Mastruz (santa maria grass): What is it for and how to use it


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Mastruz is a medicinal plant, also known as santa maria herb or Mexican tea. It is widely used as a traditional medicine in treatment of intestinal vermin, poor digestion and strengthening of the immune system.

This plant is the scientific name of Chenopodium ambrosioides. It is usually a small shrub that grows spontaneously on land of the outskirt dwellings. This plant possesses elongated leaves of different sizes and small flowers which are whitish in colour.

Mastruz can be easiy purchased from supermarkets or in stores that specialize in natural products. It is sold in their natural form such as dried leaves or in the form of essential oil. This plant is considered to contain some degree of toxicity therefore it should be used as guided by a health professional. It is therefore advisable to make tea from its tea leaves rather than using the essential oil, as it has a higher concentration of potentially toxic substances.

What is mastruz for?

Although this plant is widely used as a traditional medicine, studies have been conducted to confirm that mastruz has beneficial properties to the human body. Several investigations have been done to confirm the advanatages of the plant to the human body as well as to animals. These advantages include:

1. Eliminating intestinal versed

According to some studies done in human beings, this is one of the most popular uses of mastruz. The plant has been proven to present very strong action against different intestinal vermins such as roundworm and the dwarf tapeworm.

This action is due to the presence of the main active substance of the plant known as ascaridol. It has similar efficacy to some pharmacy vermifiable remedies such as albendazole.

2. Strengthening the immune system

According to studies done on some animals, mastruz extrcat has the ability to regulate the production of some important cells for the defence of an organism. These cells include macrophages and lymphocytes hence strengthening the immune system.

A mixture of mastruz leaves with milk is widely used in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and tuberculosis. This is due to the association of the fortifying effects of the immune system an the expectorants of these substances.

3. Decreasing inflammations

Mastruz is also used commonly in relieving inflammations, especially those that affect the joints such as osteoarthritis. In addition the plant also relieves the pain caused by the inflammations. The analgesic action is observed in the plants alcoholic extract which acts on the NMDA receptors to carry out its action.

4. Improving poor digestion

Although there are no studies that prove that the plant aids in proper digestion, it is one of the common and popular uses. It improves digestion when it is ingested after taking large amounts of meals, as it is believed to increase gastric juice production.

5. Lowering blood pressure

In Morocco, mastruz is widely used in the treatment of hugh blood pressure according to a study that was done on rats. This property happens when the plant stimulates muscarinic type 2 receptors in the heart that will slightly increase the heart rate and aslo aid in relaxation of the heart muscles.

6. Fight bacterial, viral and fungal infections

The use of both mastruz extract and the essential oil have shown potent antimicrobial action, as it is able to eliminate various types of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

7. Avoid osteoporosis

In other studies and investigations carried out on laboratory rats, using extract was proved to prevent the loss of bone density. It can also be used in the prevention of the onset of osteoporosis, especially in women who have just began menopause.

How to use mastruz

The most common way to utilize the properties of mastruz is with the infusion of its leaves during preperation of tea using the following the procedure:

  • Mastoz infusion: Place 1 table spoon of dried mastruz leaves in a cup of already boiled water and let it stand for about 10 minutes. Drink 1 cup for at least 3 times a day.

Aside from infusion of the mastruz leaves in making of tea, its essential oil can also be used. However, its use should only be done under the guidance of a naturopath, a herbalist or a health professional who is experienced in the use of medicinal plants.

Possible side effects

Mastruz plant has various side effects if it is used in high doses. Some of them include, irritation of the skin and the mucous membranes, headache, vomiting, palpitations, liver damage, nausea and visual disorders

Is Matruz abortive?

When used in high doses, the properties of mastruz cab act on the body by altering the muscles. Although there are no studies that confirm this action, it may have an abortive effect. For this reason, mastruz is not recommended for pregnant women.

Who should not use?

Mastruz plant is contraindicated for pregnant women and children under the age of two years. It is a medicinal herb that can be toxic therefore medical advice is recommended before its use.


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Cornelius A.

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