Medicinal Plants 2022

Barbatimão: what is it for and how to make chá

Table of contents:

Barbatimão: what is it for and how to make chá
Barbatimão: what is it for and how to make chá

The barbatimão, also known as barbatimão-verdadeiro, barba-de-timan, bark-da-mocidade or ubatima, is a medicinal plant rich in alkaloids, flavonoids and sterols, which has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptics, being therefore widely used in traditional medicine for the treatment of wounds, bleeding, burns, sore throat, swelling or bruises on the skin, for example.

The scientific name of barbatimão is Stryphnodendron barbatimam Mart or Stryphnodendron adstringens, and the part normally used of this medicinal plant is the bark, for the preparation of tea, compresses or sitz bath. However, it can also be used to prepare soaps, creams or ointments.

Barbatimão can be purchased at herbalists, he alth food stores or compounding pharmacies, and must be used under the guidance of a doctor or other he alth professional who has experience with the use of medicinal plants.

What is it for

The barbatimão has many he alth benefits, the main ones being:

1. Improve skin problems

The barbatimão has healing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action, and can be used on the skin to accelerate the healing of wounds, burns or skin infections. In addition, this plant can also be used in skin bruises, dermatitis, chilblains or diabetic foot.

2. Reduce fluid retention

Barbatimão can be used to help reduce swelling, decreasing fluid retention throughout the body due to its diuretic properties.

Also, due to the increased elimination of water by the body, barbatimão can help control high blood pressure and assist in the treatment of kidney problems or urinary infection.

3. Fight gastrointestinal problems

Barbatimão is rich in tannins with astringent, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, very useful to help fight gastrointestinal problems, and assist in the treatment of gastritis or stomach pain. In addition, barbatimão can also help fight liver problems or diarrhea.

4. Fighting respiratory problems

Due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, barbatimão can be used to help treat respiratory problems such as cough, flu, sinusitis, sore throat or inflammation in the lungs.

5. Reduce pain

Barbatimão has analgesic properties that help to reduce generalized or localized pain, may reduce sensitivity and discomfort and assist in the treatment of back pain or hernia, for example.

6. Help control blood glucose

A study [1] carried out with rats in the laboratory using the alcoholic extract of barbatimão showed that this medicinal plant can help control blood glucose, due to the presence of tannins in its composition, especially epigallocatechin-O-gallate, which was able to control blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

However, human studies are still needed to prove this benefit.

7. Keeping your mouth he althy

Due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect, barbatimão can help maintain the he alth of the mouth, preventing or treating inflammatory problems in the mouth such as gingivitis, cavities or bad breath, for example.

8. Fighting HPV infection

Barbatimão can help fight HPV infection and prevent cervical cancer. This is because this ointment is rich in tannins, such as epigallocatechin, epicatechin and gallocatechin, which have antiviral and healing action, causing dehydration in cells infected by the HPV virus, and promoting the elimination of the virus and the reappearance of warts.

However, more studies are still needed to confirm that barbatimão is really effective in eliminating the HPV virus. Learn how barbatimão ointment is used for HPV.

9. Aid in the treatment of vaginal discharge

The barbatimão, due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and healing action, when used in the form of sitz baths, can help fight inflammation or bacterial infections, helping to treat vaginal discharge caused by gonorrhea or bacterial vaginosis, for example.

How to use

The normally used part of barbatimão is the bark, from which substances with medicinal properties are extracted, usually for the preparation of tea, ointment or sitz baths.

1. Barbatimão Tea

Barbatimão tea helps reduce inflammation, fluid retention or gastrointestinal problems.


  • 1 tablespoon of barbatimão bark;
  • 1 liter of water.

Preparation mode

Add the barbatimão peels and water in a container and boil on low heat for about 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and drink this tea, 3 to 4 times a day.

Barbatimão tea can also be used in the form of compresses, to apply on wounds or ulcers on the skin. For this, you should soak a gauze in the tea, and apply it on the affected skin.

2. Sitz bath with barbatimão bark

Sitting bath with barbatimão bark fights inflammation, helps with healing, fights bacteria and therefore can be used to complement the treatment of infections and vaginal discharge caused by gonorrhea or bacterial vaginosis.


  • 2 tablespoons of barbatimão peels;
  • 1 liter of water.

Preparation Mode

Boil 1 liter of water and add the barbatimão peels, letting it boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. Strain and transfer the mixture to a bowl.

When the temperature is bearable, sit in the basin, carefully washing the entire genital area until the water cools down. Take a sitz bath once a day for 3 days.

3. Barbatimão Ointment

The barbatimão ointment can be used on wounds, cuts, scratches on the skin, diabetic foot, because it has a healing effect and helps to reduce inflammation in the region, relieving pain and discomfort.


  • 12g barbatimão powder (about 1 tablespoon);
  • 250 mL of coconut oil.

Preparation mode

Add the powdered barbatimão in a clay or ceramic pot and add the coconut oil and bring to a low heat for 1 or 2 minutes to uniform the mixture. Then strain and store in a glass container that can be kept tightly closed.

To reduce the leaves into powder, just buy the dried leaves and then mash them with a pestle or wooden spoon, removing the stalks. Always use a kitchen scale to measure the exact amount.

The barbatimão ointment can also be found in pharmacies or drugstores with the commercial name Fitoscar, indicated for the treatment of skin problems.

4. Barbatimão soap

Barbatimão soap is a good option to be used in the hygiene of women's intimate region, as it has antiseptic, healing and antibacterial action, which helps in the prevention or treatment of vaginal discharge.

To use barbatimão soap, use the soap during the bath, in the intimate region, on wet skin until foaming, and then rinse.

It is important to emphasize that the use of barbatimão intimate soap does not replace the treatment recommended by the doctor for vaginal discharge, which must be done according to its cause. See the main causes of vaginal discharge.

Possible side effects

Barbatimão can cause some side effects such as stomach irritation, or in more severe cases, it can cause miscarriage.

In addition, this plant should not be ingested in excess or in quantities greater than recommended, as it can cause poisoning. Therefore, tea from this medicinal plant should only be made with the guidance of a doctor or herbalist.

Who should not use

The barbatimão should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

In addition, it is also contraindicated for patients with serious stomach problems such as ulcers or stomach cancer.

Popular topic