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Popular Remedies

Brazilian flora, which contains plants of almost every species and climates, is very prodigious, helping humans to combat the ills that disturb their health.

Popular Remedies

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 23/03/2020

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

Brazilian flora, which contains plants of almost every species and climates, is very prodigious, helping humans to combat the ills that disturb their health.
Before the existence of the pharmaceutical industry, which in Brazil only occurred at the beginning of the 20th century, humans had always sought relief in the therapeutic qualities of certain plants considered to be medicinal.

Pharmaceutical laboratories continue to use various plants in the manufacture of the majority of the medicines consumed in the world. For example, Switzerland, where there are large pharmaceutical companies, has always imported Brazilian medicinal plants.

The medicines are used in popular medicine in the form of teas, syrups, compresses, dressings, poultices, gargles and mouthwashes.
Here are some examples of diseases and their prescriptions through the use of popular remedies:

. garlic seed tea;
. mint leaf or mastruço leaf syrup;
. mint leaf and honey tea;
. ipecacuanha tea.

. carrot juice;
. beetroot juice;
. watercress syrup (250 grams of macerated leaves, one egg white and 350 grams of sugar);
. jurubeba (nightshade) root tea;
. yam with sugarcane syrup;

. maliça (giant sensitive plant) tea;
. Brazilian pepper tea;
. purple grass tea;
. camapu root tea.

. white garlic tea or syrup;
. banana heart tea;
. sunflower seed tea;
. rosemary leaf tea
. papaya tree flower tea;
. uruçu bee honey with egg yolk;
. mimosa tree bark syrup;
. roasted snail tea.

  apply a slice of tomato;
. drop candle wax on them;
. apply earwax;
. drop milk bush sap;
. rub crushed garlic on them.

. carnation flower tea;
. jatobá tree bark syrup;
. elderberry syrup;
. mint leaf tea;
. ginger tea.
. a spoon of uruçu bee honey, several times during the day.

. wash your hair with juazeiro tree bark every three days;
. rub your scalp with lime;
. wash your hair with coconut water.

. star fruit  tea, which reduces blood-sugar levels;
. elderberry flower tea;
. eat yoghurt with lime;
. tea made with three baby leaves from the white guava tree.

. camomile flower tea;
. ipecacuanha root tea;
. tea made from the baby leaves of a guava tree;
. lemongrass tea;
. lemon balm tea;
. chicken gizzard tea;
. eat green banana;
. eat a piece of raw cassava.

. eucalyptus tea;
. lemon balm tea;
. cashew tree bark tea;
. very strong garlic tea.

. fill the cavity with pipe dottle or snuff;
. cresol drops;
. apply yellow soap.

. quebra-pedra (Brazilian gooseberry) tea;
. sweet potato root tea;
. star fruit leaf tea;
. birdseed tea.

. clove seed tea;
. boldo tea;
. fennel tea;
. cashew nut tea;
. drink coffee with two cloves.

. mouthwash with cooked pomegranate peel (for adults);
. large basil tea;
. apply hollyhock syrup directly;
. apply uruçu bee honey or a piece of raw beef directly.

Recife, 11 July 2003.
(Updated on 31 August 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, March 2011.

sources consulted

SOUTO MAIOR, Mário. Remédios populares do Nordeste. Recife: Fundaj, Ed. Massangana, 1986.

how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Popular Remedies. Pesquisa Escolar On-Line, Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009