CARQUEJACarqueja Powder is traditionally used as an antacid, antiulcerous, digestive stimulent, hepatotonic and a detoxifier


Genus: Baccharis

Species: genistelloides

Synonyms: Baccharis trimera, B. triptera , B. venosa, Conyza genistelloides, Molina venosa

Common Names: Carqueja, bacanta, bacárida, cacaia-amarga, cacalia amara, cacália-amarga, cacália-amargosa, cacliadoce, carqueja amara, carqueja-amargosa, carqueja-do-mato, carquejilla, carquejinha, chinchimani, chirca melosa, condamina, cuchi-cuchi, quimsa-kuchu, quinsu-cucho, quina-de-condamiana, tiririca-de-balaio, tres-espigas, vassoura

Price: £22.50 – 1lb / 454 gm Bag [wp_eStore_add_to_cart id=66]

Parts Used: Entire plant, aerial parts

From The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs:

Main Actions Other Actions Standard Dosage
  • protects liver
  • induces abortions
Aerial parts
  • detoxifies liver
  • kills viruses
Infusion: 1/2 cup 2-3 times daily
  • aids digestion
  • increases urination
Tincture: 2-4 ml 2-3 times daily
  • reduces acid
  • reduces fever
Capsules: 2 g twice daily
  • treats ulcers
  • promotes sweating
  • relieves pain
  • expels worms
  • mildly laxative
  • reduces inflammation
  • lowers blood sugar
  • cleanses blood
  • tones gastric tract

Carqueja is a perennial green herb that grows nearly vertical to a height of 1–2 meters and produces yellowish-white flowers at the top of the plant. The bright green, flat, winged stalks have a fleshy, succulent consistency and the “wings” take the place of leaves. The Baccharis genus is composed of more than 400 species native to tropical and subtropical America. Carqueja is known by several botanical names in Brazil, including Baccharis genistelloides, B. triptera, and B. trimera. It is found throughout the Amazon rainforest in Peru, Brazil, and Colombia, as well as in tropical parts of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Other common species called carqueja in Brazil include Baccharis trinervis and B. gaudichaudiana which look similar (smaller in height and smaller wings) and are sometimes used as substitutes for B. genistelloides. Another well known species in the family is a small shrub, B. cordifolia, which is toxic to grazing animals.


Indigenous peoples of the rainforest have utilized this herb for centuries to cure common ailments. Its uses in herbal medicine were first recorded in Brazil in 1931 by Pio Correa, who wrote about an infusion of carqueja being used for sterility in women and impotency in men. Correa described carqueja as having the therapeutic properties of a tonic, bitter, febrifuge, and stomachic, with cited uses for dyspepsia, gastroenteritis, liver diseases, and diarrhea. Since that time, carqueja has long been used in Brazilian medicine to treat liver diseases, to strengthen stomach and intestinal function, and to help purge obstructions of the liver and gallbladder. Almost every book published in Brazil on herbal medicine includes carqueja, since it has shown to be so effective for liver and digestive disorders as well as a good blood cleanser and fever reducer. Other popular uses for carqueja in Brazilian herbal medicine today are to treat malaria, diabetes, stomach ulcers, sore throat and tonsillitis, angina, anemia, diarrhea, indigestion, hydropsy, urinary inflammation, kidney disorders, intestinal worms, leprosy, and poor blood circulation.

In Peruvian herbal medicine today, carqueja is used for liver ailments, gallstones, diabetes, allergies, gout, intestinal gas and bloating, and venereal diseases. Herbalists and natural health practitioners in the United States are just learning of the many effective uses of carqueja. They document that it helps strengthen digestive, ileocecal valve, stomach, and liver functions; fortifies and cleanses the blood; expels intestinal worms; is helpful for poor digestion, liver disorders, anemia, or loss of blood; and removes obstructions in the gallbladder and liver.


Carqueja is a rich source of flavonoids. Certain flavonoids, such as silymarin in milk thistle, have shown liver-protective properties and are used for many liver conditions in herbal medicine systems. Carqueja is rather like the South American version of milk thistle. It contains up to 20% flavonoids, including quercetin, luteolin, nepetin, apigenin, and hispidulin. The flavonoids are considered carqueja’s main active constituents. Several novel plant chemicals called clerodane diterpenoids have been identified in carqueja and, in 1994, scientists showed that these chemicals had maximum effects against worms. This could possibly explain carqueja’s long history of use as an agent to expel intestinal worms.

