Common name: Anamú, Garlic weed.
Botanical name: Petiveria alliacea.
This herbaceous perennial is native to tropical areas of Central and South America, the Caribbean and Africa. It grows up to 1m high and produces tall spikes lined with small white flowers that float above the leaves. The whole herb is used medicinally, roots being the strongest. It is sometimes called “garlic weed” as it has strong garlic odor, especially the roots.
In different countries of South America it is used for numerous health issues: sinusitis in Guatemala, colds and flu in Peruvian Amazon, pain and aches in Nicaragua. In Brazil it is considered antispasmodic, diuretic, stimulant, sweat promoter. It is used for arthritis, malaria, rheumatism. In Cuba, herbalists decoct whole plant and use it to treat cancer and diabetes. In Puerto Rico it is used against cramps, asthma, and bladder infections.
At the University of Illinois at Chicago, in the plant screening program, it is discovered that anamú has active properties against cancer. The most important compound is dibenzyl trisulfide.
There are numerous studies done on anamú that confirmed what indigenous people knew for centuries. The published research reveals that anamú has antileukemic, antitumorous and anticancerous activities against several types of cancer, actually killing cancer cells or inhibiting their growth in case of breast cancer. It is also immunostimulant. The water extract stimulated immune cell production in mice by 100% (lymphocytes and Interleukin II, Interleukin IV, Interferon).
The plant summary for anamú is as follows:
Anticancerous, antiviral, anticandidal, antibacterial, immune stimulant.
Mainly it is used for cancer and leukemia, immune disorders, colds, flu, viruses, Candida, urinary tract infections. Externally it is applied to inflamed skin.
Reference: Rain-Tree group.