Guinea hen weed plant extracts are used for anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antispasmodic, emmenagogic, analgesic, antileukemic, antirheumatic, anthelmintic, antimicrobial, and depurative purposes. Due to its activity on the CNS, P. alliaceae is also used as an anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, anesthetic, and sedative.
About Guinea Hen Weed
In Jamaica, guinea hen weed (GHW) has several names: guinea hen leaf, garlic weed or gully root, but in other countries it is called anamu. This herb is indigenous to the Amazon rainforest and the tropical areas of the Caribbean, Central and South America and Africa. Its botanical name is Petiveria alliacea.
Traditional medicinal uses of GHW date back to the Mayan era in South America. Many conditions were treated, including rheumatism, cancer, nervous spasms, paralysis, hysteria, asthma, whooping cough, colds, influenza, pneumonia, bronchitis, fevers, headaches, cystitis, venereal diseases, menstrual complaints and colic, by using the plant internally.
External applications were used to treat earaches, fever and headaches. The roots were used to treat toothaches, and crushed leaves applied to the belly to induce labor. Nose drops were instilled to treat sinusitis, and crushed leaves were applied to abscesses and used for muscular pain and skin diseases.
Modern herbalists and natural health practitioners now use it for several disorders, including arthritis, digestive disease, infections, diabetes, cancer, pain relief, nervous disorders, prostate problems, and even to induce abortions.