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In South American medicine systems today, manacá is considered to be an abortive, a lymph and blood cleanser, a topical anesthetic, diuretic, menstrual promoter, laxative, sweat promoter, and narcotic.* For more information manacá (Brunfelsia uniflora), please refer to the Database File for Manacá in the Tropical Plant Database. To see pictures of manacá, click here. Check out the new Discussion Forums to see if anyone is talking about how they are using this natural rainforest remedy.
Traditional Uses:* for arthritis and rheumatism (internal and external) and general painful and inflammatory conditions; to cleanse and stimulate the lymphatic system (and for swollen lymph glands); to relieve menstrual pain and cramps; for colds, flu, and fevers; for venereal diseases
Suggested Use: This plant is best prepared as a decoction. Use one teaspoon of powder for each cup of water. Bring to a boil and gently boil in a covered pot for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and settle for 10 minutes and strain warm liquid into a cup (leaving the settled powder in the bottom of the pan). It is traditionally taken in 1/2 cup amounts twice daily. For more complete instructions on preparing herbal decoctions, see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.
Drug Interactions: None reported; however, manacá may enhance the effect blood-thinning medications such as Warfarin® and heparin.
- Not to be taken while pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Avoid dosages higher than the suggested use indicates.
- Those allergic to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) should avoid using manacá. Manacá contains salicylate and several of its derivatives.
- Manacá root contains coumarins - plant chemicals known to thin the blood. Those taking blood-thinning medications such as coumadin should use manacá only under the direction and supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner to monitor these effects.
Third-Party Published Research*
All available third-party research on manacá can be found at PubMed.
A partial listing of the published third party research on manacá is shown below:
Anti-inflammatory, Pain-Relieving, & Fever Reducing Actions:
Moon, P. D., et al. "Use of scopoletin to inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines through inhibition of the IkappaB/NF-kappaB signal cascade in the human mast cell line HMC-1." Eur. J. Pharmacol. 2007 Jan; 555(2-3): 218-25.
Rollinger, J. M., et al. “Acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of scopolin and scopoletin discovered by virtual screening of natural products.” J. Med. Chem. 2004 Dec 2; 47(25): 6248-54.
Park, J. H., et al. “Antiinflammatory activity of Synurus deltoides.” Phytother. Res. 2004; 18(11): 930-3.
Kim, H. J., et al. “Scopoletin suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokines and PGE2 from LPS-stimulated cell line, RAW 264.7 cells.” Fitoterapia. 2004 Jun; 75(3-4): 261-6.
Ruppelt, B. M., et al. “Pharmacological screening of plants recommended by folk medicine as anti-snake venom–I. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities.” Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz 1991; 86: 203–5.
Iyer, R. P., et al. “Brunfelsia hopeana I: Hippocratic screening and antiinflammatory evaluation." Lloydia. 1977; 40(4): 356–60.
de Costa, A. O. “A pharmacologic study of manacá (Brunfelsia hopeana)." Bol. Assoc. Bras. Pharm. 1933; 14: 295–99.
Liver Protective Actions:
Kang, S. Y., et al. “Hepatoprotective activity of scopoletin, a constituent of Solanum lyratum." Arch. Pharm. Res. 1998; 21(6): 718–22.
Cellular Protective & Antioxidant Actions:
Barreiro Arcos, M. L., et al. ”Tilia cordata Mill. Extracts and scopoletin (isolated compound): differential cell growth effects on lymphocytes.” Phytother. Res. 2006; 20(1): 34-40.
Kim, E. K., et al. “Scopoletin induces apoptosis in human promyeloleukemic cells, accompanied by activations of nuclear factor kappaB and caspase-3.” Life Sci. 2005; 77(7): 824-36.
Ma, J., et al. “A coumarin from Mallotus resinosus that mediates DNA cleavage.” J. Nat. Prod. 2004; 67(9): 1614-6.
Shaw, C. Y., et al. “Antioxidant properties of scopoletin isolated from Sinomonium acutum. “ Phytother. Res. 2003 Aug; 17(7): 823-5.
Liu, X. L., et al. “Effect of scopoletin on PC(3) cell proliferation and apoptosis.” Acta. Pharmacol. Sin. 2001; 22(10): 929–33.
Wall, M. E., et al. “Plant antimutagenic agents, 1. General bioassay and isolation procedures.” J. Nat. Prod. 1988; 51(5): 866–73.
Iyer, R. P., et al. “Brunfelsia hopeana—Pharmacologic screening: isolation and characterization of hoppeanine.” Diss. Abstr. Int. B. 1978; 39: 761.
Anti-convulsant & Anti-spasmodic Actions:
Oliveira, E. J., et al. “Intracellular calcium mobilization as a target for the spasmolytic action of scopoletin.” Planta Med. 2001; 67: 605–8.
Chiou, L. C., et al. “Chinese herb constituent beta-eudesmol alleviated the electroshock seizures in mice and electrographic seizures in rat hippocampal slices.” Neurosci. Lett. 1997; 231(3): 171–74.
Kloucek, P., et al. “Antibacterial screening of some Peruvian medicinal plants used in Calleria District.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Jun; 99(2): 309-12.
Carpinella, M. C., et al. “Antifungal synergistic effect of scopoletin, a hydroxycoumarin isolated from Melia azedarach L. fruits.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 2005 Apr 20; 53(8): 2922-7.
Kayser, O., et al. “Antibacterial activity of extracts and constituents of Pelargonium sidoides and Pelargonium reniforme." Planta Med. 1997; 63(6): 508–10.
Heal, R. E., et al. “A survey of plants for insecticidal activity.” Lloydia 1950; 13 1: 89–162.
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Last updated 12-17-2012