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Reduces persistent nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy

  • Family. Rubiaceae.

  • Synonyms. Latin: Uragoga ipecacuanha Baill. German: Brechwurzel. English: ipecac. French: Ipéca.

  • Description. A half-shrubby, perennial plant, with several spreading, twisting roots, about the size of a goose quill, simple, or somewhat branched, descending obliquely into the ground. The stem, 0.6-0.9 m long, partly under ground, rooting easily, is smooth and gray at the base, pubescent and green above. The leaves are opposite, petiolate, obovate, acute, entire, blackish-green, somewhat rough above, pale, downy and veined beneath, 7.5-10 cm long, 2.5-5 cm broad, with large stipules. The flowers are very small, white, sessile, 10 to 20 in a dense head, on an axillary, but apparently terminal, peduncle, surrounded by an involucre of four bracts. The dried root is 3-6 mm thick, composed of a thread-like center wholly or partially encircled with knotty ridges, also wrinkled lengthwise. It is brittle, externally brown, internally whitish-gray and somewhat resinous or waxy.

  • Habitat. Brazil and the northern part of South America; growing abundantly in hot, moist forests.

  • Used parts. The rhizomes and roots dry thickened, whose bark contains most of the active components.