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Learn about Mulungu

Botanical name: Erythrina mulungu
Other names: Coral flower

Mulungu has a long tradition of use in Brazil and Peru as a natural sedative for nervous disorders such as insomnia, anxiety, stress and depression. It has become one of our most popular herbs for sleep problems, and many people find it very effective. Mulungu is a strong sedating herb – it calms and sedates the nervous system to encourage deep sleep and healthy sleeping patterns. It’s also beneficial for mental disturbances such as depression, anxiety and stress, hysteria, panic, trauma and shock.

Mulungu is used in both Brazil and Peru for epilepsy due to its proven sedating effects on overactive neurotransmitters.

Mulungu is also used in South America to treat hepatitis and liver disorders, as it tones and strengthens the liver, and helps to clear obstructions and reduce inflammation. It is used to lower blood pressure and as a cardiotonic for heart palpitations. Mulungu is also traditionally used as an antispasmodic for asthma, bronchitis and coughs.

Studies indicate it is useful for quitting tobacco, as appears to block nicotine receptors and acts as a competitive nicotine antagonist. Its sedating properties also assist with the irritability and anxiety of nicotine and drug withdrawal.

This plant is not very widely known or used amongst practitioners in most of the world, it mostly makes an appearance as an ingredient in only a few herbal formulas for anxiety or depression. It is a wonderful rainforest medicinal plant that is deserving of much more attention globally than it gets outside of South America. The main herbal remedy sold in America today for stress, anxiety and as a general sedative is Kava, however Kava is restricted for sale in Australia. Since Mulungu provides similar calming and stress relieving effects, it is legal to sell and actually has a positive effect on the liver. We couldn’t recommend it more!

Preparation: 1-2 tsp/cup, simmer 15 mins, or 1-2 ml of tincture as needed. Take it about 20 mins before bedtime as many people feel its effects quite quickly.

Reference: Leslie Taylor (2005). The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs, pp363-366. http://www.rain-tree.com/mulungu.htm#.V-HLIUI_tE4, http://www.rain-tree.com/mulungu.htm#.V-HLIUI_tE4

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