Carqueja contains many chemicals: 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, alpha-phellandrene, alpha-terpinene, alpha-ylangene, beta-caryophyllene, beta-phellandrene, beta-pinene, calacorene, camphene, carquejol, cirsimaritin, clerodane diterpenoids, elemol, eriodictyol, essential oils, eudesmol, eugenol, eupatorin, eupatrin, farnesene, farnesol, flavonoids, genkwanin, germacrene D, glycosides, hispidium, hispidulin, ledol, limonene, linalool, luteolin, muurolene, myrcene, neptin, nerolidol, palustrol, pentadecanol, quercetin, resins, sabinene, saponins, spatholenol, spathulenol, squalene, terpinolene, viridiflorene, and viridiflorol.


Carqueja’s liver protective properties were confirmed in a clinical study when a crude flavonoid fraction of carqueja as well as a crude leaf/stem extract dose-dependently increased the survival rate to 100% in mice administered lethal dosages of phalloidin- a liver toxin (as compared to only a 24% survival rate in the control group). While these scientists indicated that the single flavonoid hispidulin evidenced the highest liver-protective effect of the flavonoids tested (it increased survival to 80%), the crude extract and the whole flavonoid fraction provided a stronger liver detoxifying and protective effect than the single flavonoid. This led them to think that other constituents in the crude extract, besides the flavonoids, had liver-protective effects and/or there were interactions between the flavonoids and other plant chemicals that potentiated the flavonoids’effects.

Other traditional uses of carqueja have been studied and validated by research. Its antacid, antiulcer, and hypotensive properties were documented in two Brazilian animal studies in 1992. Its antiulcer and pain-relieving properties were reported in a 1991 clinical study that showed that carqueja reduced gastric secretions and had an analgesic effect in rats with H. pylori ulcers. That study concluded that carqueja “may relieve gastrointestinal disorders by reducing acid secretion and gastrointestinal hyperactivity.” A later study, in 2000, confirmed its antiulcerogenic effect when a water extract of carqueja administered to rats protected them from alcohol-induced ulcers. Other researchers documented carqueja’s pain-relieving effects. This same research group in Spain also reported a strong anti-inflammatory effect – a 70%-90% inhibition-when mice were treated with the carqueja extract prior to being treated with various chemicals that induced inflammation.

Carqueja has also long been used in South America as a natural aid for diabetes, and several studies confirm its blood sugar-lowering effect in mice, rats, and humans (in both normal and diabetic subjects).

Finally, carqueja’s traditional use for colds, flu, and stomach viruses has also been verified by research. Some of the more recent research has focused on its antiviral properties. In a clinical study published in 1999, researchers in Spain reported that a water extract of carqueja showed in vitro antiviral actions against Herpes simplex I and Vesicular stomatitis viruses at low dosages. Researchers in Texas had already reported in 1996 that a water extract of carqueja provided an in vitro inhibition of HIV virus replication in T-cells. In subsequent research, they’ve attributed this anti-HIV effect to a single chemical they found in the water extract of carqueja- 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid-and reported that this plant chemical is a potent inhibitor of HIV at dosages as low as only 1 mcg/ml.


Carqueja is one of the more widely known and used medicinal plants in Brazil and other parts of South America. It is as popular in Brazil as a natural herbal liver aid and digestive aid as milk thistle is in the United States and Europe. Many of its traditional uses have been verified by research, and it appears in the official pharmacopeias of several South American countries as a specific liver and digestive aid. Carrqueja is considered safe and non-toxic. Toxicity studies with rats indicated no toxic effects when various leaf/stem extracts were given at up to 2 g/kg in body weight.

Herbalists and natural health practitioners in the United States are just learning of the many effective uses of carqueja. They document that it helps strengthen digestive, ileocecal valve, stomach, and liver functions; fortifies, cleanses and detoxifies the blood and the liver; expels intestinal worms; is helpful for poor digestion, liver disorders, anemia, or loss of blood; and removes obstructions in the gallbladder and liver.

