Anamu is an herb that goes by many names, including garlic weed, gully root, kojo root, and many others.1 It also goes by the scientific name Petiveria alliacea. The herb is native to tropical regions like the Amazon rainforest, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. The perennial plant grows to be approximately one meter and features green rubbery leaves and white flowers. The anamu root has a strong, pungent odor like that of garlic, hence the nickname garlic weed. The whole herb can be used for medicinal purposes, but the roots are considered more potent than the leaves.1
Anamu Root Uses and Health Benefits
Anamu root is said to have many medicinal uses. Among anamu root benefits, it has painkilling properties and is commonly used to treat skin conditions, such as those associated with inflammation. The whole herb can be used in a tonic to help regulate menstruation, and the anamu root can also be pulverized and the scent inhaled to help treat conditions like sinusitis.1 The herb may also help in treating certain types of cancer.2 The same chemicals that give it its garlic-like flavor can assist in treating infections caused by fungi or bacteria. It may help in treating central nervous system disorders like depression, anxiety, and seizures.3 Other anamu root benefits include for:
- Common Cold - The anamu herb can be made into an infusion and taken orally to help treat the common cold.
- Diabetes - In areas like Cuba, the whole anamu herb is used in decoctions to fight diabetes symptoms.
- Flu (Influenza) - Like with the common cold, oral use of anamu root can help in fighting the flu.
- Malaria - Among anamu root benefits, it can be taken orally to treat malaria.
- Memory Loss - Patients with memory loss may benefit from taking an anamu root oral remedy.
Anamu Root Side Effects and Precautions
Anamu root is not a common herb and therefore may require more research to determine its safety. Some studies suggest that taking too much anamu root can result in health problems.4 Pregnant women should not take anamu as it can stimulate uterine contractions. Individuals with blood disorders or hypoglycemia should not take anamu. Do not give anamu root to children.1 Talk to your doctor to see if an anamu root remedy is right for you.