Capraria biflora L.

Nota de alcance (en)

Tropical and subtropical America.

The species has an ample distribution in Venezuela. The northern border line of distribution is Florida. The plant occurs throughout tropical and subtropical America and is very common on disturbed ground and along the roadside.

Ethnobotanical and general use

Medical use
The plant is mainly of medicinal use. The medically mostly used part is the leaf. Leaf. Teas of the leaf are used as a febrifuge, for flu, dysmenorrhoea, heat, vomiting, diarrhoea, measles, as a postpartum depurant, and as an eyewash. They are also applied to treat the griping effects accompanying the purgative action of Castor oil (Ricinus communis).

Method of use
The leaves are mostly used as a tea. Leaf tea, dew on the leaves, the juice of fresh leaves or the aqueous extracts of the leaves are used for an eyewash in opthalmia. A decoction of the entire plant cures diarrhoea and problems of blood pressure.

Healing properties
Antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, tonic, antidiarrhoeic, vermifuge, and hypotensor.

Chemical contents
The following substances were identified: meliacine of a similar structure to hirtine, flavones, and phenolic derivatives . Caution is necessary in the application of the dose! In strong doses, the leaves produce paralysis.


Whole plant: Infusion is drunk for a calming effect, tonic, digestive and cholagogue; infusion has an antispasmodic action, especially after a violent purgative; saline decoction for a vermifuge. Young plant is pulverised and mixed with soft grease and sugar in a poultice which is applied to hard boils to bring them to a point.

Stem and Leaf: Infusion for colic, diuretic and antiperiodic.

Leaf: Crushed leaves are salted and moistened in rum or vinegar, and applied in a row as a cataplasm on the forehead to treat violent headache. Decoction of crushed leaves, or of young shoots, used for an eyewash. Infusion used as a cholagogue, refreshant and tea. Used in treatment of gallstones in NW Guyana.

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

Capraria biflora L.
Término aceptado: 02-Feb-2017