperature overnight.
5. The resulting liquid is called an infusion. Before drinking, strain tea and serve hot or at room temperature.

1. Keep glass jar covered at all times to contain the steam.
2. An infusion can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours.
3. If a stronger beverage is desired, that is called a decoction.

Herbal Tea Infusions:
Plant Parts Amount Jar/Water Length of Infusion
Roots / Bark 1 oz / 30 g Pint / 500 ml 8 hrs minimum
Leaves 1 oz / 30 g. Quart/ liter 4 hrs minimum
Flowers 1 oz / 30 g. Quart/ liter 2 hrs minimum
Seeds / Berries 1 oz / 30 g. Pint / 500 ml 30 min minimum

Anonymous said...

You can try ordering from a new website that sells the tea its there email is

Anonymous said...

You can order it in tea form at or email them for more info at

Anonymous said...

someone was asking about dosages, my herbalist said to use 1 teaspoon for cups of Anamu. Sippin on some right now!

Anonymous said...

I just bought some from the website relieves the headache of me boiling or making sure i got the right amount. They sell em in 2 ounce bottle form and the people are extremely nice.

Anonymous said...

I went on a mission trip to Jamaica just before hearing my mother had stage 4 cancer. I touched this plant for no known reason, and the people living there told me I was touching Guinea Hen Weed and this plant cures cancer. Being a strong believer in God,I took this as a message to my prayers. I quickly found the organic, whole plant in a capsule through Raintree Nutrition under the name Anamu. My mother has been taking this with no side effects and her cancer is gone in her liver. We are waiting to see if her colon and lungs are clear. She feels really good to the point I almost don't believe her. This plant is worth trying and not expensive.

Anonymous said...

How will l get the plant or the seedlings here in my country to grow it in Kenya.can it cure all types of allergies,

Anonymous said...

Hi How many milligrams did your mom take each day? I ordered the 400mg capsules from Puritans Pride but don't know what is considered a therapeutic dose. Can you help? Thx!!!

Elsie said...

I highly recommend Ananu. I buy the pills from Amazon - Natures Sunshine. I had been suffering from psoriasis for 20 years until I started taking the pills 6 months ago. The results were immediate. Not only is my skin clear but I was borderline with diabetis and that also non-existent.

dana said...

I have arthritis on both knees. I'm having problems walking. I can't bend my legs, I can't stand for too long. Doctor said need an operation. I've been drinking anamu. My mother boils the leaves and stems in a pot of water. I drink it like tea. A 8 to 10 oz cup and I've only drank today is my 5th day. I don't have any pain. I'm walking without lipping. I work on a 2nd floor and I have no pain go up and down. I feel like I did 3 or 4years ago.

dana said...

My grandmother cured a man that the doctors had told him they couldn't help him anymore. She would make tea. He drink a couple of cups a day. After three or four months the doctor couldn't believe the diagnosis.

Unknown said...

I live in TX, where can I buy the plant to cultivate?

CBurhnam said...

I sell the plants.

melingen said...

Hi, we found this plant growing wild in our backyard, can the fresh leaves be used to make the tea infusion or do they need to be dried first? Which part of the plant do you recommend using?