This Brazilian native is commonly known as "coffee of the woods" (café do mato), a reference to the similarity between its red fruits and coffee beans. Roasted and brewed as an herb tea to serve as a coffee substitute, chá de bugre possesses another coffee characteristic: they both contain caffeine.


Chá de bugre enjoys immense popularity in Brazil and other parts of South America as a weight-loss aid. This herb functions as an appetite suppressant and also as an effective diuretic to lend support to this process. It also combats unsightly cellulite. In an increasingly overweight and unhealthy America, chá de bugre should rise to an exalted status, especially in light of the fact that it also contributes to a well regulated, healthy heart and good circulation. A natural stimulant without nervous side effects, this botanical increases energy and enhances mental alertness. A Japanese researcher discovered that this tropical tree possesses inhibitory effects upon the herpes 1 virus.


A product of the Amazon rainforest, chá de bugre is a small tree that rises between 25 and 40 feet above the forest floor. Its medicine resides in the plant's red fruits, leaves and bark.


One cup of tea rendered from the chá de bugre leaf is consumed 2 or 3 times each day. By drinking the tea 30 minutes before each meal, a feeling of fullness presents itself at the dinner table, enabling the diner to limit food intake. The tea can also be applied topically to address a variety of skin conditions and to enhance the healing of wounds.

The opinions expressed are solely the writer's. NOTE: Visit 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.