Urena lobata L.

Nota de alcance (en)

Florida, West Indies, South America, Africa, Asia, tropical and subtropical regions. In Venezuela it is very common, mainly in hot regions. The plant is  common along roadsides, in thickets and waste places.

Ethnobotanical and general use

Economical utilization
Urena lobata supplies the so-called Aramina fiber which is fine, lustrous and soft, and is comparable to jute. The stem (pericycle and phloem) is the source of the fiber. The small shrub is cultivated for its stem in Florida, the West Indies, South America (Brazil), Africa and Asia. The fiber is used for sacking, cordage, coarse fabrics, ropes, hammocks, fishing tackle and the like. It is said to resist termites and water.

Medical use
Leaf, root and flower are applied medically, and all three are used as a vermifuge. Leaf. An infusion is taken for the treatment of urinary burning and inflamed kidneys. Leaf infusions are also taken against infections of the urinary tract, gallstones, kidney stones, hepatitis, dysentery, pleurisy, affections of the lungs, and against heat, hangover and gastritis. Teas are taken for flu and stomachache. Externally, leaves are applied against erysipelas and eruptions of the skin. Further applications are in the form of a cataplasm, as an emollient, and refreshing tonic or for lavations. Leaves ground and cooked with little water are used in cataplasms as a galactogogue. Very hot cataplasms are put on the abdomen against dysmenorrhoea. Flower. Flowers are used in gargles, against a sore throat  and against aphthae.

Method of use
Externally in cataplasms, for lavage, as an emollient and refreshing tonic, and for gargles. Internally as a tea or infusion.

Healing properties
Antidiarrhoeic, antiseptic, diuretic, emollient, vermifuge. It is furthermore considerded as a colagogue, hepatoprotector and emmenagogue.

Chemical contents
The plant contains a bitter principle, mucilage, a sesquiterpene, oleanolic acid, ferulic and cinnamic acid, sitosterol, sitostenone, dehydrotectol.


Whole plant: Used to treat “lining cold” (puerperal fever) in NW Guyana.

Flower: Employed in French Guiana in a gargle used to remedy angina and aphthae. Emollient. In Guyana, boiled to make a tea used to remedy urinary tract problems, morning sickness and colds.

Nota bibliográfica (en)

1) South American medicinal plants : botany, remedial properties, and general use / I. Roth, H. Lindorf. Berlin ; New York : Springer, c2002. -- p. 492.

2) Robertt, A., et al.. Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana)/Smithsonian NMNH. cited online: 17-08-2017

3) DeFilipps, Robert A.; Krupnick, Gary A. / PhytoKeys, v. 102. - - p. 1 - 314,  2018.

Urena lobata L.
Término aceptado: 28-Dic-2016