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Brazilian Weight Loss Tea (Porangaba/Cha de Gubre)

Updated on October 24, 2010
Cha de Bugre - Used by Brazilians to slim down
Cha de Bugre - Used by Brazilians to slim down

Research notes

  1. Hayashi K, et.al., Antiviral activity of an extract of Cordia salicifolia on herpes simplex virus type 1.Planta Med, 56: 439-43 (October 1990)
  2. Arisawa, M., et.al., Cell growth inhibition of KB Cells by Plant Extracts. Natual Medicines, 48 4: 338-347 (1994)
  3. Matsunaga, K., et.al., Excitatory and inhibitory effects of paraguayan medicinal plants Equisetum giganteum, Acanthpspermum australe, Allophylus edlis and Cordia salicifolia on contraction of rabbit aorta and giunea-pig left atrium. Natural Medicines, 51: 478-481 (1997).

Known in Brazil as chá de bugre or porangaba, and commonly served along Brazil's famous beaches, Brazilian weight loss tea comes from the plant Cordia salicifolia, native to the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Goias (but also grown in Paraguay and Argentina). It is very popularly drunk in Brazil for its appetite suppressive capabilities--if drunk 30-60 minutes before a meal, one can apparently feel full having eaten less food.

Although it contains some caffeine as well, chá de bugre is drunk for all-night partiers, since it's able to deliver a "clean" burst of energy far beyond what its caffeine provides.

The plant really takes off during the summer, where it sells briskly to those looking to lose weight and shape up for the beach season. In addition to the tea, tinctures (extracts) and pills are widely sold throughout Brazil expressly for the purpose of weight loss.

How is it prepared?

Similar to coffee, cha de bugre yields small red berries, whose seeds can be roasted and ground into a coffee-like beverage.

Other medicinal benefits

Research into cha de bugre has found that it has anti-cancer and antiviral properties as well:

  • a Japanese study found cells pretreated with cha de bugre were 99% resistant to penetration by Herpes Simplex I (note 1)
  • a second Japanese study found cha de bugre to have an anticancerous effect, with a 40% inhibition of cancerous cell growth (note 2)
  • a final study in 1997 found that cha de bugre strengthened the heart and cardiovascular system of rabbits (note 3)

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    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 9 years ago

      Wow those are impressive medicinal benefits! Good hub!

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

      I agree with Isabella.

      Good Hub

    • Guru-C profile image

      Cory Zacharia 9 years ago

      Dear Livelonger: Thank you so much for sharing this great information. I need to lose a few pounds and my dr. told me to try Alli which i really don't want to do. I'm going to try this.

    • flosblogspot profile image

      flosblogspot 9 years ago from Wilberforce Ontario

      I found this article very interesting I wish I could get some of this good stuff

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Great HUB!

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Mark Knowles profile image

      Mark Knowles 9 years ago

      So - Does it work?

      En waar heb je in Nederland gewoond?

    • livelonger profile image
      Author

      Jason Menayan 9 years ago from San Francisco

      The jury's out on weight loss - keep in mind that even the prescription weight loss aids are a bit iffy...

      Ik heb in Rotterdam gewoond. Helaas m'n nederlands is niet zo goed. :)

    • Mark Knowles profile image

      Mark Knowles 9 years ago

      Ik ook. Ik heb in Leiden en Voorschoten gewoond.

      And I can't imagine this tea will help lose weight, but it was an interesting hub.

    • livelonger profile image
      Author

      Jason Menayan 9 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks Mark - I read about porangaba in a health newsletter I get, and did a little more research. It sounds like it just might be refreshing when you're at the beach on a hot day.

    • profile image

      Fashionbymarz 9 years ago

      Interesting hub. do you know anyone that has actually used this tea?

    • TotalHealth profile image

      TotalHealth 9 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

      I've never heard of chá de bugre before but it looks interesting. I'll look into it further. I've been drinking green tea for years and definitely believe in its weight loss capabilities in addition to the well documented cancer prevention benefits.

    • profile image

      Iðunn 9 years ago

      hard not to like tea even if it doesn't promote weight loss. I fell in love with Barry's Gold myself and I'm partial to oolong and green teas.

    • livelonger profile image
      Author

      Jason Menayan 9 years ago from San Francisco

      Haven't tried Barry's Gold - what is it? I love a good oolong or green. My favorite oolong is Taiwanese "Tung Ting" - it has a faint peachy aroma to it!

    • profile image

      Iðunn 9 years ago

      http://www.barrystea.us/catalog/product_info.php?p...

      "Barry’s Gold Blend Tea is the company’s flagship brand. Barry’s Tea are leaders in the Gold blend sector of the market. The finest quality teas from the high mountain slopes of Kenya and the Assam Valley of India are skillfully selected for Gold Blend. It has a uniquely refreshing taste and a bright golden colour."

      customer review and I'd have to agree:

      http://www.barrystea.us/catalog/product_reviews_in...

      unless you live in the northeast irish neighborhoods, you have to special order it from online.

    • livelonger profile image
      Author

      Jason Menayan 9 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks for the tip! I'm no stranger to online ordering, so I'll have to try it. I'm less a fan of black teas but do enjoy their pungent, fragrant flavor every now and then. And Irish Breakfast is my usual straight black tea of choice (although I really like Persian black tea flavored with oil of bergamot and cardamom too)

    • profile image

      Iðunn 9 years ago

      I haven't explored teas as much as you and where I live our choices in the local groceries are pretty limited as I live very rural. I've been looking for a recommendation on a good oolong so I'm going to try to find the one you named online and order it.

      Maybe we can compare laterz. :)

    • profile image

      Ashley 9 years ago

      My uncle had to lose some extra weight before a surgery so my grandpa had done some research on herbal weight loss ways and now swears by this tea, say it works great.

    • livelonger profile image
      Author

      Jason Menayan 9 years ago from San Francisco

      I definitely suggest trying Persian tea. They drink it by holding a piece of rock candy between their teeth, and allowing the tea to dissolve a little bit of it and sweeten the tea. I usually sweeten the more traditional way but either way it tastes lovely.

    • profile image

      dafla 9 years ago

      I wonder if all cordias have these properties? We grow cordia sebestiana here in Florida, as well as a native white flowered cordia. Of course, their seeds are much larger, but the fruit is edible, so I'm wondering if the fruit would have those properties. I'll have to research this. Thanks for the hub!

    • livelonger profile image
      Author

      Jason Menayan 9 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi dafla - Not sure, esp considering the jury's still out whether it really helps with weight loss, or if it just tastes good. :) What is the fruit of Cordia sebestiana taste like? Does it make you feel less hungry?

    • Jason Stanley profile image

      Jason Stanley 9 years ago

      Very interesting, weight loss from an emotional / psychological perspective is my specialty and I am always interested in indigenous remedies with weight loss.

      Thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      Zandra 7 years ago

      I have been using this product for a week now and it seems to be working as a hunger suppressent and I have seen a weight reduction.

    • biliph profile image

      biliph 5 years ago from Philippines

      Beware of the Brazilian Slimming Coffee kind (not TEA but COFFEE), as drinkers have reported side effects of constipation, chest pain and nausea. You can read more about it here: http://bili.ph/brazilian-slimming-coffee/

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