Cecropia peltata: what it is for and how to use it

Cecropia peltata, also known as sloth tree, is a medicinal plant that has alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins and cardiotonic glycosides and, for this reason, it is normally used in order to combat high blood pressure.

The leaves and fruits of this tree, whose scientific name is Cecropia peltata L., can be found in health food stores or pharmacies, and it is important that its consumption is indicated according to the recommendation of the doctor or herbalist.

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What is cecropia peltata used for

Cecropia peltata has cardiotonic, vasodilating, diuretic, anti-hemorrhagic, astringent, antiasthmatic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, healing, expectorant and hypotensive properties, which is due to the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, anthraquinone, cardiotonic glycosides and tannins in its composition. Thus, this plant could be used to help treat:

  • Hypertension
  • Tachycardia
  • Cough
  • Asthma
  • Infections such as tuberculosis and whooping cough
  • Skin wounds
  • Renal, cardiac or nervous system changes
  • Dysentery
  • Despite having several indications, further studies are needed to prove the benefits of cecropia peltata, as well as its side effects. Therefore, the consumption of cecropia peltata is not recommended for pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding, since it is not yet known whether this plant could have effects during pregnancy or have any consequences for the baby.

In addition, it is important that the consumption of this plant is guided by the doctor, because in the case of large quantities being consumed, it is possible that the pressure will drop a lot, resulting in hypotension.

How to use

All parts of the cecropia peltata can be used to prepare juices, ointments or teas. Juices are usually indicated for the treatment of cough and respiratory problems, while the ointment, which is made with the branches, is indicated to promote the healing of wounds.

The most common way to use the cecropia peltata is through tea made with the leaf, which should be placed in boiling water and left for about 10 minutes. Then strain, wait for it to warm and drink a cup about 3 times a day.

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