Brazilians call it anamu, Peruvians call it mucura, the English refer to it as garlic guinea weed. Whatever the name, anamu, or Petiveria alliacea, is native to many parts of South America, Mexico, Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean. Anamu has a strong, garlic-like odor and equally powerful therapeutic properties that have been used by herbal enthusiasts all over the world.
Why is Anamu Beneficial?
Anamu contains tannins and other compounds that have known beneficial qualities. Also found in many berries and fruits, tannins are strong antioxidants that are resistant to swelling and redness. Anamu also contains dibenzyl trisulfide, a unique sulfuric compound that’s exhibited some interesting behavior in the laboratory. 
Anamu and Harmful Organisms
Anamu roots and leaves have been used to help the body purge harmful organisms.  According to the Department of Chemistry at State University of New York at Albany, anamu root has demonstrated resistance to both bacteria and fungus.  Anamu is popular in Argentina for fighting certain viruses.  Extracts of anamu leaves and stems have been used as a control agent for cattle ticks. 
Other Health Benefits of Anamu
Besides its efficacy against harmful organisms, many cultures have utilized anamu flowers, leaves, and roots to remedy negative health conditions as well as immune system support.
In Brazilian folk medicine, anamu leaves and root may be made into a tea reputed to help reduce fever, lessen muscle spasms, relieve pain, and calm the nerves.  In other Amazonian traditional medicine systems, anamu is used to promote detoxification via urine production and resist irritation.  Like many other botanicals, anamu has exhibited antioxidant activity which helps fight free radicals and reduce oxidative damage.  In animal studies, extracts from anamu leaves and stems have been observed to reduce blood sugar. 
If you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant, it’s best if you avoid anamu. Some studies have shown that it may stimulate uterine contractions which can lead to abortion.  Additionally, anamu has a blood thinning effect. If you have blood disorders, you should talk to your healthcare provider before taking the herb or any supplement that lists it as an ingredient.
- Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
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