Main Preparation Method: tincture or capsulesMain Actions (in order):
antacid, antiulcerous, digestive stimulant, hepatotonic (tones, balances, strengthens the liver), detoxifier  
Main Uses:

  1. for digestive disorders (ulcers, gastroenteritis, acid reflux, and ileocecal valve disorders) and to slow digestion
  2. to tone, balance, and strengthen liver function ( also to eliminate liver flukes, increase liver bile and to remove toxins from the liver)
  3. for gallbladder disorders (stones, pain, lack of bile, sluggish action, toxin build-up)
  4. as a detoxifier (blood, liver, gallbladder, pancreas)
  5. for viral infections (stomach viruses, HIV, herpes simplex)

Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
abortive, analgesic (pain-reliever), antacid, anti-inflammatory, antiulcerous, antihepatotoxic (liver detoxifier), antiviral, digestive stimulant, gastrotonic (tones, balances, strengthens the gastric system), hepatoprotective (liver protector), hepatotonic (tones, balances, strengthens the liver), hypoglycemic, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure), insect repellant, uterine stimulantOther Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
antidiabetic, aperient (mild laxative), bitter digestive aid, blood cleanser, carminative (expels gas), diaphoretic (promotes sweating), diuretic, febrifuge (reduces fever), tonic (tones, balances, strengthens), vermifuge (expels worms)

Cautions: It has hypotensive (lowers blood pressure) and hypoglycemic actions. It should not be used during pregnancy.







Traditional Preparation: Traditionally, 2 g in capsules or tablets or 2-4 ml of a standard tincture are taken with each meal as a digestive aid or liver remedy. Alternatively, a standard infusion is prepared with 5 g (about a teaspoon) of dried herb to 4-6 ounces water and infused for 10 minutes. This traditional remedy is usually taken two or three times daily with meals as a digestive aid. For topical use (pain and inflammation), 60 g of herb (about 2 ounces) is decocted in 1 liter of water and applied to the affected area.


Carqueja should not be used during pregnancy, as it has demonstrated uterine stimulant and abortive effects in rats.

The use of this plant is contraindicated in persons with low blood pressure due to its documented hypotensive effects. Persons with any heart condition or taking heart medications should check with their physician prior to using this plant.

Carqueja has been documented to lower blood glucose levels in human and animal studies. As such, it is contraindicated in persons with hypoglycemia, and people with diabetes should check with their doctor prior to using this plant, and use with caution while monitoring their blood sugar levels accordingly.

Drug Interactions: Carqueja may potentiate the effects of antihypertensive drugs and insulin and anti-diabetic drugs.

Carqueja may speed the clearance of some drugs metabolized in the liver, thereby reducing the pharmacological effect and/or side effects of drugs that are metabolized in the liver.

Bolivia for abortions, digestive, gastrointestinal problems, ulcers
Brazil for abortions, acid stomach, anemia, angina, anorexia, bile disorders, blood purification, bronchitis, Chagas disease, circulation, colds, constipation, detoxification, diabetes, diarrhea, digestion disorders, dyspepsia, edema, fevers, flu, gallstones, gallbladder disorders, gastritis, gastroenteritis, gout, heartburn, high cholesterol, hypertension, ileocecal disorders, impotence, indigestion, intestinal disorders, intestinal parasites, kidney stones, leprosy, liver detoxification, liver disorders, liver protection, malaria, nausea, obesity, rheumatism, sore throat, spleen disorders, stomach problems, sterility, tonsillitis, ulcers (gastric), ulcers (skin), urinary insufficiency, urinary tract disorders, venereal diseases, worms
Colombia for stopping bleeding, promoting menstruation, ulcers, wounds
Paraguay for diabetes, high cholesterol, infertility
Peru for bloating, broncho-pulmonary disorders, diabetes, digestive disorders, dislocations, flu, gallstones, gastritis, gastrointestinal disorders, gout, intestinal gas, liver diseases, malaria, rheumatic pain, promoting menstruation, stomachache, urinary disorders, uterine problems, venereal diseases


The above text has been printed from The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs by Leslie Taylor, copyrighted © 2005

All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, including websites, without written permission.

A complete Technical Data Report is available for this plant.

† The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this plant database file is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease. Please refer to our Conditions of Use for using this plant database file and web site.


1. “Carqueja helps maintain healthy functioning of the ileocecal valve. It is used for poor digestion and stomach pain. Research has also found that it has anthelmintic properties (against worms). Carqueja is used for hepatic dysfunctions, effectively removing liver obstructions. Carqueja is good in cases of anemia or loss of blood and is known for its blood-fortifying properties.”2. “Carqueja can be used to strengthen stomach and intestinal function. It helps purge obstructions of the liver and gallbladder. It helps strengthen digestion and the ileocecal valve and fortifies the blood. It can also support and tonify the nervous system and increases stomach yin.”

