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Babassu (Orbignya phalerata)

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Also listed as: Orbignya phalerata
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Amid, Arecaceae (family), aqueous extract, babacu mesocarp, babassu coconut, babassu mesocarp, babassu oil, babassu palm trees, Brazilian babassu coconut oil, coconut babacu, glucan, mesocarp, MP1, Orbignya oleifera, Orbignya phalerata, Orbignya phalerata Mart., Orbignya phalerata Martius, polysaccharide.

Background
  • The babassu (Orbignya phalerata) is a native tree of the Arecaceae (Palmae) family from northern Brazil. Extract of the babassu coconut has been widely used as a food source. As a medicinal product, it is known for its wound healing, fever-reducing, blood thinning, thyroid-regulating, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Babassu coconut (mesocarp) has been widely used as a treatment of pain, fever, constipation, obesity, leukemia, rheumatism, ulcerations, tumors, wounds, and inflammation.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic (blood thinning), constipation, fever, food uses, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), immunomodulation, insect repellent, leukemia, obesity, pain, promoting healing, rheumatism, skin ulcerations, tumors, wound healing.

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for babassu in adults.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for babassu in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to babassu (Orbignya phalerata) or its constituents.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Babassu is likely safe when used in food amounts in people who are not allergic or hypersensitive to babassu or any of its constituents.
  • Use cautiously in patients taking blood thinners.
  • Use cautiously in patients taking antithyroid (thyroid-regulating) agents.
  • Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available evidence.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Babassu is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack available scientific evidence.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Babassu may exhibit anti-inflammatory activity. Caution is advised in patients taking anti-inflammatory agents, due to possible additive effects.
  • Consumption of babassu may exert antithyroid (thyroid-regulating) effects. Caution is advised in patients with thyroid disorders or taking any medications to treat such conditions.
  • Babassu may have antithrombotic effects and therefore may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Babassu may have antithrombotic effects and therefore may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto.
  • Babassu may exhibit anti-inflammatory activity. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that also have anti-inflammatory activity due to possible additive effects.
  • Consumption of babassu may exert antithyroid effects. Caution is advised in patients with thyroid disorders or taking any herbs or supplements to treat such conditions.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Amorim E, Matias JE, Coelho JC, et al. [Topic use of aqueous extract of Orbignya phalerata (babassu) in rats: analysis of its healing effect]. Acta Cir.Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 2:67-76.
  2. Azevedo AP, Farias JC, Costa GC, et al. Anti-thrombotic effect of chronic oral treatment with Orbignya phalerata Mart. J Ethnopharmacol 4-20-2007;111(1):155-159.
  3. Baldez RN, Malafaia O, Czeczko NG, et al. [Healing of colonic anastomosis with the use of extract aqueous of Orbignya phalerata (Babassu) in rats]. Acta Cir.Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 2:31-38.
  4. Batista CP, Torres OJ, Matias JE, et al. [Effect of watery extract of Orbignya phalerata (babassu) in the gastric healing in rats: morphological and tensiometric study]. Acta Cir.Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 3:26-32.
  5. Brito Filho SB, Matias JE, Stahlke Junior HJ, et al. [Analysis of healing in the Alba Linea with the use of Orbignya phalerata (babassu) water extract. Controlled study in rats]. Acta Cir.Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 3:76-88.
  6. da Silva BP, Parente JP. An anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory polysaccharide from Orbignya phalerata. Fitoterapia 2001;72(8):887-893.
  7. Ferreira Ede C, Matias JE, Campos AC, et al. [Surgical bladder wounds treated with Orbignya phalerata aqueous extract: controlled study in rats]. Acta Cir.Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 3:33-39.
  8. Freire DM, Sant'Anna GL Jr, Alves TL. Mathematical modeling of lipase and protease production by Penicillium restrictum in a batch fermenter. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 1999;77-79:845-855.
  9. Luz C, Batagin I. Potential of oil-based formulations of Beauveria bassiana to control Triatoma infestans. Mycopathologia 2005;160(1):51-62.
  10. Marques SG, Silva Cde M, Saldanha PC, et al. Isolation of Fonsecaea pedrosoi from the shell of the babassu coconut (Orbignya phalerata Martius) in the Amazon region of Maranhao Brazil. Nippon Ishinkin.Gakkai Zasshi 2006;47(4):305-311.
  11. Martins NL, Malafaia O, Ribas-Filho JM, et al. [Healing process in cutaneous surgical wounds in rats under the influence of Orbignya phalerata aqueous extract]. Acta Cir.Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 3:66-75.
  12. Nascimento FR, Barroqueiro ES, Azevedo AP, et al. Macrophage activation induced by Orbignya phalerata Mart. J Ethnopharmacol 1-3-2006;103(1):53-58.
  13. Oliveira FC, Freire DM, Castilho LR. Production of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) by solid-state fermentation with Ralstonia eutropha. Biotechnol.Lett 2004;26(24):1851-1855.
  14. Palma MB, Pinto AL, Gombert AK, et al. Lipase production by Penicillium restrictum using solid waste of industrial babassu oil production as substrate. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2000;84-86:1137-1145.
  15. Sarubbo LA, Porto AL, Campos-Takaki GM. The use of babassu oil as substrate to produce bioemulsifiers by Candida lipolytica. Can.J Microbiol. 1999;45(5):423-426.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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