Remo Caspi purported to be antimarial, stomachic, antiseptic, antitusive and an aphrodisiacREMO CASPI

Family: Apocynaceae

Taxon: Aspidosperma excelsum Benth.

Synonyms: Macaglia excelsa (Benth.) Kuntze

Common names: avore de carapana, arvore dos mosquitos, canalete, carapanauba, jaroeroe, musara, paddle tree, paddlewood, parihoedoe, porekai, remo caspi, yarula, yaruru, zwart

Price: £22.50 – 1lb / 454 gm Bag [wp_eStore_add_to_cart id=134]

Parts Used: Root bark

Main Actions Other Actions Standard Dosage
  • reduces fever
  • lowers blood pressure
Root bark
  • anti-malarial
  • supports erectile function
Decoction: 1 cup 3 times daily
  • aids digestion
Tincture: 2-3 ml twice daily
  • expels intestinal gas
  • suppresses coughs
  • kills germs

Remo caspi is a huge multi-buttressed canopy tree of the Amazon Rainforest. It grows up to 30 meters high and has large above-ground buttress roots. The name “remo caspi” is Spanish for paddle wood and refers to the large buttress roots that are often used to construct canoe paddles since the root wood is lightweight yet highly durable. The tree produces very small white flowers and a very distinctive knobby and woody capsule as a fruit.

Remo caspi can be found throughout the lower elevations of the Amazon basin in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, and Guyana. The Aspidosperma genus comprises approximately 80 species of trees in tropical South America and the West Indies.


The bark from remo caspi’s buttress roots are a very common remedy of the local people throughout the Amazon rainforest for malaria. A decoction of the root bark is usually prepared for malaria and other types of fevers. The stem bark or leaf stems are also chewed on to relieve toothaches by the Ese’eja and Shipibo-Conibo Indians. In addition, the Shipibo-Conibo Indians use remo caspi for hepatitis, to prevent cavities, as well as to treat malaria.

In Brazilian herbal medicine systems, remo caspi is considered a carminative (expels intestinal gas) and a digestive aid. It is also used for bronchitis, inflammation, fevers, diabetes, cancer, and malaria. In herbal medicine in Peru, the root bark is considered an aphrodisiac, vasodilator, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and cicatrizant (causes wounds to scab) and it is used for malaria, high blood pressure and bronchitis.


The main active constituents of remo caspi are a group of indole alkaloids that are called aspidosperma alkaloids. Several of these alkaloids are documented with antimalarial actions which help explain why the tree is so widely used for malaria and malarial fevers in the Amazon. The root bark also contains another well known alkaloid called yohimbine. Yohimbine has been the subject of much research as a vasodilator for the treatment for erectile dysfunction. Remo caspi’s traditional uses for high blood pressure and as an aphrodisiac are probably attributed to the yohimbine alkaloids found in the root bark.


Very little research has been conducted on this rainforest canopy tree. Laboratory testing in vitro reveals that it has antibacterial actions against Staphylococcus and Bacillus but not against several other bacterial and fungal strains they tested. In another laboratory test that is intended to predict antitumor activity, a dichloromethane extract of the root bark was much more active than a methanol extract. Remo caspi has also been documented with antioxidant actions


Besides its widespread use for malaria in the Amazon, even in South America, remo caspi is probably better known for it lumber and construction material value than its medicinal value. The tree is quite popular with the loggers and the lumber industry since it produces a huge quantity of high quality rainforest hardwood timber. While its buttress roots are traditionally turned into wooden paddles by the locals, the rest of this “paddle wood tree” produces valuable lumber for numerous construction uses to the large multi-national logging companies.

As a traditional herbal remedy, remo caspi is a good one for malaria, as well as for sluggish digestion, sluggish sexual performance, and for coughs and bronchitis.

Main Preparation Method: tincture or decoctionMain Actions (in order): antimalarial, stomachic, antiseptic, antitussive, aphrodisiac Main Uses: 

  1. for malaria
  2. as a cough suppressant for bronchitis and other respiratory conditions
  3. for digestive difficulties, bloating and gas
  4. as an aphrodisiac
  5. for high blood pressure

Properties/Actions Documented by Research: antibacterial, antimalarial, antioxidant, antiplasmodial, antitumorProperties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use: antimalarial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antitussive, aphrodisiac, carminative, cicatrizant, febrifuge, stomachic

Cautions: None reported.







Traditional Preparation: Remo caspi root bark is traditionally prepared in decoctions, or for longer storage, in tinctures. See Traditional Herbal Remedies Preparation Methods page if necessary for definitions.

Contraindications: None reported.

Drug Interactions: None reported.

Argentina for toothaches
Brazil as an antimicrobial, carminative, and stomachic; for bronchitis, cancer, diabetes, fever, and malaria
Peru as an aphrodisiac, antiseptic, antimicrobial, antitussive, cicatrizant and vasodilator; for bronchitis, erectile function, fever, hepatitis, high blood pressure, malaria, toothaches, and wounds


Mitaine-Offer, A. C., et al. “Antiplasmodial activity of Aspidosperma indole alkaloids.” Phytomedicine. 2002 Mar; 9(2): 142-5.

Deutsch, H., et al. “Isolation and biological activity of aspidospermine and quebrachine from an Aspidosperma tree source.” J. Pharma. Biomed. Anal. 1994; 12: 1283-1287.

Steele, J., et al. “Two novel assays for the detection of haemin-binding properties of antimalarials evaluated with compounds isolated from medicinal plants.” J. Antimicro. Chemo. 2002; 50: 25–31.

Kernohan, A. F., et al. “An oral yohimbine/L-arginine combination (NMI 861) for the treatment of male erectile dysfunction: a pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and interaction study with intravenous nitroglycerine in healthy male subjects.” Br. J. Clin. Pharmacol. 2005; 59(1): 85-93.

Sharabi, F. M., et al. “Comparative effects of sildenafil, phentolamine, yohimbine and L-arginine on the rabbit corpus cavernosum.” Fundam. Clin. Pharmacol. 2004 Apr; 18(2): 187-94.

Verpoorte, R., et al. Screening of antimicrobial activity of some plants belonging to the Apocynaceae and Loganiaceae.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1983; 8(3): 287-302.

Verpoorte, R., et al. Medicinal plants of Surinam. III. Antimicrobially active alkaloids from Aspidosperma excelsum.” Planta Med. 1983; 48(4): 283-289.

Desmarcheilier, C., et al. “Studies on the cytotoxicity, antimicrobial and DNA-binding activities of plants used by the Ese’Ejas.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1996; 50(2): 91-96.

Desmarcheilier, C., et al. “Total Reactive Antioxidant Potential (TRAP) and Total Antioxidant Reactivity (TAR) of medicinal plants used in Southwest Amazonia (Bolivia and Peru).” Pharmaceutical Biology 1997 Oct; 35(4): 288-296.

The above text has been authored by Leslie Taylor, ND and copyrighted © 2006. 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.

Ingredients: 100% pure remo caspi bark (Aspidosperma excelsum). No binders, fillers or additives are used. This plant is non-irradiated and not fumigated, and has grown naturally in the Peruvian Amazon without pesticides or fertilizers.

Suggested Use:* This plant is best prepared as a decoction. Use one teaspoon of powder for each cup of water. Bring to a boil and gently boil in a covered pot for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and settle for 10 minutes and strain warm liquid into a cup (leaving the settled powder in the bottom of the pan). It is traditionally taken in 1 cup dosages 2-3 times daily. This decoction is also traditionally applied to the skin. For more complete instrutions on preparing herbal decoctions see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.

Contraindications: None known.

Drug Interactions: None known.

Comments are closed.