Anamú(Petiveria alliacea) grows primarily in Peru, Cuba, South America, Caribbean, Sri Lanka and the southeastern United States (Florida & Texas). It is an herb which is known in South America and was introduced into the United States through the Hispanic community. It shows good potential as an immune tonic or stimulant and may also provide support for the structural system, specifically the joints.
Whenever we adopt a native remedy, it is important to get the correct species, plant part and harvesting procedures used in the native tradition. Gathering the wrong material will result in a product which may not work like the tradition says. In Peru, the locals use a particular form of the plant known as mucura hembra or "Female anamú." Be certain to get anamú from a company which uses this form.
The folklore uses for this plant are as follows. It has been used as a remedy to expel or destroy parasites. It has also been used as an analgesic (pain relieving herb) and anti-inflammatory (particularly for arthritis and gastritis). Native people's have also used the herb to treat blood and vascular diseases. It is one of seven plants used by Amazonian cabloco communities for the relief of pain.
There has not been a great deal of scientific research on anamú, but anamú has several known "active constituents," including tannins, polyphenols, senfols and benzyl-2-hdroxyethyl-trisulfide. These constituents appear to provide protection to cells, reduce inflammation and support the immune response.
Folk use suggests that people with compromised immune systems may benefit from the immune-supporting properties of the anamú leaf One study published in a Brazilian medical journal showed the plant inhibited cell division, making it possibly helpful in the treatment of cancer.
Other tests have shown that it protects mice against the lethal effects of E. coli. Rats who were given anamú were protected from the harmful effects of this bacteria. Other research shows Increased thymus gland weight and increased white blood cell activity.
Anamú has been used to help the skeletal system. In a test group of 14 patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis it was used as a treatment and shown to have beneficial effects. The circulatory system benefits from anamú because it reduces clumping of blood platelets. Anamú lowered blood sugar by 60 percent in the fasted animals, which suggests it may be helpful for diabetes.
One important caution concerning this plant. Pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant should not use this product as research shows that it inhibits fertilization in rats.