Guaco: Health Benefits, How to Use & Side Effects

Updated in December 2023

Guaco is a medicinal plant that contains analgesic, anti-inflammatories, antioxidant and antidiarrhea properties. It can be used to treat flus and respiratory problems, like asthma, bronchitis and coughing, as it is also a natural bronchodilator and expectorant. 

Guaco also contains antiallergenic, vasodilating and anticoagulant properties and is useful to treat allergies, cardiovascular disease and blood circulation diseases, like clots, high blood pressure and chest pain. 

The scientific name for guaco is Mikania glomerata Spreng and it can be found in natural health stores and some pharmacies as a dried lead or tincture. It should be taken as recommended by a doctor or medicinal plant specialist. 

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Health benefits

Guaco can be used to complement the treatment of conditions like: 

  • Bronchitis
  • Flu
  • Asthma
  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Throat inflammation
  • Allergies
  • Fever
  • Thrombosis
  • Gastritis and ulcers
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cardiac disease
  • Bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections 

Guaco can also be used to complement the treatment for different types of pain, neuralgia and rheumatism. 

Although it can be used for a variety of situations, guaco use should be oriented by a medicinal plant specialist or doctor. 

How to use

Guaco can be utilized as a syrup, purchased at the pharmacy and taken according to manufacturer's recommends. For therapeutic purposes, it can be taken as a tea or tincture. 

1. Guaco tea


  • 3 g of dried guaco leaves or 5 g of fresh guaco leaves 
  • 150 mL of boiling water

How to prepare

Place the leaves in the boiling water and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Then strain and drink up to 3 times per day. 

2. Guaco tincture


  • 100 g of titrated guaco leaves
  • 300 mL of grain alcohol

How to prepare

Place the leaves in a dark container with the alcohol. Store in a fresh, ventilated area for two weeks, being sure to stir the mixture once a day, then strain. Guaco tinctures are soley used for external purposes, and can be applied with a clean gauze over affected areas. 

Guaco tinctures can be found in natural health stores and can be used in doses of 5 to 20 mL per day. 

Possible side effects

Excessive use of guaco (in high doses or for prolonged times) can cause bleeding, increased heart rate, vomiting and diarrhea. Guaco contains cumarin which can cause worsening in cases of shortness of breath and coughing in those allergic to this component. 

Contraindications for use

Guaco should not be used by anyone with an allergy to this plant. It should be avoided by those with cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes and liver disease. This plant should not be consumed by children under one, nor pregnant or breastfeeding women. 

Guaco contains cumarin, a component with anticoagulant action, and should therefore not be used by anyone taking anticoagulants.