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Amphipterygium adstringens - Cuachalate


Native to:


Anacardiaceae. Synonym - Amphipterygium adstringens

Parts of Central America.

Deciduous jungles. 200-700 meters above sea level. 5 meters tall.

Amphipterygium adstringens - Cuachalate

Ecological value:

Found in deciduous forests in mountain regions, often accompanied by oak and holly. Blooms from June to August, while it fruits between August and January. Belongs to Anacardiaceae (cashew and sumac) family.

Material uses:

Tannins and a red dye is obtained from the bark. The heartwood is dark brown. Members of this family (Anacardiaceae) are known to produce an adhesive fluid which turns black, and can be used as a varnish in addition to tannins or mordants.

Edible uses:

The bark is used as a tea.

Medicinal use:

Highly valued medicinal plant. Decoction from the bark treats sores, bleeding gums, cancers, typhus, gastritis, ulcers, menstrual cramps, ovarian inflammation, kidney diseases, malaria etc.

Other details:

The bark of the tree has been used medicinally in Mexico for centuries. The bark has distinguishing characteristics: its grey and wrinkled with corky bumps.


Priyal Metha/Christine Facella


“Amphipterygium Adstringens - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 12, 2023.
‌Uphof. J. C. Th., ‘Dictionary of Economic Plants’, Weinheim, 1959
Lindley, John, and John Torrey. 1831. An Introduction to the Natural System of Botany: Or, a Systematic View of the Organization, Natural Affinities, and Geographical Distribution of the Whole Vegetable Kingdom; Together with the Uses of the Most Important Species in Medicine, the Arts, and Rural or Domestic Economy. Google Books. G. & C. & H. Carvill.
Image source: Luis Alberto and Leticia Soriano Flores.

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