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Cure Yourself with Ancient Aztec Herb and Plant Remedies

Quassia - Cuasia
(Picrasma excelsa)

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  1. Common Names: Quassia,  Bitter Wood,  Picrasma,  Jamaican Quassia,  Surinam Quassia,  Quassia Amara,  Amargo,  Surinam Wood,  and Ruda.
  2. Scientific Names: Quassia is a collective term for two herbs:  Picrasma excelsa and Quassia amara L.
  3. Family: Simaroubaceae.

Quassia wood is used for the digestive system. It is a bitter tonic and Stomachic. In small doses it increases the appetite and is recommended to treat the formation of acid substances during digestion.

What Is Quassia?  The pale yellow, intensely bitter-tasting wood of the West Indian quassia tree is granulated to prepare a medicinal remedy. Clusters of small, rose-colored flowers and long pinnate leaves grow on this tall tree. The wood of the Surinam quassia, Quassia amara L., a smaller tree that grows in Colombia, Argentina, Guyana, Mexico and Panama, is also used.

What it Is Used For?: West Indian natives familiar with this tree reportedly carved "quassia cups" out of the wood, added hot water, and let these stand long enough that the extremely bitter resin in the wood would be drawn into the water. They then sipped the mixture when indigestion or other stomach upsets developed or the appetite needed a boost. Quassia became a common European bitter tonic for similar conditions once it was imported to the continent in the 1700s. Although it is little used for these purposes today, quassia does appear in a number of prepared stomach-soothing and bile-stimulating herbal formulas. The extract, quassin, has been similarly used, and a number of contemporary herbalists recommend it for stimulating liver, gall bladder, kidney, and other internal "juices." Homeopaths prescribe minute dosages of quassia for a variety of ailments.

The use of oral and rectal (enema) formulations for intestinal worms, once quite popular, has become dated. Topical quassia formulations such as lotions are sometimes applied to combat body lice. Many aperitifs, liqueurs, and tonic wines contain this bitter wood. It also serves as a flavoring in foods and beverages. Gardeners regard it as an effective insect repellent and pesticide.

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Properties Used by Aztec's

Aperitif,  Digestive,  Tonic,  Helps in the secretion of Bile,  Diuretic and Laxative.

Aztec Method of Use

Drink 2 cups a day, 1 in the morning and one at bedtime of the maceration of 5 to 10 grams of Quassia wood to 1/2 liter of water, let rest for 12 hours, then it will be ready to take.

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CAUTION: This presentation is not a guide to the identification of plants or their use as a substitute for standard medical treatments. Many plants with medicinal properties are also toxic and frequently FATAL if taken at incorrect dosages or if not prepared in a specific fashion. We do not advocate the consumption of reputed medicinal plant products without prior consultation with your physicianor other natural plant products professional. Consult Your Physician Before Using a Herbal Remedy!


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