Cipo Cabeludo is reputedly used as an analgesic, antibacterial, decongestant, antilithic and antileukemic powderCIPO CABELUDO

Family: Asteraceae

Genus: Mikania

Species: hirsutissima

Synonyms: Mikania banisteriae, M. caudata Benth., M. ferruginea, Willoughbya banisteriae

Common Names: Cipó cabeludo, guaco-cabeludo, guaco peludo, cipó-almecega-cabeludo, erva dutra

Price: £22.50 – 1lb / 454 gm Bag [wp_eStore_add_to_cart id=78]

Part Used: Leaves

From The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs:

Main Actions Other Actions Standard Dosage
  • relieves pain
  • kills leukemia cells
Vine, Leaves
  • reduces mucus
  • kills cancer cells
Infusion: 1/2 cup twice daily
  • increases urination
  • calms nerves
Tincture: 5-10 ml twice daily
  • thins blood

Cipó cabeludo is a very small, shrubby vine that grows only 13–18 cm tall and produces small, white flowers. A member of the Mikania genus (which comprises over 300 neotropical species of climbing vines), it is indigenous to many parts of Brazil, including the Amazon region. It is also indigenous to Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. In Brazil its common name is cipó cabeludo or guaco-cabeludo. It sometimes is confused with other Mikania vines that grow in the same regions—Mikania guaco or M. cordifolia—whose common name is “guaco” (which is also featured in this book).


Cipó cabeludo is widely used in Brazilian herbal medicine and highly regarded as a powerful diuretic. Its main documented uses there are for cystitis, prostatitis, urethritis, gout, urinary tract infections, excessive mucus, gallstones, kidney stones, and to help lower uric acid levels in the urine and blood. It is a preferred natural remedy for nephritis and prostatitis and is considered helpful in removing excessive mucous from the urinary and bronchial tracts. It also is employed as an pain-reliever for neuralgia, chronic rheumatism and arthritis, and general muscle pain.


Chemical screening has revealed that cipó cabeludo contains coumarin, sesquiterpenes, flavonols, saponins, and kaurenoic acid derivatives. These acid derivatives are chemicals that have been documented with various biological activities. Several of the known kaurenoic acids in cipó cabeludo (and other Mikania species) have demonstrated in vitro antibacterial properties against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria in published research. Cipó cabeludo (and other Mikania plants) contain the natural plant chemical coumarin. Coumadin (an anticoagulant prescription drug with blood-thinning effects) is derived and/or synthesized from this natural plant chemical. The main chemicals in this vine include coumarin, essential oils, flavonols, flavones, kaurenoic acid diterpenes, resins, saponins, and tannins.


This particular species of Mikania was described by a Brazilian researcher at the University of São Paulo in the early 1970s. In the mid-eighties, other Brazilian researchers documented that an extract of cipó cabeludo had powerful molluscicidal effects (it had a lethal effect against adult snails) at only 10 ppm concentration. This type of test generally is conducted on plants in the ongoing search for new products to treat the common and highly problematic tropical disease, schistosomiasis. More recently, cipó cabeludo has interested a research group in Japan. Their first study (in 1999) reported the discovery of two novel sesquiterpene chemicals as well as nine other known compounds. They tested eleven of the isolated compounds against leukemia cells in vitro and reported that four of them “showed relatively strong cytotoxicity.” Their second (2000) study reported that cipó cabeludo contained five biologically-active kaurenoic acids (which also occur in other Mikania species) as well as a novel one-which they named mikanialactone.

Little research has been conducted thus far on cipó cabeludo; virtually none of its longstanding traditional uses have been confirmed by animal studies. Its use for various urinary infections may be related to the documented antimicrobial kaurenoic acid derivative chemicals found in the vine but, again, these effects haven’t been confirmed in animals or humans. One rat study was recorded in 2002 that tested the anti-inflammatory effects of several Mikania species (some guaco species are known for their anti-inflammatory properties). While they noted no anti-inflammatory effect for cipó cabeludo, they reported there were no signs of toxicity in rats at a dosage of 400 mg per kg of body weight with a standard leaf decoction.


Today, cipó cabeludo is mainly used in various products and formulas in Brazil for kidney problems and prostatitis. It is not widely known or used outside of Brazil and very few products are available in the U.S. market.

Main Preparation Method: infusion or tinctureMain Actions (in order):
analgesic (pain-reliever), antibacterial, decongestant, antilithic (prevents or eliminates kidney stones), antileukemic Main Uses: 

  1. for prostatitis, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), and prostate pain
  2. for urinary tract disorders (infections, cystitis, nephritis, urethritis, kidney stones)
  3. as a pain reliever for neuralgia, arthritis, and general muscle pain
  4. as a decongestant to remove excessive mucous in the bowel, urinary tract, and lungs
  5. for leukemia

Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
antibacterial, anticoagulant, antileukemic, molluscicidal (kills snails)Other Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
analgesic (pain-reliever), antilithic (prevents or eliminates kidney stones), anti-rheumatic, blood cleanser, decongestant, diuretic, nervine (balances/calms nerves)

Cautions: Contains coumarin and might thin the blood and/or increase the effect of coumadin drugs.