3. “ACTIONS: Enhances digestion, Fortifies blood, Tonifies liver and gallbladder, Aids ileocecal valve functions. TRADITIONAL USE: Carqueja is used as a tonic to the stomach, intestines, and ileocecal valve. Effective in the treatment of stomach and intestinal dysfunction. Builds the blood to avoid anemia. Purges obstructions of liver and gallbladder. Maintains healthy functioning of the ileocecal valve. Promotes the correction of digestive disorders. Carqueja eases digestion. MERIDIAN INDICATIONS: Increases Stomach Yin, Clears Liver / Gallbladder meridians. EVA POINTS: Stomach, Intestine, Liver, Spleen.”

Third-Party Published Research on Carqueja

All available third-party research on carqueja can be found at PubMed. A partial listing of the published research on carqueja is shown below:

Antacid & Anti-ulcer Actions:

Gonzales, E., et al. “Gastric cytoprotection of Bolivian medicinal plants.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2000; 70(3):329–33.

Gamberini, M. T., et al. “Açoes antiúlcera e antiácida do extracto aquoso e das fraçoes da Baccharis trimera.” Anais XII Simposio de Plantas Medicinais do Brasil. UFP: Curitiba, Paraná, 15–17 September 1992.

Sousa, B., et al., “Avaliaçao da atividade antiulcera do extrato bruto e fraçoes de Baccharis trimera.” Anais XII Simposio de Plantas Medicinais do Brasil. UFP: Curitiba, Paraná, 15–17 September 1992.

Gamberini, M. T., et al. “Inhibition of gastric secretion by a water extract from Baccharis triptera. Mart.” Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 1991; 86(Suppl. 2): 137-9.

Liver Protective & Detoxification Actions:

Soicke, H., et al. “Characterisation of flavonoids from Baccharis trimera and their antihepatotoxic properties.” Planta Med. 1987; 53(1): 37–9.

Anti-inflammatory, Muscle Relaxant, & Pain-Relieving Actions:

Paul, E., et al. “Anti-inflammatory and Immunomodulatory Effects of Baccharis trimera Aqueous Extract on Induced Pleurisy in Rats and Lymphoproliferation In Vitro.” Inflammation. 2009 Sep 15.

Abad, M. J., et al. “Anti-inflammatory activity of four Bolivian Baccharis species (Compositae).” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Feb; 103(3): 338-44.

Coelho, M. G., et al. “Anti-arthritic effect and subacute toxicological evaluation of Baccharis genistelloides aqueous extract.” Toxicol. Lett. 2004 1; 154(1-2): 69-80.

Hnatyszyn, O., et al. “Argentinian plant extracts with relaxant effect on the smooth muscle of the corpus cavernosum of guinea pig.” Phytomedicine. 2003 Nov; 10(8): 669-74.

Torres, L. M., et al. “Diterpene from Baccharis trimera with a relaxant effect on rat vascular smooth muscle.” Phytochemistry. 2000 Nov; 55(6): 617-9.

Gene, R. M., et al. “Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of Baccharis trimera: Identification of its active constituents.” Planta. Med. 1996; 62(3): 232–5.

Gene, R. M., et al. “Anti-inflammatory effect of aqueous extracts of three species of the genus Baccharis.” Planta Med. 1992 Dec; 58(6): 565-6.

Antmicrobial Actions:

Morales, G., et al. “Antimicrobial activity of three Baccharis species used in the traditional medicine of Northern Chile.” Molecules. 2008; 13(4): 790-4.

Betoni, J., et al. “Synergism between plant extract and antimicrobial drugs used on Staphylococcus aureus diseases.” Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 2006 Jun; 101(4): 387-90.

Sanchez Palomino, S., et al. “Screening of South American plants against human immunodeficiency virus: preliminary fractionation of aqueous extract from Baccharis trinervis.” Biol. Pharm. Bull. 2002; 25(9): 1147-50.

Abad, M. J., et al. “Antiviral activity of Bolivian plant extracts.” Gen. Pharmacol. 1999; 32(4): 499–503.

Abad, M. J., et al. “Antiviral activity of some South American medicinal plants.” Phytother. Res. 1999 Mar; 13(2): 142-6.

Robinson, W. E., et al. “Inhibitors of HIV-1 replication that inhibit HIV Integrase.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 1996; 93(13): 6326–31.

