With its many names (Brazilians call it anamu, Peruvians dubbed it mucura, and the English touted it as garlic guinea weed), it is a wonder how I have never heard of anamu before.
What Is Anamu?
Anamu or Petiveria alliacea, is native to certain parts of South America, Mexico, Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean. Anamu is most commonly known as a garlic root and has the same exact odor. This smell comes from its roots and leaves because anamu is a member of the pokeweed family known to possess such characteristic. Anamu can be identified through its tall spikes lined with small, white flowers. Anamu is a deeply-rooted shrub that can grow up to three feet.
Anamu is actually a perennial shrub grown indoors either through greenhouse or in cooler zones. They are also grown outdoors, but only in selected agricultural zones in the United States and other countries. Anamu should be always kept moist. It should be misted daily and should always get a lot of sunlight.
Anamu contains plenty of beneficial chemical compounds like antioxidant tannins. This makes anamu the ability to heal redness and swelling. Another very interesting potential of anamu is its dibenzyl trisulfide which has been studied and shown interesting behavior regarding its anti-cancer potential. No solid evidence has been obtained yet. Anamu also contains benzaldehyde, coumarin, and astilbin - all of which have evidenced activities against tumors.
Anamu has been traditionally used by the Indians in ritualistic ceremonies and for healing. Back in the day, they chewed it to prevent tooth decay, the grated roots are soaked in alcohol - the decoction will then be used to address rheumatism, snake bite, venereal disease, and intestinal parasites. In South and Central America, they use anamu as a natural remedy to boost the immune system against colds, flus, and other respiratory infections,
What Are the Benefits of Anamu?
Today, with many and extensive studies regarding anamu has been completed, it has been found that this underrated herb has plenty of health benefits.
- Fights Infection
Anamu contains multiple chemicals that contain sulfur. These chemicals are to “blame” for the garlic or onion-like odor. However, because of these properties, anamu is proven to treat infections. These properties are present in much higher concentrations in the roots.
- Eases Inflammation and Pain
Anamu is a traditional answer to arthritis and rheumatism. Clinical research has proven its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. This is especially present in its extracts when applied to the skin. Through my research, I also discovered that scientists are still conducting further studies to elucidate the exact mechanisms of its actions.
- Cares for Your Oral Health
Because of its antimicrobial properties, anamu also helps strengthen our teeth, prevent oral infection and tooth decay. It also cleanses and deodorizes our mouth.
- Stimulates Menstruation
For those who may be suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome and other diseases that impede healthy and regular menstruation, you may want to consider taking anamu. It is believed to be a natural emmenagogue or a substance that stimulates or increases menstrual flow. Of course, if you are pregnant, suspect that you are, or trying to conceive, please do not take anamu.
- Stimulates Proper Digestion, Sweating, and Urine Production
These benefits are pretty self-explanatory. However, I feel that it is important to point out that these three are beneficial to expediting weight loss. When you digest properly, you are able to consume energy and burn fats faster. When you sweat, you lose your water weight which will automatically make you shed pounds. When you urinate, you waste from your blood is released. All of these are beneficial to lose weight.
Anamu may not grow in your area, but you can still enjoy its benefits through Nutra Botanics! If you want to take advantage of what anamu can do for you and your health, check us out here.