The Kalanchoe pinnata, also known as mother-of-a-thousand, mother-of-thousands and fortune, is a medicinal plant originating on the African island of Madagascar, and can be easily found in Brazil. In addition to being an ornamental and easy to reproduce plant, it has medicinal properties popularly known, however it should be used carefully due to the risk of intoxication with its high dosages and for having little scientific proof.
This plant should not be confused with amaranth, which is a gluten-free cereal rich in protein, fiber and vitamins. Check here the benefits of amaranth.
The scientific name of Kalanchoe pinnata and plants belonging to this family have the substance bufadienolide with properties that can be antioxidants and, sometimes, used to fight cancer, however it is not yet fully clarified by scientific studies and needs more research.
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What is it for Kalanchoe pinnata
Aranto is popularly used to treat inflammatory and infectious diseases, diarrheal episodes, fevers, coughs and wound healing. For having sedative actions it is also used in people with psychological problems, such as panic attacks and schizophrenia.
It can be effective in combating cancer due to its potential cytotoxicity property, attacking cancer cells. However, to date, there is still insufficient scientific evidence of this benefit with the direct consumption of the plant’s leaves.
Although Kalanchoe pinnata is used due to its anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, healing, analgesic and potentially antitumor effect, these properties are still being studied.
How to use Kalanchoe pinnata
The popular use of Kalanchoe pinnata is made with the consumption of its leaves in the form of juices, teas or raw in salads. No more than 30 g of aranto should be ingested per day due to the risk of toxic effects on the body with its high doses.
The application of dry extract of Kalanchoe pinnata in wounds is also traditionally used to accelerate the healing process.
Before starting to consume Kalanchoe pinnata, a doctor should be consulted and it is essential to certify that it is the correct plant in order not to run the risk of ingesting plant species toxic to humans.
Possible side effects
There are risks of intoxication with consumption above 5 grams per kg daily. Thus, a daily dose of a maximum of 30 grams of the leaf is recommended, as the ingestion of a higher dosage can cause paralysis and muscle contractions.
Contraindications for Kalanchoe pinnata
The consumption of Kalanchoe pinnata is contraindicated for pregnant women as it can cause an increase in uterine contractions. In addition, children, people with hypoglycemia and low blood pressure should also not consume this plant.
Despite this, when Kalanchoe pinnata is consumed within the recommended daily dose, there are no other contraindications, since this plant is no longer considered toxic, however it is essential to consult the doctor before starting to consume Kalanchoe pinnata.