by Kobie Babb
Quassia is a plant with many names. Your location probably determines what you know this plant as. Quassia's many names include bitter quassia, amargo, bitter-ash, bitter-wood, Jamaican quassia, bitter bark, quassia amara, quassia chips, kawasiya, quassia bark, hombre grande, quassia wood, and bitter cup, It's a small evergreen shrub or occasionally, a small tree native to Central and South America. It was named after a botanist who was a former slave who first described it. The botanist name was Graman Quacy, and he was from Surinam, Kwasimukamba. Quacy is said to be the man who first discovered the healing benefits of Quassia, and used it to for the malignant fever epidemic in Surinam at the time.
Quassia's species name comes from the Spanish word amargo, which means bitter. It's the bitterest natural chemical known to exist. It's 50 times more bitter than quinine. It's the bark of the plant that's generally sold as quassia chips and used as a tonic or tincture. It can also be used as hops to flavor beer, being that it's among the most bitter substances on earth.
Quassia amara health benefits are legendary. It can be used as an anti-diarrheal, an anti-dysenteric, and even as an antimalarial. It's used for diseases of the spleen, liver, and the urinary tract. It's good for reducing all sorts of fevers. It's also used as a blood purifier, and even helps to strengthen the eyes of alcoholics. It encourages the secretion of gastric juices, which increases appetite and aids with digestion. It can be used to bathe the skin of measles and small pox patients and rid the skin of external parasites. It's a great mouthwash after a tooth extraction. It's also great as an insecticide. Quassia also lowers blood sugar levels. The health benefits of quassia chips are truly remarkable.
Quassia as a bitter tonic for the stomach, gallbladder, and other digestive problems is very effective. It increases the flow of bile, digestive juices, and saliva. It's also effective as a laxative, amebicide, as an insecticide, and also to expel internal worms. It is a digestive stimulant. These characteristics makes it very useful when cleansing the colon.
Now on to the side effects of quassia. If you're pregnant or nursing, you should not use quassia. Diabetics should be cautious because it may lower the blood sugar levels too low. In large amounts, quassia can irritate the digestive tract. People with digestive tract problems live stomach or intestinal ulcers, Crohn's disease, or any sort of digestive infections should not use quassia.