This member of the pokeweed family is native to Florida and the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas -- plus many points south of the US-Mexico border all the way into the Amazon rainforest. Commonly called garlic root, owing to the acrid odor of its leaves and roots, anamu adds a garlicky taste to the milk of those animals that graze upon it.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
The range of conditions that anamu is used to treat is astounding in its breadth and depth. The University of Illinois examined 1,400 plant extracts and identified anamu as one of only 34 plants containing active properties against cancer. The herb's leaf boosts the immune system, and it also reduces pain, fever, anxiety and spasms. Anamu kills fungi, viruses, Candida, bacteria, cancer cells and leukemia cells. Brazilian natives use the green medicine to treat arrow poisoning and snakebites. This botanical also increases urination (diuretic) and perspiration while lowering blood sugar. In the non-medical sphere, anamu has been employed with good effect as a bat and insect repellant.
ABOUT THE HERB
Deeply rooted, this perennial shrub reaches three feet in height. Small greenish-white flowers appear on thin spikes that rise above the dark green, leathery leaves. Although native to the tropical portions of the Western hemisphere, anamu has been successfully transplanted to the African countries of Benin and Nigeria, as well as to India.
Anamu is commercially available in the form of capsules and tinctures. Follow the recommended directions to enjoy the health-supporting benefits of this small but potent plant. As a word of caution, pregnant women should avoid this herb owing to its uterus-stimulating potential.
The opinions expressed are solely the writer's. NOTE: Visit herbalastrology.com to read Ted PanDeva Zagar's other articles and columns that discuss the benefits of herbs and natural foods. DISCLAIMER: The author's comments are not intended to serve as medical advice, and he urges his readers to seek qualified wellness professionals to resolve matters of health.