Other Name(s):

Chuchasha, Chuchuasi, Chuchuhuasca, Chuchuhuasha, Maytenus krukovii, Maytenus laevis, Maytenus macrocarpa.


Chuchuhuasi is a tree. The barks, roots, and leaves are used to make medicine.

People take chuchuhuasi by mouth for arthritis, back pain, broken bones, diarrhea, complications after childbirth, joint disorders, sexual arousal, and as a tonic.

People apply chuchuhuasi to the skin for skin cancer.

As a food, chuchuhuasi is used as a flavoring agent.

How does it work?

Chuchuhuasi might slow cancer growth. It might also prevent bacterial and fungal infections. Chuchuhuasi contains chemicals that have antioxidant effects.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Arthritis.
  • Back pain.
  • Broken bones.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Complications after childbirth.
  • Joint disorders.
  • Sexual arousal.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of chuchuhuasi for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

It isn't known if chuchuhuasi is safe or what the possible side effects might be.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of chuchuhuasi during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of chuchuhuasi depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for chuchuhuasi. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Bruni R, Rossi D, Muzzoli M, et al. Antimutagenic, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of Maytenus krukovii bark. Fitoterapia 2006;77(7-8):538-45. View abstract.

Chavez H, Callo N, Estevez-Braun A, et al. Sesquiterpene polyol esters from the leaves of maytenus macrocarpa. J Nat Prod 1999;62(11):1576-7. View abstract.

Chavez H, Estevez-Braun A, Ravelo AG, Gonzalez AG. Friedelane triterpenoids from Maytenus macrocarpa. J Nat Prod 1998;61(1):82-5. View abstract.

Chavez H, Rodriguez G, Estevez-Braun A, et al. Macrocarpins A-D, new cytotoxic nor-triterpenes from Maytenus macrocarpa. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2000;10(8):759-62. View abstract.

Dicarlo FJ, Haynes LJ, Silver NJ, Phillips GE. Protection of mice against gram-positive bacteria with Maytenus laevis and other res stimulants. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1964;116:195-7. View abstract.

Gonzalez JG, delle Monache G, delle Monache F, Marini-Bettolo GB. Chuchuhuasha - a drug used in folk medicine in the Amazonian and Andean areas. A chemical study of Maytenus laevis. J Ethnopharmacol 1982;5(1):73-7. View abstract.

Kloucek P, Polesny Z, Svobodova B, et al. Antibacterial screening of some Peruvian medicinal plants used in Callería District. J Ethnopharmacol 2005;99(2):309-12. View abstract.

Kloucek P, Svobodova B, Polesny Z, et al. Antimicrobial activity of some medicinal barks used in Peruvian Amazon. J Ethnopharmacol 2007;111(2):427-9. View abstract.

Melo AM, Jardim ML, De Santana CF, et al. First observations on the topical use of Primin, Plumbagin and Maytenin in patients with skin cancer. Rev Inst Antibiot (Recife) 1974;14(1-2):9-16. View abstract.

Morita H, Hirasawa Y, Muto A, et al. Antimitotic quinoid triterpenes from Maytenus chuchuhuasca. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2008;18(3):1050-2. View abstract.

Nakagawa H, Takaishi Y, Fujimoto Y, et al. Chemical constituents from the Colombian medicinal plant Maytenus laevis. J Nat Prod 2004;67(11):1919-24. View abstract.

Patel D, Kaur G, Sawant MG, Deshmukh P. Herbal Medicine - A natural cure to arthritis. Indian J Nat Prod Resources 2013;4(1):27-33.

Perez-Victoria JM, Tincusi BM, Jimenez IA, et al. New natural sesquiterpenes as modulators of daunomycin resistance in a multidrug-resistant Leishmania tropica line. J Med Chem 1999;42(21):4388-93. View abstract.

Piacente S, Tommasi ND, Pizza C. Laevisines A and B: two new sesquiterpene-pyridine alkaloids from maytenus laevis. J Nat Prod 1999;62(1):161-3. View abstract.

Salazar A, Loja B, Rabanal A, et al. Comparación de los usos del chuchuhuasi (Maytenus macrocarpa) entre indígenas Bora-Bora de Loreto y chamanes de Lima (Perú). Revista de Fitoterapia 2013;13(1):61-69.

Sekar KV, Sneden AT, Flores FA. Mayteine and 6-benzoyl-6-deacetylmayteine from Maytenus krukovii. Planta Med 1995;61(4):390. View abstract.

Shirota O, Sekita S, Satake M, et al. Nine new isoxuxuarine-type triterpene dimers from Maytenus chuchuhuasca. Chem Biodivers 2004;1(9):1296-1307. View abstract.

Shirota O, Sekita S, Satake M, et al. Nine regioisomeric and stereoisomeric triterpene dimers from Maytenus chuchuhuasca. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2004;52(6):739-46. View abstract.

Shirota O, Sekita S, Satake M, et al. Two cangorosin A type triterpene dimers from Maytenus chuchuhuasca. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2004;52(9):1148-50. View abstract.

Simons A. The Healing Power of Plants. Medicinal Plants from Abuta and Acerola to Yohimbe and Yucca: a Practical Selection. Coburg, Germany: MayaMedia Publishing, 2013.

Torpocco V, Chavez H, Estevez-Braun A, Ravelo AG. New dammarane triterpenes from Maytenus macrocarpa. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2007;55(5):812-4. View abstract.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors