Evergreen tree growing to 150 ft (45 m) with pale grey bark, compound lanceshaped leaves, and green-white flowers.
Habitat & Cultivation
Cocillana is native to the eastern Andes. The bark is gathered throughout the year.
Cocillana contains anthraquinones, proanthocyanids, and a volatile oil.
History & Folklore
Cocillana has been used as an emetic in traditional South American and Caribbean medicine, probably for many centuries. The plant was first introduced to Western medicine by H. H. Rusby, who collected samples in Bolivia in 1886.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Cocillana is used in cough mixtures, being an even more powerful expectorant than ipecac (Cephaelis ipecacuanha). Cocillana is taken as a treatment for coughs, excessive mucus production in the throat and chest, and bronchitis. At a high dosage, the plant induces vomiting.
A gum resin derived from the Caribbean G. guara is used as a clotting agent, and a decoction of the leaves is taken as a treatment for internal bleeding.
Use cocillana only under professional supervision.