Guinea Hen Weed, also known as Anamu, Gully Root, and Garlic Weed, grows in rainforests and tropical regions of Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It emits a potent garlic-like odor.

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Jamaican herbalists highly recommend Guinea Hen Weed for its potent pain relief, body relaxation, disease-fighting, and health-promoting properties. Additionally, it is rich in antioxidants and treatment for flu, cold, cough, and other respiratory conditions.

In Jamaica and Guinea, people use the Guinea Hen Weed plant in various ways. They crush the roots to use as an inhalant for runny nose and sinus issues and make a beverage by crushing the roots, soaking in water for several days, then adding salt and ginger.

Folk medicine tradition employs the roots and leaves of this plant for various purposes, such as reducing pain and inflammation, combating cancer, and boosting immunity. The potential benefits stem from the plant’s various compounds, including flavonoids, lipids, coumarin, triterpenes, and sulfur compounds.

History and Plant description

Guinea Hen Weed has a long history of herbal medicines usage. Brazilians have used this plant in religious ceremonies. They also view it as an herbal medicine with diuretic, antispasmodic, stimulant, menstrual-inducing, and sweat-inducing properties. Natural health practitioners and herbalists used this plant for the treatment of malaria, arthritis, edema, poor memory, rheumatism, and anti-inflammatory skin conditions.

In Central America, people use Guinea Hen Weed to ease birth pains and facilitate childbirth. Guatemalans use the plant as a herbal medicine and take its leaf decoction internally to treat digestive issues, fever, and flatulence while using it externally for skin conditions and muscle pain. South and Central Americans also employ this natural remedy to treat coughs, colds, flu, and respiratory infections, as well as to enhance the immune system.


Guinea Hen Weed is a perennial herb or shrub which is native to the tropical region of Caribbean islands, sub-Saharan Africa, and Central and South America. The plant has 5 cm to 1.5 m in height. Its root is fusiform with a straight and rigid stem. The branches have longitudinal stripes with slender shapes. The leaves are simple with an acuminate shape and an acute apex.

The base of leaves has a slightly wavy margin of 7 to 12 cm in length and 3 to 6 cm in width. Flowers of Guinea Hen Weed are sessile bisexual and are of white color. The roots and leaves of this plant release a strong garlic-like odor, earning it the name Garlic Weed.

Health Benefits of Guinea Hen Weed

Centuries of use attest to the high nutritional value and abundance of plant compounds in Guinea Hen Weed.

1. Helps in Treating Cancer:

For centuries, Anamu or Guinea Hen Weed has been a potent cancer fighter, used to treat various forms of cancer. Cancer has become a common and serious health issue these days. In the world of cancer treatment, hundreds of options are available for cancer patients. And one of the popular treatments is to use Guinea Hen Weed. This herb has shown some great effects in reducing the growth of cancer cells in breast and prostate cancer.

Men with prostate cancer have been drinking this tea for decades. The anticancer effect of this herb is due to the presence of agents called trisulfides and poly in it. Studies prove that these agents effectively curb the growth of cancer cells. These agents work by inhibiting a certain strand of the protein called “kinase,” which is present within the cancer cells and known to be a factor that spreads the cancer cells throughout the body.

Some evidence has also shown the effect of Guinea Hen Weed on treating cancer. For example, a test tube study (Urueña, 2008) found that its extract can reduce the growth of cancer cells and cause cell death in breast, colon, lungs, and pancreas cancer cells.

The study also found that these powerful anticancer properties of Guinea Hen Weed can be due to the different plant compounds present in it, like flavonoids, fatty acids, coumarins, and sulfur compounds.

2. Increase Immune System:

Centuries of use attest to the high nutritional value and abundance of plant compounds in Guinea Hen Weed.. Researchers are still discovering how it can help keep the immune system healthy. But it has effectively treated infection, flu, viruses, and cancer for centuries.

Some of the studies (Santander, 2012) show that several active compounds present in the plant can help increase immunity. However, further research is necessary to validate this claim.

3. Antioxidant Properties:

Guinea Hen Weed contains various plant compounds which have antioxidant properties. These compounds include sulfur compounds, triterpenes, flavonoids, and many others. These antioxidants are compounds that can neutralize free radicals and harmful molecules, which can cause damage to the cells when they build up in large amounts in the body.

This damage caused by free radicals can lead to some serious medical conditions like brain disorders, heart diseases, and diabetes. o, by neutralizing free radicals, Guinea Hen Weed can also reduce the risk of these diseases.

4. Reduce Inflammation and Pain:

Folk medicines traditionally utilized Guinea Hen Weed to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Moreover, some recent studies have also shown anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

According to an animal study, (Rosa, 2018), Guinea Hen Weed can reduce the markers of inflammation, such as prostaglandin, necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1 beta, and interleukin-6. This animal study also shows the fact that it can relieve pain.

