Brazilian Weight Loss Tea (Porangaba/Cha de Gubre)
- 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)
- Arisawa, M., et.al., Cell growth inhibition of KB Cells by Plant Extracts. Natual Medicines, 48 4: 338-347 (1994)
- 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)