Scientific Name: Quassia amara
Botanical Family: Simaroubaceae
Common Name: Hombre Grande (“Big Man”)
The extremely bitter taste of the leaves and stem upon chewing show to us that we are in the presence of our Tree of the Month for May, known as The Big Man.
This bush is found growing primarily in the secondary forests and some agroforestry systems of the humid lowlands throughout our country and of course in our Naranjo River Biological Corridor. It is a smallish bush, only reaching heights up to 7 meters, with thin branches and stems, compound leaves . The leaves are of a winged formation and those at the end of the branch are of a red color. Its flowers are also red in color and have a very nice appearance, so that many consider this species as an ornamental plant in the garden.
“Hombre Grande” is one of the most studied and analyzed plants in laboratories due to its medicinal properties, which are found in its compounds especially related to the bitter substance known as Quassin.
The following are some of its medicinal uses:
|Use||Means of Preparation|
|Expel liver and kidney stones||Infusion|
|Antidiarrectic and stomach upsets||Infusion|
|Parasites and amoebas||Enema|
|Headaches and colds||Infusion|
|Natural insecticide||Cooking of stems|