Abdel-Malek, S., et al. “Drug leads from the Kallawaya herbalists of Bolivia. 1. Background, rationale, protocol and anti-HIV activity.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1996; 50(3): 157–66.

Hypoglycemic & Antidiabetic Actions:

Dickel, M., et al. “Plants popularly used for loosing weight purposes in Porto Alegre, South Brazil. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jan; 109(1): 60-71.

Oliveira, A. C., et al. “Effect of the extracts and fractions of Baccharis trimera and Syzygium cumini on glycaemia of diabetic and non-diabetic mice.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Dec; 102(3): 465-9.

Hossen, S., et al. “Evaluacion in vivo de la actividad hipoglucemiante de plantas medicinales de los valles altos y bajos de Cochabamba.” Ed. Universidad Mayor De San Simón Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquímico-Farmacéuticas-Programa 2001; Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Alonso, P. E., et al. “Uso racional de las plantas medicinales.” Ed. Fin De Siglo Facultad de Química 1992; Montevideo, Uruguay.

Xavier, A. A., et al. “Effect of an extract of Baccharis genistelloides on the glucose level of the blood.” C. R. Seances Soc. Biol. Fil. 1967; 16(4): 972–4.

Antioxidant Actions:

Rodrigues, C., et al. “Genotoxic and antigenotoxic properties of Baccharis trimera in mice.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Aug; 125(1): 97-101.

Mendes, F., et al. “Evaluation of Baccharis trimera and Davilla rugosa in tests for adaptogen activity.” Phytother Res. 2007; 21(6): 517-22.

Simoes-Pires, C. A., et al. “Isolation and on-line identification of antioxidant compounds from three Baccharis species by HPLC-UV-MS/MS with post-column derivatisation.” Phytochem. Anal. 2005 Sep-Oct; 16(5): 307-14.

Melo, S. F., et al. “Effect of the Cymbopogon citratus, Maytenus ilicifolia and Baccharis genistelloides extracts against the stannous chloride oxidative damage in Escherichia coli.” Mutat. Res. 2001 Sep; 496(1-2): 33-8.

Sharp, H., et al. “6-Oxygenated flavones from Baccharis trinervis (Asteraceae).” Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 2001; 29(1): 105-107.

de las Heras, B., et al. “Antiinflammatory and antioxidant activity of plants used in traditional medicine in Ecuador.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1998 Jun; 61(2): 161-6.

Antivenin Actions:

Januario, A. H., et al. “Neo-clerodane diterpenoid, a new metalloprotease snake venom inhibitor from Baccharis trimera (Asteraceae): anti-proteolytic and anti-hemorrhagic properties.” Chem. Biol. Interact. 2004 Dec 7; 150(3): 243-51.

Toxicity Studies

Rodrigues, C., et al. “Genotoxic and antigenotoxic properties of Baccharis trimera in mice.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Aug; 125(1): 97-101.

Grance, S., et al. “Baccharis trimera: effect on hematological and biochemical parameters and hepatorenal evaluation in pregnant rats.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Apr; 117(1): 28-33.

Ingredients: Pure 100% carqueja (Baccharis genistelloides) whole herb (stem, leaves, flowers). No binders, fillers or additives are used. It is a wild harvested product—grown naturally in the Brazilian Amazon without any pesticides or fertilizers.

Suggested Use: This plant is best prepared as an infusion (tea): Use one teaspoon of powder for each cup of water. Pour boiling water over herb in cup and allow to steep 10 minutes. Strain tea (or allow settled powder to remain in the bottom of cup) and drink warm. It is traditionally taken in 1/2 cup dosages, 2-3 times daily. For more complete instructions on preparing herbal infusions, see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.


Not to be used during pregnancy as carqueja has demonstrated uterine stimulant and abortive effects in rats.

The use of this plant is contraindicated in persons with low blood pressure due to its documented hypotensive effects.

Carqueja has been documented to lower blood glucose levels in human and animal studies. As such, it is contraindicated in persons with hypoglycemia. Diabetics should monitor their blood sugar levels more closely if they use carqueja.

Drug Interactions: None reported, however, it may increase the effect of diabetic and antihypertensive drugs.

Other Practitioner Observations:

Carqueja has demonstrated antihepatotoxic (liver detoxifying) effects in animal studies. As such, it may speed the clearance of some drugs metabolized in the liver (decrease the half-life), thereby reducing the pharmacological effect (and/or side effects) of certain drugs required to be metabolized in the liver.

Comments are closed.