Traditional Preparation: One-half cup of a standard herb infusion once twice daily, or 5-10 ml of a standard tincture daily is generally recommended in Brazilian herbal medicine. See instructions on preparing herbal remedies if necessary.


Cipó cabeludo is used in herbal medicine as a diuretic. While these effects have not been confirmed scientifically, use of this plant may be contraindicated in various medical conditions where diuretics are not appropriate. Chronic long-term use of any diuretic can cause electrolyte and mineral imbalances as well as other medical problems and are generally not recommended; therefore, it is probably best to avoid chronic use of this plant.

While not substantiated scientifically, it is possible that cipó cabeludo may demonstrate an blood thinning effect due to its coumarin content. Consult your doctor before using this plant if you are taking coumadin drugs (or if coumadin anticoagulant-type drugs are contraindicated for your condition).

Drug Interactions:

May potentiate coumadin drugs.

May potentiate diuretic drugs.

Brazil for albuminuria, arthritis, cystitis, diarrhea, excessive mucus, gallstones, gastrointestinal disorders, gout, kidney stones, lumbago, menstrual colic, muscle pain, nephritis, neuralgia, pain, paralysis, prostatitis, renal disorders, rheumatism, urethritis, urinary insufficiency, urinary tract infections


The above text has been pprinted 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.

† 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.


Third-Party Research on Cipó Cabeludo

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

Anti-inflammatory Actions:

Lim, H., et al. “Anti-inflammatory activity of the constituents of the roots of Aralia continentalis.” Arch. Pharm. Res. 2009 Sep; 32(9): 1237-43.

Boller, S., et al. “Anti-inflammatory effect of crude extract and isolated compounds from Baccharis illinita DC in acute skin inflammation.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Aug 25.

Suyenaga, E. S., et al. “Anti-inflammatory investigation of some species of Mikania.” Phytother. Res. 2002; 16(6): 519-23.

Paiva, L. A., et al. “Anti-inflammatory effect of kaurenoic acid, a diterpene from Copaifera langsdorffi on acetic acid-induced colitis in rats.” Vascul. Pharmacol. 2002 Dec; 39(6): 303-7.

Vasorelaxant & Antispasmodic Actions:

Tirapelli, C. R., “Pharmacological comparison of the vasorelaxant action displayed by kaurenoic acid and pimaradienoic acid.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 2005; 57(8): 997-1004.

Ambrosio, S. R., “Role of the carboxylic group in the antispasmodic and vasorelaxant action displayed by kaurenoic acid.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 2004; 56(11): 1407-13.

Tirapelli, C. R., et al. “Analysis of the mechanisms underlying the vasorelaxant action of kaurenoic acid in the isolated rat aorta.” Eur. J. Pharmacol. 2004 May; 492(2-3): 233-41.

Antimicrobial Actions:

Urzúa, A., et al. “A structure-activity study of antibacterial diterpenoids.” Molecules. 2008 Apr; 13(4): 882-91.

Ohkoshi, E., et al. “ent-Kaurenoic acids from Mikania hirsutissima (Compositae).” Phytochemistry. 2004 Apr; 65(7): 885-90.

Wilkins, M., et al. “Characterization of the bactericidal activity of the natural diterpene kaurenoic acid.” Planta Med. 2002; 68(5): 452–54.

Davino, S. C., et al. “Antimicrobial activity of kaurenoic acid derivatives substituted on carbon-15.” Braz. J. Med. Biol. Res. 1989; 22(9): 1127–29.

de Souza, C. P., et al. “Chemoprophylaxis of schistosomiasis: molluscacidal activity of natural products—assays with adult snails and oviposition.” An. Acad. Bras. Cienc. 1984; 56(3): 333–38.

Antileukemic Actions:

Cavalcanti, B., et al. “Kauren-19-oic acid induces DNA damage followed by apoptosis in human leukemia cells.” J. Appl. Toxicol. 2009 Oct; 29(7): 560-8.

Ohkoshi, E., et al. “Studies on the constituents of Mikania hirsutissima (Compositae).” Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1999; 47(10): 1436–38.

Chemical Constituents:

Ohkoshi, E., et al. “ent-Kaurenoic acids from Mikania hirsutissima (Compositae).” Phytochemistry. 2004 Apr; 65(7): 885-90.

Ohkoshi, E., et al. “A novel bisnorditerpenelactone from Mikania hirsutissima.” Chem. Pharm. Bull. 2000; 48(11): 1774–75.

Ohkoshi, E., et al. “Studies on the constituents of Mikania hirsutissima (Compositae).” Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1999; 47(10): 1436–38.

Muradian, J. M., et al. “Flavonols and (-) karu-16-en-19-oic acid from Mikania hirsutissima.” Rev. Latinam. Quim. 1977; 8: 88–9.

Ingredients: 100% pure cipó cabeludo leaves (Mikania hirsutissima). 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 amounts, twice daily. For more complete instructions on preparing herbal infusions, see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.

Contraindications: While not substantiated scientifically, it is possible that cipó cabeludo may demonstrate an blood thinning effect due to its coumarin content. Consult your doctor before using this plant if you are taking coumadin drugs (or if coumadin anticoagulant-type drugs are contraindicated for your condition).

Drug Interactions: Might enhance the action of anticoagulant drugs.

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