The matico , whose scientific name is Buddleja globosa , is a perennial plant of the Scrophulariaceae family, to which species such as foxglove, veronica, eyebright and bacopa also belong. The matico is native to South America, especially Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru, where it is used as a medicinal herb to control bleeding and heal wounds.Matico is also known as soldier’s herb , as its anti-hemorrhagic properties have been used by some soldiers to heal wounds in the middle of battles. It is characterized by being a perennial plant, always green, with showy yellow flowers , which grow in a round bouquet , which is why it bears its scientific name, given its globe shape .The leaves of matico are of the lanceolate type, that is to say, elongated and narrow ; they are rough on the right and have pale green or white fuzz on the back. In some cases, they can exceed 20 centimeters. This shrubby plant can easily grow taller than 4 meters. It has a thin stem covered with white fluff, with a velvety texture.

What is matico for?

There is another plant to which the names matico and soldier’s herb are attributed . The scientific name of this second species is Piper aduncum , and it belongs to the Piperaceae family , the same family to which black pepper belongs.

The main use of the two plants called matico or soldier’s herb is as anti-hemorrhagic and healing. Both have been used for centuries to slow the flow of blood that occurs in wounds and, to a lesser extent, to remedy internal bleeding.

The matico is used to:

  • Healing and preventive functions
  • Add to food
  • Treat bleeds, wounds, and scars
  • Fight intestinal problems and diarrhea
  • Treat genitourinary infections and venereal diseases
  • Pass kidney and gallstones
  • Treat respiratory diseases
  • Softening and emollient effects on the skin

Healing and preventive functions

Among the active components of the matico Buddleja globosa are tannins, maticin and mucilage. Matico Piper aduncum contains alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins and other substances such as coumarins and phenols, among others. In addition, it contains the tannins, maticine and mucilage that Buddleja globosa contains .

It is therefore that, although they are different species, both plants have similar medicinal functions, such as:

  • Treat wounds
  • Treat bleeding
  • Heal scrapes
  • Treat ulcers
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Soothe pains
  • Treat intestinal problems
  • Control diarrhea
  • Reduce kidney stones
  • Reduce gallstones
  • Help heal wounds
  • Disinfect wounds
  • Fungicidal effects
  • Astringent effects
  • Decongestant effects
  • Cough suppressant effects
  • Analgesic effects
  • Antibiotic effects
  • Treat genital infections
  • Treat venereal diseases
  • Aphrodisiac effects
  • Emollient effects
  • Soften the skin

The matico has excellent properties to treat wounds.

Add to food

A common use of the matico Piper aduncum is as a substitute for pepper, as this plant belongs to the same family as pepper. Its fruits are used as an alternative to long pepper, especially in regions where the latter is not native.

Treat bleeds, wounds, and scars

The most recognized properties of matico are as anti- hemorrhagic and healing . For centuries, it has been used by the Amazon and jungle peoples of Peru and Bolivia. Both the extract of this plant and the infusion of its leaves are used in traditional medicine in the places where it is grown.

This plant has very strong astringent qualities and contains mucilage, which helps wounds heal faster. In addition, it contains saponins, alkaloids and coumarin. These substances have antimicrobial properties , which is why they help prevent infection in wounds and facilitate healing.

Generally, the matico is used in the form of poultices, balms, ointments and tinctures, to be used directly on wounds and injuries, in a similar way to how calendula and arnica are used.

Fight intestinal problems and diarrhea

The antibiotic and astringent properties of the matico are used to remedy cases of severe diarrhea. In addition to the benefit of controlling them, it is possible to reduce the bacteria or parasites that produce them. For this purpose, mild infusions are usually used with the leaves of this plant , either alone or in combination with other medicinal plants.

Matico is believed to also help fulfill functions such as:

  • Regulate digestion
  • Control gas or flatulence problems
  • Strengthen the intestinal mucosa
  • Control gastritis
  • Treat less severe ulcers

Treat genitourinary infections and venereal diseases

Shortly after its diffusion in Europe as a remedy for hemorrhages, a broader recognition for matico arose, as it was credited with the power to cure and reduce many venereal diseases , especially gonorrhea and syphilis.

There is no evidence that this plant cures these diseases. However, it is believed that being a microbicide helps decrease other opportunistic infections, especially kidney and urinary infections.

Currently, the benefits of matico on genital infections are being studied, as it appears to be moderately effective against some vaginal infections and others in men. For this, infusions of the plant are usually used for sitz baths, or compresses placed on the affected area.

Pass kidney and gallstones

Apparently, ingesting an infusion of matico helps to expel small kidney and gallstones . These properties were already known to the Andean and Amazonian peoples, but when the plant was taken to other regions, this belief spread and these functions are currently being investigated.

The matico does not work for large stones . It is effective enough to expel the small ones, but it does not disintegrate, much less dispose of the larger ones.

Treat respiratory diseases

Matico has antitussive, anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties , which is why it helps fight many of the common respiratory infections. It is an expectorant, so it helps in cases where it is difficult to expel phlegm or there is a large amount of these.

It should be noted that matico does not eliminate the viruses that cause the flu or other viral diseases, but it can help to:

  • Eliminate phlegm
  • Improve the immune system
  • Prevent the occurrence of opportunistic infections
  • Reduce fever
  • Reduce injuries from frequent coughing or purging of the nose

Softening and emollient effects on the skin

Matico contains compounds that soften and disinfect the skin and wounds ; therefore, it is used in skin lesions and infections such as acne, herpes, scrapes and other skin diseases. There are a variety of medicines that contain matico on the market, among which creams, ointments, ointments and lotions stand out, for different skin conditions.

Matico can be applied to the skin to enhance its appearance.

Types of matico

The two plants called matico or soldier’s plant are:

  • Buddleja globosa , of the family Scrophulariaceae
  • Piper hooked from the family Piperaceae

The Piper aduncum is similar to peppers and presents appendages similar to elongated strands, so it is also called to the plant cord .

Both Buddleja globosa and Piper aduncum have been used interchangeably as medicinal plants. They belong to different families, but they have both been named the same. Both are native to the South American countries Argentina, Chile and Peru.

According to the legends about the matico, this plant owes its name to the Spanish soldier who accidentally discovered its healing properties, when he himself treated the wounds of his companions in the middle of the jungle.

Contraindications of matico

The use of matico is not recommended in people such as:

  • Pepper allergic patients
  • Patients sensitive to the components of matico
  • Pregnant women
  • Lactating women
  • Little girls and boys

Matico side effects

Matico does produce side effects because, being a plant rich in tannins, saponins and coumarin, it can cause poisoning by these substances. In addition, some people may be allergic to this plant, especially those who have reactions to pepper.

It is important to note that matico is not a substitute for any medication, nor should it be used without medical supervision, especially in cases of deep or exposed wounds, mild to moderate bleeding, or eye injuries.

This article is informational in nature and is not a substitute for professional medical opinion. Consult a doctor.

Website | + posts

Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *