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Cha De Bugre

What Should I Know About It?

By

Updated April 16, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Cha de bugre is a substance often touted as a natural weight loss aid. Also known as "cafe do mato," cha de bugre is the fruit of the Cordia salicifolia tree (a plant that grows in tropical forests throughout South America). Often roasted and consumed in tea form, cha de bugre is also available as a dietary supplement.

Uses for Cha De Bugre

While cha de bugre is typically used as a weight loss aid, some proponents claim that it can also help treat the following health conditions:

In addition, cha de bugre is said to fight off viral infections, protect against cancer, and stimulate circulation. It is also used as a coffee substitute when brewed into a tea.

The Benefits of Cha De Bugre

So far, research on the health effects of cha de bugre is extremely limited. The few available studies include a report published in Planta Medica in 1990, which found that cha de bugre may help prevent cold sores. In tests on cells, scientists found that cha de bugre may help destroy herpes simplex virus type 1 (the virus that causes cold sores). However, more recent research on cha de bugre and cold sores is lacking.

Cha De Bugre and Weight Loss

Although cha de bugre is purported to promote weight loss by suppressing appetite, there is currently a lack of research to support this claim.

Preliminary research suggests that certain other natural remedies may offer appetite-suppressing effects. For instance, there's some evidence that capsaicin may help reduce appetite, possibly by decreasing your levels of ghrelin (a hormone involved in promoting hunger).

If you're looking to lose weight, the National Institutes of Health recommend following a weight-management plan that pairs healthy eating with regular exercise. Keeping a food diary, getting sufficient sleep, and managing your stress may also help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.

In addition, there's some evidence that certain alternative therapies (including yoga, meditation, and tai chi) may support weight-loss efforts.

Some studies also indicate that drinking green tea on a regular basis, maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D, and increasing your intake of fiber-rich substances (such as flaxseed) may help promote weight loss.

Learn more about natural solutions for weight loss.

Safety

Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of long-term use of cha de bugre. However, there's some concern that using cha de bugre in combination with certain medications (such as lithium) may produce harmful effects.

It should be noted that self-treating a chronic condition with cha de bugre and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. If you're considering the use of cha de bugre in treatment of a chronic condition, make sure to consult your physician.

Where To Find Cha De Bugre

Available for purchase online, cha de bugre can be found in some natural-foods stores and in stores specializing in dietary supplements.

Sources

Hayashi K, Hayashi T, Morita N, Niwayama S. "Antiviral activity of an extract of Cordia salicifolia on herpes simplex virus type 1." Planta Med. 1990 Oct;56(5):439-43.

National Institutes of Health. "Weight-Control Information Network - Weight Loss for Life." NIH Publication No. 04–3700. January 2009.

Reinbach HC, Smeets A, Martinussen T, Møller P, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. "Effects of capsaicin, green tea and CH-19 sweet pepper on appetite and energy intake in humans in negative and positive energy balance." Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;28(3):260-5.

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