The information provided is for information only. The
medical claims or advice are not endorsed. Never take any
without first consulting a qualified practitioner
Guinea hen weed,
also known as Anamu, is
a well-known Jamaican remedy for headaches, fever
and colds. There are several ways of using it, for example grating the
root and steeping it in rum before rubbing the mixture over the head,
or simply tying leaves to your head.
The pure root extract is toxic if taken internally in high doses, and
may cause miscarriages.
Guinea hen weed is found in the Amazon rainforest and tropical areas of
Central and South America, the Caribbean and Africa. It has a long
history as a medicinal plant in the Amazon, where it is known as anamu.
Its main use is against colds and as a pain reliever for headaches,
rheumatism and arthritis. It also features in magic rituals. The
root is said to be more powerful than the leaves.
The plant is said to have magical powers. The strong smelling leaves
would be scattered around the room to ‘to keep away duppies’
The root is traditionally used in an insecticide preparation, probably
because of its strong smell.
Guinea hen weed has been widely studied in the laboratory. Its
traditional usefulness for arthritis and rheumatism has been supported
by research that shows it does have anti-inflammatory properties and
may stimulate the immune system.
Plant-screening tests have also shown that it contains chemicals active
against some types of cancer cells, including forms of leukaemia and
breast cancer, although the effect varies. Other studies claim it is
active against many strains of bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast.
HEN WEED (ANAMU) PLANT SUMMARY
Main Actions (in order):
anticancerous, antiviral, anticandidal, antibacterial, immune stimulant
for cancer and leukemia
for immune disorders (to stimulate immune
and immune cell production)
Other Properties/Actions Documented by
anti-anxiety, antioxidant, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic
(promotes sweating), diuretic, febrifuge (reduces fever), insecticide,
menstrual stimulant, sedative, vermifuge (expels worms)
and Hypoglycemic effects.
Anamu has been found to cause contractions
of the uterus
that can lead to abortions and miscarriages. As such, it should not be
used by pregnant women.
Anamu contains a low concentration of a blood thinner called coumadin.
People with any bleeding disorder like hemophilia or who are on blood
thinning medication should consult their health-care provider before
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