Jergon Sacha - natural antidote with antiviral potential

Bijgewerkt op: 13 dec. 2020

Jergón is a large undergrowth tropical perennial herb consisting of one huge divided leaf and reaching a diameter of 1-2 m, but up to a maximum of 4 m. The plant grows from the tuber and forms a long and thick stem resembling the trunk of a non-woody tree. During the fertile period, the flowering stem emerges from the base and grows to a height of two meters. At the end of this period, a large reddish-brown calyx (a single petal resembling a petal) appears with light, red-orange, berry seeds that are overgrown in a fleshy stem.


Origin and distribution

Jergón Sacha is a tropical plant growing in the undergrowth of the Amazon rainforest. The plant has been found in South American countries such as Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Suriname and Venezuela and Latin American countries such as Costa Rica, Panama and others.

Use of Jergon Sacha

The fruits of Jergon are edible, the natives use them to prepare meals. However, its name derives from the magical ability to repel snakes, which the local natives attributed to it. The herb also has an ornamental function. From the point of view of ethnobotany, Jergón Sacha is a "unique plant". In this particular case, the solid stem and mottled color of the Jergon plant resemble the appearance of a poisonous snake living in the herb's area of ​​occurrence. In Peru and Ecuador, the snake and the plant share the same name, Jergón Sacha or fer-de-lance. In Brazil, the names are different, the snake is called jararaca and the plant ervajararaca.

Ceramides and cerebrosides are the basic building blocks of sphingolipid metabolism. These substances mediate both mitogenic and apoptotic responses depending on the cell type and the origin of the biological stimulus. New strategic approaches seek to target pharmacotherapeutic interventions for these "markers" in the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, but also in HIV-positive patients. One laboratory work, thanks to a highly sensitive analysis by HPLC in combination with mass spectrometry, revealed a total of 21 ceramides, among others, with 7 as yet unpublished substances in the Jergón Sacha plant.

There are a large number of products on the Peruvian market containing rhizome or tuber of Jergon Sacha in the form of tablets, capsules, and tinctures, which are freely available in pharmacies or in drugstores and general merchandise stores specializing in natural products. Some doctors use it in local medicine (even in combination with conventional treatments) to treat HIV, cancer, gastrointestinal problems, hernias (topically only), hand tremors, heart palpitations, and to support the proper functioning of the immune system.

In the 1990s, articles from medical scientists at the Peruvian Institute for Social Welfare began appearing in Peruvian publications about the testing and possible use of extracts of several Peruvian herbs in the treatment of AIDS. The results of the research team showed that 6 months after starting regular treatment with the rhizome extract of Jergón Sacha, AIDS patients returned to normal life and some were even evaluated as HIV negative. Interesting in vitro results were obtained by other teams on the topic of influencing the activity of other viruses (eg Herpes Zoster virus). Since then, the popularity and interest in the Jergón Sacha has increased considerably. In 2005, an article was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology describing the potential antibacterial effect of Jergón Sacha extract.

Folk medicine

The indigenous use of a plant results directly from the appearance of the plant. Locals as well as Native American tribes use large sections of tubers or rhizomes of the Jergon Sacha plant as an antidote to the bites of these snakes. In such a situation, the tuber is quickly and finely chopped, immersed in cold water and drunk. Subsequently, another tuber is chopped, wrapped in a banana leaf and placed around the wound of a snake bite.

Powdered tubers are used internally in Brazilian folk medicine for recurrent asthma attacks, menstrual problems associated with pain, anemic conditions and various types of cough (whooping cough too!). For external use, the powdered tuber of Jergón Sacha is given at itching, fresh juice from the rhizome is given for gargling in neck pain associated with difficulty swallowing and swollen nodules.

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