Brunfelsia guianensis is an evergreen shrub to small tree with lax, spreading branches; it usually grows 1 - 3 metres tall, occasionally reaching 5 metres[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
Although providing many well-known foods for people, including the potato, tomato, pepper and aubergine, most plants in the family Solanaceae also contain poisonous alkaloids. Unless there are specific entries with information on edible uses, it would be unwise to ingest any part of this plant[
S. America - northern Brazil, the Guyanas.
An understorey shrub in dense rain forests and in the more open secondary formations; growing at low elevations[
Grows best in a position with partial shade - when growing in full sun the foliage may scorch and drop[
]. Prefers a loamy, fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil[
]. Many species in this genus grow wild in alkaline soils and, in non-alkaline soils, all members of the genus can benefit from the addition of some ground limestone[
The root is antisyphilitic, antirheumatic and depurative. In larger doses it is poisonous[
The root is used in local medicine under the name manaca, with properties similar to those of Brunfelsia uniflora[
]. These properties are as follows:-
The dried root is considered to be abortifacient, alterative, topical anaesthetic, antirheumatic, blood cleanser, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, laxative, narcotic, purgative and is said to stimulate the lymphatic system[
]. It is used in the treatment of arthritis, scrofula, rheumatism and syphilis[
]. In Brazil, the whole plant is used[
Traditionally, the root is prepared into a tincture with alcohol for the treatment of rheumatism and venereal disease[
]. A decoction of the root is used to treat chills, adult fevers, arthritis and rheumatism, back pain, common colds, bronchitis, lung disease and tuberculosis and snakebite, whilst it is also used as an enema for treating kidney disorders and ulcers[
Seed - it has a short period of viability and does not tolerate dessication. Sown fresh, it germinates within 2 - 4 weeks[
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