Common name: Canela de Velho,
Scientific name: Miconia albicans
On my first trip into the tropical jungle (Mata Atlantica), along the coast of the Atlantic ocean, in Bahia, Brazil, I was able to identify many very valuable tropical herbs, which were growing along the path. The first one I came across was Miconia albicans, which is now in bloom.
The parts used for medicinal purposes are the leaves. Traditionally (locally) they are taken as a hot infusion, one cup three times daily.
The knowledge of the medicinal properties of this plant has been passed down for many generations.
The infusion is taken internally but also applied externally on the affected areas, when it is used as an anti-inflammatory.
The main uses are:
Anti-inflammatory – used for arthritic conditions, to reduce pain and inflammation of the joints.
It also is reported to have a general blood cleansing effect. The precise mechanism of this action is not known for certain, but my understanding would be that this may be due to the herb’s action on the digestive system, including the liver.
Further research into the properties and phytochemistry of this plant is necessary, but the use of the same for many generations has proven it to be of great medicinal value especially in this part of Brazil where many people cannot afford any other kind of medicine. It grows in abundance and is free, as well as effective. There are no known side-effects, even when taken long term.