10 junio, 2024

Cocolmeca: what it is, what it is for, side effects, components

We explain what cocolmeca is, its health properties, side effects and how to ingest it

What is cocolmeca?

Cocolmeca is a common name for various plants and may refer to Dioscorea mexicana, Phaseolus ritensis, Smilax aristolochiifolia either Smilax cordifolia. Dioscorea mexicana, Mexican yam or black head. It is a kind of name of the genus Dioscorea.

This species ranges in forests from northeastern Mexico to Panama. Produces diosgenin, a precursor substance for the synthesis of hormones such as progesterone. For her part, the Phaseolus ritensis It is native to Arizona, Sonora, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, and Nuevo León.

Known as Santa Rita mountain bean, it grows in montane forest areas. The fruits are appreciated as food, and the roots and rhizomes for their therapeutic properties. The Smilax aristolochiifoliaalso known as gray sarsaparilla, Mexican sarsaparilla, or sarsaparilla, is native to Mexico and Central America.

It is used in food and in the treatment of a wide variety of ailments. The organic substances it contains promote the elimination of urea, uric acid and other organic waste. Lastly, the Smilax cordifolia It is also known as Indian sarsaparilla and has diuretic, stimulant, antirheumatic and sudorific properties.

The Smilax cordifolia It is used for the treatment of venereal diseases. The information that will be presented next deals with the genus smilax.

What is the cocolmeca used for? Health properties

the root of smilax It has extensive medicinal uses:

Traditionally, it is used to treat leprosy, tumors, cancer, malaria, hepatitis, and syphilis.
It is used as a tonic for anemia.
It is diaphoretic. By inducing profuse sweating, it is effective in reducing superficial fevers. Diaphoretic properties help eliminate toxins through the skin, increasing circulation.
General purifying that relieves the symptoms of skin diseases, such as eczema, mycosis, psoriasis among others.
It has antimicrobial activity due to saponins, in particular due to sarsaponin and parillin. This activity has been tested against Candida albicans, ringworm and other microorganisms.
Sarsasapogenin exhibits anti-inflammatory activity. It is effective in the treatment of joint diseases that are accompanied by pain and stiffness caused by inflammation or degeneration of the connective tissue structures of the body.
Its testosterogenic, aphrodisiac and progesterogenic effects have been reported. For this reason, taking cocolmeca has been promoted as a male rejuvenator. The presence of saponins, precursor substances in the synthesis of hormones, allows to reduce the symptoms caused by menopause and aging
It has been used to build muscle mass.
The cocolmeca decoction shows diuretic action; that is, it serves to prevent and alleviate fluid retention. Increases the excretion of uric acid in the urine, reducing the concentration of uric acid in the blood plasma. It is used to treat gout, a form of arthritis caused by the formation of crystals of a salt of uric acid in the tissues.
Lowers blood cholesterol.
The leafy stems of cocolmeca improve digestion, awaken the appetite and relieve diarrhea and stomach pain.
Dyes are extracted from the root to give color to soft drinks, as a flavoring, aperitif and tonic.

Chemical composition

Cocolmeca roots have 2% saponins, which are used to synthesize cortisone and other steroids: sarsasapogenin (sarsaponin or parigenin), smilagenin, diosgenin, tipogenin, asparagenin, laxogenin, and parillin. Saponins give it a bitter taste and are precursor steroid compounds for the synthesis of hormones.
They contain phytosterols or plant sterols, which are alcohols derived from steroids; for example, stigmasterol, β-sitosterol, pollinasterol, and sarsapic acid. Its beneficial properties for the heart and digestive system are recognized.
They have fatty acids, such as palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic. Fatty acids are the major constituents of fats and are usually esterified into triglycerides. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid; that is, a fatty acid that the body cannot synthesize and must be present in the diet.
There is presence of flavonoid antioxidants. These phenolic pigments give color to many vegetables. In the cocolmeca, isoastilbin stands out, used in traditional Chinese medicine. This flavanonol shows antibacterial activity in vitro and in the healing of burn wounds.
Contains kaempeferol and quercetin. Both flavonoids are considered anti-inflammatory. The consumption of kaempeferol has been suggested as reducing the risk of cancer, but studies of the possible therapeutic applications of quercetin have not given encouraging results.
It has mineral salts: potassium (1.25%), silicic oxide (1.25%), chlorine (0.46%), aluminum (0.42%), calcium (0.41%) and magnesium (0. 30%). Other components are starch, choline, leucoanthocyanins, caffeoyl-shikimic acid, shikimic acid, vitamin C (19.4 mg%), tannins, quaternary alkaloids and resins.

side effects of cocolmeca

Gastroenteritis, diarrhea and vomiting may occur if it has been ingested in high doses or if the treatment has been for a long time.

When treatment is discontinued, symptoms usually cease. The hemolytic activity of saponins only appears by injectable administration.

It should be used with caution in patients taking medication for heart problems. The surfactant power of saponins increases the absorption of digitalis, which are drugs used to treat congestive heart failure and heart rhythm disturbances.

Consumption should be avoided during pregnancy or during the lactation period, since its safety has not been demonstrated.

How is it taken?

If cocolmeca is found in capsules, tinctures, powder, and other pharmaceutical forms, the manufacturer’s instructions should be followed. The recipes using the rhizome depend on the symptom to be treated.

blood purification

For blood purification, 30 grams of the rhizome is taken and a decoction is made in a liter of water. One serving is taken three times a day for 5 days.


To control rheumatism, gout and arthritis, a portion of the same decoction is taken 3 times a day for 10 days.


For anemia the dose is 3 times a day for 21 days.


To use it as a diuretic, a decoction is made with 20 grams of the root in a liter of water, and one portion is taken three times a day for 5 days.


For psoriasis it is prepared in the same proportion, but it is taken three times a day for 7 days.

dermatological problems

For skin problems such as rashes, eczema, warts and boils, it is also convenient to take night baths with the decoction.

Venereal diseases

In the case of venereal diseases, penile and vaginal washes are done to alleviate discomfort while taking the medical prescription.

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