Moreover, a human study of 14 people (Ferraz, 1991) suffering from arthritis found that the people who drank Guinea Hen Weed tea had less pain and inflammation in their joints than those who did not drink it.

5. Increase Mental Performance:

Some researchers have also shown the positive effect of Guinea Hen Weed in improving brain health. According to one animal study of rats (Silva, 2015), it has the ability to improve short-term memory and learning-based tasks.

Another animal study (Andrade, 2012) has found that the extract not only improves memory but also reduces the signs of anxiety but there are not many effects of it on short-term memory.

The research is promising, but further human studies are necessary to confirm the positive impact of Guinea Hen Weed on mental health performance.

Benefits of Guinea Hen Weed Tea

For centuries, people have consumed Guinea Hen Weed tea for its numerous health benefits, including aiding weight loss and promoting digestion. This tea is a traditional remedy for various digestive problems. Moreover, this detox tea is a perfect solution if you also want to lose weight or accelerate the weight loss journey.

1. Great for Diabetic Patients:

Clinical research has shown that Guinea Hen Weed tea is very beneficial for diabetic patients. According to an animal study the  tea lowers the blood sugar levels in diabetic rats and also improves the lipid profile.

So, if you are suffering from diabetes and want an herbal solution for that, this tea can be a good option. However, before adding it to your diet, consult your doctor first.

2. Helps in digestion:

Guinea Hen Weed tea has the ability to cleanse the gut. Moreover, its anti-inflammatory property of it also helps in soothing the digestive system. Moreover, the fiber content present within this herb has the ability to make you feel full for a longer time.

This fiber also helps in maintaining healthy gut bacteria. Which is necessary for proper bowel movement. So, if you are looking for a natural remedy for digestion, this tea is a good option. It is a unique herb that contains a lot of benefits and is beneficial on an empty stomach.

3. Fight against Diseases:

Guinea Hen Weed is a plant with antimicrobial, anti-fungal, anti-virus, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties of plants are very helpful in fighting against potential infection. Due to the presence of antioxidants, sulfuric compounds, and phytochemical compounds in tea, it can also boost the immune system.

While protecting the body, this herbal tea also prevents illness and major health conditions like cancer and heart disease. Centuries of use attest to its healing properties.

4. Helps in Relieving Pain:

Guinea Hen Weed is also a popular pain reliever because of its natural pain-relieving properties. M recover, anti-inflammatory properties of this tea also help in reducing pain. B cause inflammation can be a primary cause of pain, redness, and soreness around the body.

So, as a natural anti-inflammatory, the tea can reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling caused by it, especially during rheumatism and arthritis. The unique compounds present within this tea make it able to decrease the flow of white blood cells to the inflamed area.

5. Good for the Nervous System:

If you are feeling like your stress level is increasing, then Guinea Hen Weed tea can be a good herbal option for you. Studies demonstrate that this tea positively impacts the central nervous system, reducing stress and anxiety.

Moreover, it also relaxes the nerves. Like many other herbs, It also has a sedative effect, which makes it able to calm nerves, ease the digestive system, and relieve stress and anxiety. Due to its antimicrobial and calming properties, it can also help in reducing fever.

The consumption of tea offers a calming and warming sensation to the body.. Slowly sipping this warm beverage can soothe the body.  When the content of drinking tea works together, the overall benefits are calmer.

Possible Side Effects and Precautions

There is no doubt this miraculous plant can provide a lot of health benefits. And it is almost safe for everyone to use. However. Pregnant women should exercise caution when using Guinea Hen Weed, as it may cause uterine contractions and pose a risk of abortion or miscarriage. Pregnant women and those with menstrual disturbance should avoid this weed. Moreover, in case of these medical concerns, consult your doctor first before taking any similar product.

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Bottom Line

Guinea Hen Weed is a perennial shrub native to Central America, the Caribbean, and the Southern United States.
Scientists identify it as Petiveria alliacea. It is also famous for many other names like aspin, mucura, tipi, and guinea.

The leaves and roots of this plant are famous for their strong garlic smell, which is due to the chimerical compounds like sulfur compounds present within this shrub. For centuries, traditional medicine practitioners have utilized it in their treatments. And many recent studies have also shown various health benefits of this shrub, including improved brain function, reduced inflammation, and prevented risk of cancer

People consider Guinea Hen Weed to be a miracle plant that can significantly improve overall health. It is an herb that can easily be available online in different forms, such as powder, tinctures, capsules, and dried leaves. Guinea Hen Weed tea is also very famous as it can also provide a lot of benefits.

However, medical practitioners are looking into the further benefits of this plant and its antispasmodic properties to treat cramps and spasms.  Consult your doctor before adding any kind of herbal supplements or beverages to your diet. Especially, when you have a specific medical condition, including pregnancy.

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