Chuchuhuasi refers to several different species of the Maytenus genus. Maytenus may be found around the world and may be used in a variety of traditional medicine systems. Typically, however, Maytenus macrocarpa, M. krukovii (M.chuchuhuasha), and M. laevis are the more widely accepted species for chuchuhuasi. These and other native South American plants of the Maytenus genus may be found in the tropical rainforests.
The bark, roots, and leaves of various species referred to as "chuchuhuasi" have been used in ethnomedicine for many purposes, including the treatment of rheumatism, due to claims of anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Chuchuhuasi has also been used for tuberculosis, bronchitis, stomachache, and fever. Chewing the bark of the chuchuhuasi is considered by traditional medicine experts to be effective for the treatment of diarrhea, arthritis, and menstrual problems.
Chuchuhuasi may contain a variety of active substances. Limited research suggests that chuchuhuasi may be useful in the treatment of skin cancer. However, further research is needed. Clinical evidence supporting the use of chuchuhuasi for any condition in humans is lacking.
3-oxofriedelan-28-oic acid, 3-oxofriedelan-29-oic acid, 24(Z)-3-oxodammara20(21),24-dien-27-oic acid, 28,29-dihydroxyfriedelan-3-one, agarofuran sesquiterpenes, canophyllol, catechin tannins, Celastraceae (family), Celastrus macrocarpus, chocha huasha (shipibo-conibo), chu chu huasu, chucchu huashu, chuchasha, chuchuasi, chuchuhuasha, chuchuhuasi, chuchuwasha, chuchuwasha blanca, dammarane-type terpeines, dulcitol, ebenifoline alkaloids, epigallocatechin, euojaponine alkaloids, friedelane-type triterpenes, Haenkea macrocarpa, Haenkea multiflora, hydroxytingenone, isoxuxuarine B alpha, isoxuxuarine B beta, krukovine A, krukovine B, krukovine triterpenes, laevisine alkaloids, macrocarpin triterpenes, macrocarpins, makrocarpine, maytansine, mayteine, maytenin, maytenoic acid, Maytenus boaria, Maytenus chuchuhuasca, Maytenus colasii, Maytenus diversifolia, Maytenus ebenifolia, Maytenusguyanensis, Maytenus krukovii, Maytenus laevis, Maytenus macrocarpa, Maytenus multiflora, Maytenus terapotensis, mebeverine, octa-nor-13-hydroxydammara-1-en-3,17-dione, ouratea-proanthocyanidin A, ouratea-proanthocyanidin B, phenoldienones, pristimeran, pristimerin, pristimerine, proanthocyanidins, sesquiterpenes, tingenone, triterpenes, xuxuá, xuxuasin A, xuxuasin B.
Note: The name "catuaba" may be used for the infusions of the bark of several trees that are native to Brazil. The most widely used barks are derived from the trees Trichilia catigua and Erythroxylum vacciniifolium; however, "catuaba" may also refer to the bark of Maytenus species. Catuaba is a remedy common in Brazilian folk medicine.
Maytenus spp. may be found around the world and may be used in a variety of traditional medicine systems. This monograph, however, will focus on Maytenus spp. from South America that are more commonly associated with chuchuhuasi. According to review, several different species may be referred to as "chuchuhuasi," which may cause a modicum of confusion. In addition to Maytenus macrocarpa, Maytenus species that are generally used as chuchuhuasi may also include, but may not be limited to, M.krukovii (M.chuchuhuasha) and M.laevis, and occasionally M. colasii (Salacia colasii).
Other species that have been associated with chuchuhuasi include M. ebenifolia, M. boaria, and M.guyanensis (secondary sources). Typically, however, M. macrocarpa, M.krukovii (M.chuchuhuasha), and M.laevis are the more widely accepted species for chuchuhuasi. Some secondary sources cite that M. ilicifolia is used as chuchuhuasi; however, expert opinion indicates that this species should not be associated with chuchuhuasi.
This monograph focuses primarily on M. macrocarpa, M.krukovii (M.chuchuhuasha), and M.laevis, in addition to M. ebenifolia, M. boaria, M.guyanensis, and to a lesser extent, M. colasii.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Limited study suggests that maytenin, a component extracted from certain